Questions about my plans...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by thunderkitty, May 17, 2007.

  1. thunderkitty

    thunderkitty In the Brooder

    I am in the process of converting our small "barn" into a coop. We are in the middle of insulating the bottom. I inserted photos so you all could see what it looks like. I'm wondering though..can I use the top beams as a roost if I put some old screens beneath to keep them from falling and give them a ladder? I showed pictures of the support beams. I figured if I can do this I can save space/ have more birds and they would be more protected from predators. A couple of other questions.. What do I cover the insulation on the roof part is with?(We live in North Dakota very cold, lows below -30 many winters) We are going to need to insulate the whole house. This I have figured out already. But, the roof has a curve to it, we are using foam insulation, and ply-board for cover on the rest of the coop but, we were thinking maybe cheap wall paneling that will be bendable for the top to cover the insulation? Maybe someone else will have idea... because otherwise I have to close the top off from the beams up and will have to build a lower roost. One other thing. I inserted a picture of the " posts" my mom chose. They are plastic and well, they worry me, will they hold up to predators? I bought some good 1/4" hardware cloth I believe 3 feet in height 150' length for our 24 birds to use with it... [​IMG] I can always return the posts for metal ones if they wont so... speak up if you agree with me that they won't [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Side View of barn
    Beams for roosting?
    Another picture of beams, and back wall...where a new (big) window will be
    Front view of barn
    Flimsy, lightweight beams my mom bought...

    P.s. I may add to this later if I think of other questions... Thanks...
    Oh and we are going to repaint it, add vinyl sheet flooring, and move it so the back wall is facing south for warmth.
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  2. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    It's a really cute barn. Your chickens are going to be spoiled.

    Do you want the screen beneath to keep the the beams from falling or the chickens? I wouldn't bother with a screen. Chickens won't fall. You can do a ladder, but really, unless you have silkies, they will fly up there. Even my Silky roo can get up on the high perches, I don't have a ladder, he just jumps on top of the nest box, or a lower perch and then jumps up to the higher perches. [​IMG]

    Wall paneling would work great to cover up insulation. That's what we used and it's really flexible. I only insulated my walls though. I live in Maine (similar weather) and my coop is not even nearly as close to insulated, but the birds do well. I just make sure it's all shut up tight in the colder months. I'd put the light up higher, if you are planning to let them perch on the beams, don't want any one to get burnt.

    I'm confused about the posts. Are you making a run and then covering it over? Because...if you're not covering it over they will just fly out, again unless you have silkies. My fence in 4' high and everyone, including my chunky Australorp sail over it like they are robins. I would definitely get some sturdier posts if you plan on making a covered run. Like at least 3"x 3" posts. I think any predator with half a brain will be able to just dig a little, squeeze underneath the wire and those posts will pop right out of the ground. I used chicken wire and 2"x4"s for my enclosed run. In case I have to go away for a few days, I know they are safe. I also let them free-range during the day, and they just go in their coop at night.

    Mine is not nearly as fancy and the pic was taken before siding went on, but you can see how the run is attached to the coop and then a fence beside the coop. The fence was built for goats, and does not keep the chickens in, except for silkies and that's only if the gates shut, as you can see there are silkies out of the fence so someone forgot to shut the gate! You'll have to excuse the mess. lol
    Sorry for the novel, but I hope this helps. [​IMG]
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Wow what a beautiful little barn. That's a nice building. Your chickens will be living in high style!
  4. mlheran

    mlheran Songster

    That's a gorgeous little barn! [​IMG]

    I actually don't think you need to insulate any higher than you already have. Unless you have the roof properly ventilated the insulation will actually create a pocket of condensation, which leads to ice, which leads to water damage. As long as the barn is "tight" in winter your chickens will be fine. 24 birds should be quite comfy in there!

    Just be sure to cover and sweep out every last bit of styrofoam -chickens LOVE to eat it! From what I've read it doesn't hurt them apparently, but it certainly isn't good for them.

    Good luck, and be sure to post more progress pics!

    Oh, and for the run, 3' isn't going to keep much in -or out. It would help to be covered, but if you're going to be going in there for cleaning or catching you'd appreciate having a taller space. [​IMG] I'd also go with 4x4 wood posts or heavy-duty metal stakes.
  5. thunderkitty

    thunderkitty In the Brooder

    Thanks angie, seachick, and mlheran. I think I will be going back for the regular metal stakes they had at the store... Also, as far as height, I do plan to cover the run with some basic chicken wire tightly attached. Also the door will be tightly closed and locked and theirs also to avoid predators, at night. I also plan to let them free range outside the run in addition, several hours a day so they won't be stuck at a three foot height eternally. I'm going to make them a small door over to the side to attach the run to so I don't have to "climb" through it, scary thought, I probably wouldn't be able to get up! [​IMG] I'd be attacked by the mini T-Rex's! I'm relieved to hear they can use the preexisting beams for a roost, all my family thought it was a dumb idea. I was thinking about the screens to keep them from falling but, if you don't think it's necessary then good heavens less work is always a relief. Same applies to the insulation question. My family consists of several members who do construction and they all said I would need to either block off the top or insulate all the way up. I wasn't looking forward to the prospect of insulating upside down, right side up is hard enough! [​IMG] I think we'll start with the bottom and possibly add to the top later, if necessary. I have one other huge question and I'm wondering if anyone has a good answer...we are going to have to move our barn, 11x14.. and do a full turn probably moving about 100 foot distance to it's new spot, this whole field is flat land. We were wondering what the best way to do this is (we are a couple of women) with the help of a neighbors truck..It is currently sitting on what we believe to be two old railroad ties, but we had skunks under it and are just wanting to move and start over with the window side facing the south for sunlight use.
    P.s. I'll excuse your mess, mine is worse! (angienmaine) [​IMG] we are self proclaimed pack rats....
  6. iopele

    iopele Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    Must chime in with the others--what a cute little barn! I'm thinking of buying something similar and converting it to a coop, since I'm not great with construction. (Or maybe I'm super and just don't know it because I've never done any, lol) To cover over your run, you might want to look into some bird netting--much easier to work with than chicken wire.
  7. thunderkitty

    thunderkitty In the Brooder

    okay, I'll check into that bird netting thanks!

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