Random questions from 1st timer

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by farmer tom, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. farmer tom

    farmer tom New Egg

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    Hello,

    I have a couple of questions before i begin construction.

    -concrete floor or raised wooden floor? And, would it be benificial to cover the wooden floor with galvanized sheet metal?

    -I want to collect the rain water from the roof for watering the garden, is it safe to give the the rain water to the chickens?

    -Is it neccesary to insulate the walls and ceiling? (i live in michigan, a couple of weeks ago it was -10 degrees with a windchill of -30)


    I'm very excited and can't wait for the snow to melt so I can begin!!!![​IMG]
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Gee, 'before' takes all the fun out of it, and you won't get to invent nearly so many new expletives that way LOL

    -concrete floor or raised wooden floor? And, would it be benificial to cover the wooden floor with galvanized sheet metal?

    Largely depends on how pricey you want your coop. Concrete is awfully nice (except in hot climates) if you can afford it but it sure is expensive if you have to pour new. Raised wood floor is fine as long as it is raised high enough not to provide a nice nook for vermin to set up residence. A dirt floor is not such a terrible thing either, though, unless you really expect to have significant rat problems.

    I seriously doubt it is worth the trouble and expense of covering a wooden floor with galvanized steel - especially since as soon as the galvanized coating gets scratched through it will start to rust anyways. If you are seriously worried about rats digging in, shell out for a concrete slab; if you are just worried about other digging predators such as dogs and coyotes and foxes, use a dirt or raised wood floor with good predator-proofing around the perimeter.

    -I want to collect the rain water from the roof for watering the garden, is it safe to give the the rain water to the chickens?

    What will the roof be made of? I would not give thm water off an asphalt-shingled or tarpaper roof, which will have all sorts of nasty stuff dissolved in it. (I am sure there are people out there who do it and have live chickens, but I sure don't think it'd be a good idea to try). Galvanized roofs are questionable for long-term drinking by people but probably not the end of the world for livestock. A painted steel roof should be pretty much ok.

    However if you are going to use the water for the chickens, especially if you are going to be storing it for any length of time, you might want to look into designing some sort of system (tip bucket or other) that will discard the first flush of rainwater off the roof, which will contain the highest amount of contaminants from dust, bird poop, etcetera. (Raw roof runoff, especially once held in a cistern or barrel, can have bacterial and parasite contamination issues.) You can probably get away with them drinking roof water if you need to but if you have the choice it might be better not to.

    -Is it neccesary to insulate the walls and ceiling? (i live in michigan, a couple of weeks ago it was -10 degrees with a windchill of -30)

    Yes.

    (But do make sure you build in lots of ventilation, too -- you can always close it off on the coldest nights. Insufficient ventilation is bad for chickens' health and will give you a stinky damp coop).

    Have fun, the snow will not be around *too* much longer [​IMG]


    Pat​
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
  3. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used a concrete floor and did the finishing myself to cut down on costs so the surface isn't perfect, but after growing up with a wooden coop floor at my folks house I was sick of battling skunks, mice, etc that set up homes underneath (the crawl space under the house was about 16 inches).
     
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    I agree that a cement floor would be great if you can afford it.

    I have a wood floor with a small space under it. We added siding that went to the ground and then used 1" chicken wire buried about 18" down into the ground and stapled it to the side of the hen house. I would have rather have used hardware cloth but couldn't afford it except to cover my windows. I put linoleum over the wood floor inside and that has been great. I covered that with about three inches of wood shavings and have added to it over the winter using the DLM (deep litter method).

    I insulated my walls and am very glad I did. When it was below zero here this winter it was tolerable inside the coop and thus far I've not have any problems with frozen combs or feet. I used 2x4s sideways (they sit on the 4" side) for their roost so their bodies cover their feet at night which I know helps also.

    If the rain water is coming off a non toxic surface into a nontoxic collection container there shouldn't be any problems using that water. You just don't want it to run off shingles, etc.

    Have fun!
     
  5. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My floor is wood covered with linoleum, cleans out great and is cheaper since I had some left over after the mud room was covered.

    If you raise it, it will be a nice place for them to hide from predetors and bad weather mine love it under there and I put their food under there too to keep it dry.


    [​IMG]
     

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