redoing coop need advice lots of ? buying stuff this weekend

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ben is a terror, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. ben is a terror

    ben is a terror Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2011
    LBI,NJ & JIM THORPE,PA
    Redoing the coop I got old kitchen cabinets from the thrift store. They are 12x27 with one divider. I have 3. I can get a few more maybe 2. They are solid wood. Do I Have to make some kind of ventilation in them for the summer? If so how? How many per. bird. I have 14 birds 11 standard and 3 bantams. Right now they are all laying eggs in one milk crate on the floor. There are plenty more they are just stubborn. How high should the roosts be? Right now they are on the stand of an old rabbit hutch about 3ft. high. All but 1 bantam is there except the one who sleeps in the nest box she is a witch. [​IMG] How high should the nest boxes be off the ground? I'm using pine shavings in the boxes and sand on the floor. Should I put something under the sand? How deep should it be? I'm using thick tree branches for the roosts. Should I put up insulation with plywood on the walls or just the wood? I want to paint inside.What kind of paint? The shed is 10x10 with a huge run and they free range a 75x40 foot yard during the day so the shed is just for sleeping and really bad weather. I don't want it to be to crowded so I can in there and clean.There is one small window in the back really just a square covered with wire. I would like a real window but that is not in the budget.One side of the shed is against the house window in the back, door in front ( of course) Should I cut another window high up on the other side up near the ceiling? Should I plywood the ceiling right now I put tools along the rafters. I have regular house screen on the window it that ok? I put plexi glass on it during the winter. Sorry about all the questions buy I need to do this while I have the money and the time. [​IMG] They will be so happy you know how some of us feel about redecorating [​IMG]
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    The cabinets would be for nestboxes? They sound quite suitable for that. No need to add additional ventilation as long as the fronts are totally open. One nestbox per 3-4 hens.

    Put roosts DISTINCTLY higher than nestboxes, and expect to have to go out there and manually move yer chickens to the roost for a few days or week since they've already got the habit of sleeping in boxes.

    I wouldn't bother insulating in NJ, personally, unless maybe you're in the far northeastern part *and* very paranoid about cold [​IMG]

    Just sand on floor is fine now but will be rather cold in wintertime if you're in the colder parts of NJ (fine near the shore or in south jersey), not as bad as in REAL cold places but still it might be kinder to switch out to shavings then. No need to put anything underneath, and if you mix shavings in with sand you get all the bad points of both of 'em [​IMG]

    Any kind of paint, (light-colored is good, semi-gloss is good, exterior-grade is good, but it's really not crucial) -- just clean and prime the surfaces first. Priming is not optional unless you want the paint to start peeling prematurely. Use one thin coat of primer, then one or two thin coats of paint, NOT any thick coats of either.

    It does sound like you likely need more ventilation, windows and/or hardwarecloth-covered openings. When your coop never gets hotter than outdoor shade temperature, then you know you have enough ventilation for summertime [​IMG]

    I wouldn't bother with a drop ceiling if that's what you're asking.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    The only thing I'd add (or stress again) is that household screen is NOT sturdy enough to withstand predators, so do use hardware cloth. And YES - more ventilation - as you said, up high enough to prevent winter drafts from blowing on roosting birds (can simply be coverd in the hardware cloth too), and another window would be nice too, to let in more light, especially since you mentioned covering them in plexiglass for winter... The more light you have in there over the winter, the better chance you'll have of getting eggs during that season.
     
  4. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    For windows, how about hinging plexiglas ? just drill the screw holes and use bolds instead of screws to prevent breaking out the holes and you're set

    Old single pane storm windows with a wood frame, with your hinges, works too and a lot of people are upgrading windows all the time while throwing away the old ones. Try craigslist or a free ad column
     
  5. ben is a terror

    ben is a terror Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2011
    LBI,NJ & JIM THORPE,PA
    wow so many great ideas I plywood the walls before painting right? How high should the nest boxes be above the floor? What about the roosts? Nest boxes on one wall and roosts on the other. What do I put on the floor in the winter? Pine shavings? The coop is hotter than h*** in the summer The girls do pant in summer even at night. Any other ideas?
    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  6. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you paint after completing the interior it may help seal the small gaps bugs come thru.

    Nest boxes can go any height, it depends on how your going to retrieve the eggs (crawl in after them vs outside access door) if the openings are the bird's shoulder height or higher, a walk way / perch makes access easier for them to pick a nest. If you're going to have heavy birds, closer to the floor is probably better as it lessens the chance of them jumping down and getting hurt,

    Roosting poles should be higher than the nest boxes and you will have less fights if they are all the same height. Poop boards are nice but if you have sand and the room (no food, water, nest boxes, or other items under the roost) you may be happier without them.

    You can put roosts above the nest boxes but you'll want poop boards, makes cleaning easier, especially if the poop boards are easy to remove for cleaning, ie old cookie sheets.

    Would suggest painting the floor to seal out moisture and prevent smells. Sand is great but I agree it's cold in the winter, you may do well to switch to shavings in the winter and throw the used stuff on the compost pile.

    As for a hot coop, cut in lots of ventilation that can be shuttered or covered in the winter. A lot of people are loosing birds to the heat, lack of shade, and poor ventilation. Even with a shaded outside run, the birds are coming in at night to a hot coop plus they have to go in to lay. Gonna beat a dead hoese and say it again, can't have too much ventilation in the summer! Birds can withstand cold much better than heat cause they don't sweat like us plus the still have that coat of feathers to deal with
     

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