Retrofitting barn?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by shouts, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. shouts

    shouts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2009
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I'm new to chickens - I've got an old barn on my property and I'd like to take a part of it (maybe it was a stall once?) and turn it into a coop. It was probably last sided maybe 30 years ago, so the door is falling apart and some of the eaves are rotted, but no structural problems. This part has a concrete floor. The area is 10 x 15. I'm shooting for about 25 chickens.

    So, I guess I have to cover the inside with plywood. I have a demo window I got from someone I can probably put in. And put in a run and access point.

    Anything else? I don't want to break the bank on this.

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  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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  3. shouts

    shouts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2009
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Oops, sorry! I'm in New Jersey so we get well below freezing, but not extreme. We're supposed to get a foot of snow tonight, ugh.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Quote:Nesting boxes. Rule of thumb is 1 nest for every 4 hens. There is some info on these in the Learning Center of this site.

    Roosts. They need to be higher than the nesting boxes and it is best if they are a distance from the nesting boxes. Search this site for a lot of threads on roosts.

    Food and water. If you feed and water outside it encourages the chickens to stay outside and reduces the poop load inside where you have to "manage" it. You would need to be sure the feeder is covered to keep the food dry. And you probably have to feed and water inside in the winter.

    The rule of thumb is 4 square feer per bird for a coop and 10 square feet per bird for the run. You have plenty of room in the coop.

    Chickens can take a lot of cold as long as the humidity stays down. The link to the ventilation page helps explain that. Drafts are also bad news. You can check for drafts both on the floor level and especially where they will roost. I'm not familiar enough with your climate to say you have to insulate or not. I would think not but I hope someone familiar with your area chimes in. Same with whether you need to heat it.
     

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