Reusing old shed for a coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dmaldet, May 11, 2016.

  1. dmaldet

    dmaldet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So we have an older shed that we use to use as a cabin. We brought back to our house and now I want to use as a chicken coop. My questions are. Is there a window requirement? We have four Windows with screens that are the crank style. Is that enough light? Also, it is insulated and covered with what I think I want to call partical board. Does it have to be sealed or painted? Also it is sitting on gravel. Is that okay? We cannot remember if the floor is insulated. Lastly, I have a friend that does flooring and he has left over vinyl flooring. Can I just use that to lay over the floor to help with ease if cleaning?

    Those are my starter questions for now. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
     
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With your windows, it isn't about how much light they have (though too little light will cause issues) it is very important to keep the coop well ventilated. Ideally you need to replace the screens with hardware cloth and then leave your windows open (only closing during storms) this will allow your birds plenty of fresh air.
     
  3. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do not know about the particle board, but gravel is great, the birds will pick through the gravel and eat some of the stones, that will help them with digestion.
     
  4. dmaldet

    dmaldet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would have never thought of that. I will remove the screen and replace w the hardware cloth.

    I did think of a couple more questions. Where should the nesting boxes be placed? Is there a certain height or spacing between them needed?

    What up perches? Height requirement?
     
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  5. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With perches and nesting boxes, there are ideals. And depending on your weather those ideals become more important. Ideally you need to have ventilation above where your hens roost, this allows your hens to get the freshest air and be free from heavy winds. But I should tell you I keep mine very happily in a barn. It is drafty, but probably would not fit the ideal. My nesting boxes are a couple feet off the ground, they rarely use them *sigh* and instead prefer to make me play Easter hunt everyday. My birds are flyers and roost about 6feet up on a door. None of this is per specification, but mine exist quite happily.
    Ventilation is key, and you may want to take out some insulation and add some vents, but everything else is flexible.
     
  6. dmaldet

    dmaldet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All fantastic tips. Thank you....
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Where do you live? Many of my suggestions would depend on your region, as there's no "one answer fits all".

    In general, I'd place the roosts about 24 inches high, at least if you're keeping heavy breeds. It's easier on the big girls' legs when jumping down. Lighter weight breeds can fly better (up and down). If you're not familiar with dropping boards - do a search. They will keep your coop so much cleaner, save bedding, and make clean-up so much easier!

    Nest boxes can be as simple as covered cat litter boxes setting on the floor...wall mounted boxes can be side-by-side or stacked one on top of another (I use both, in different coops). Most suggest that your nest boxes be slightly lower than your roosts. I have some that are lower and some that are about flush with my roosts - they use both.

    I will second replacing screens with hardware cloth - just use screws and fender washers - easy peasy.

    Whether I'd remove/add insulation would depend on location/seasons. I'm in Indiana, and all of our coops are insulated. Insulation (at least in the ceiling) help keep the cool in during the hot months, and will help keep the warm in during the cold months. Because of our windows (and the insulation), even in single digit weather, on a sunny day our coops will warm up to about 40 degrees and retain warmth into late evening...

    If it's indeed particle board, I would definitely paint - will help with moisture repellent. Many use a heavy porch type paint. Are you sure it's not T1-11 siding???
     
  8. dmaldet

    dmaldet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so my husband said it's flake board.
    And we live in Eastern Pennsylvania.
     
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Then my advice is to leave the insulation and paint the flake board - poo can be liquidy at times, and splash - it'll most likely absorb into the flake board if it's not painted. Places like home depot and lowes often have paint returns really cheap. The plywood will probably suck that first layer right up, but two coats will probably work - especially since a lot of the paints have a primer built in. If you or your husband have a jig saw or something similar, I'd suggest opening up one or two vent holes up high on a wall that doesn't face the prevailing winter wind. The great thing about windows on different walls in summer is that you can catch cross breezes on hot days/nights. The downside of windows in winter - IF they're you're only source of ventilation - is that you don't want a drafty coop - you don't want cold air blowing on roosting birds. That's why ventilation up high is ideal. If you are able to open up an 8x16 or so opening (just tossing that measurement out there because many vent covers come in that size - and many studs are on 16" centers), you can use a vent cover or just tack hardware cloth over the openings like suggested over window openings.

    It's wonderful that your shed has windows! That's such an advantage starting off!! Below is an example of a dropping board - there are many different ways to do them. But as you can see, food or water or next boxes can go below without being pooped on or in. All the poop that normally would fall into the bedding at night falls onto the dropping board instead. I keep a small bucket and 6" plastic putty knife (or maybe a drywall knife???) and just scrape it into the bucket - then to compost...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  10. dmaldet

    dmaldet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am soooo appreciative of the help. So looking forward to getting my coop ready. If there is any other advice you have please please pass it on.

    Thank you!!!!!
     

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