Room-style coop inside old smokehouse : PICS

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jbrookebarrow, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. jbrookebarrow

    jbrookebarrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Baker, FL
    My house was built sometime around the 40s, though quite possibly before then, and because my grandparents used to keep and slaughter their own livestock, they also built a smokehouse right next to the main house. The majority of the smokehouse is just used for storage now, but I recently discovered one room that was empty save for just a few small items.

    I've decided to make this my hen house as it has tall, sturdy block walls, a bare sandy clay floor, and it's large and spacious with corner shelves for nesting boxes. I currently have 17 chicks, though 1 is a cornish x and 4 others may be as well. I really didn't want to have this many chickens; was hoping for 6-8 at the most with one being a roo, but my dad got a little overzealous and purchased 12 additional birds on top of my 5 I wanted to start with. So my question is: Does this look sufficient? I don't ever plan to have very many chickens, so I'm wondering what the experts (you all) think about this setup. I'm pretty sure I'm going to leave the rafters open to help with ventilation, but put some fine mesh up to keep critters out.


    Edit: I suppose I can't attach pictures. I don't have the option to anywhere on the page.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  2. Orchid

    Orchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    You can attach pictures, as long as you've reached the number of posts where that is allowed. [​IMG] You need to go to "uploads" at the top of your screen and from there you can upload your pictures.
     
  3. jbrookebarrow

    jbrookebarrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Baker, FL
    Thank you bunches!!

    First pic is of the door/entrance. The walkway divides my house from the smokehouse and is about 5' wide. Could reach out my kitchen window and touch the metal roof.
    [​IMG]

    Looking straight into the room from the door. The holes will be patched before the chickidees go in. Should I paint? Might be a taxing job as the walls are so rough and there's a TON of dust everywhere.
    [​IMG]

    Looking slightly to the left. The shelves are in opposing corners, but I'm considering taking out the lower shelves to the left of the door and putting up dowels for roosting. Would probably leave the top shelf for storage. Would the chickens bother flying up to the top shelf (about 8' high) to get into stuff?
    [​IMG]

    I've been busily sifting the dirt to remove anything dangerous, and I've already filled a 5gal bucket with nails, bolts, broken glass, old paper bags, pebbles... sheesh. I was coughing up gritty phelgm for days!
    [​IMG]

    The roof... the roof... the roof is on fire. Nah, just kidding, but will probably get some wire (smaller gauge than chicken wire) to stretch across the top for security. Want to keep as much out as possible, but let as much air flow in as I can. Also has a light and separate outlet for other things. Ceiling is about 10' high.
    [​IMG]


    So, this is my "hen house" for now. I think it will work perfectly, but I need the experts to chime in. I didn't take a picture, but when the door is closed, I can walk into my kitchen and look down onto the house, and if there was a plexi window in the door, I could see right in. Thinking about doing that, but will have to ask Dad first. Critique away!!
     
  4. En Plein Air Farms

    En Plein Air Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Looks like a great use of unused space, go for it.
    You don't indicate where you are, does it get really hot or really cold where you are?
     
  5. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    With you being in Florida, with the heat and humidity, I suggest you read the book Open Air Poultry Houses. You can find the free Ebook thru google...the book is like 100 years old and deals with getting fresh air flow into coops and pays attention to hot places like you have. This has a door to the outside, right? I would not keep the chickens in there with the door closed during summers. Build a run off the door and leave the front of this room open so there is airflow and they can go out as much as possible..other than that..you do seem to have a great room to tweak!
     
  6. jbrookebarrow

    jbrookebarrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Baker, FL
    Oh apologies. I'm still new and working out the kinks. In the NW Florida area near Pensacola & Ft. Walton Beach. It does in fact get rather hot here, sometimes pushing the triple digits, and that is something I've worried about. I'm trying to talk my dad into helping me build a Ft. Knox house/run outside for the hot days with good wind movement, but what do some of you do on the sweltering days with no breeze whatsoever? I have all kinds of huge shade trees on the property, but I don't want my hens to get too hot.
     
  7. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    Quote:I spent a few years in Florida, and now I am in Tucson, so I get it..a run under a tree would be great. Can you hook this building up to that? Those birds would probably cook in that building during the summer. It may even stay a tad cool with all the brick, but the air flow is a concern. A covered run using half inch hardware cloth would work well. Many people use little kids wading pools with 2-3" of water..many people freeze soda bottles of water or gallon milk jugs and put them in their water, pool, on the ground, etc for them to lay on..some people don't do any of it. Just do not plan on having them in that building during the summer unless the front is open and there is airflow and they can cool off.
     
  8. Orchid

    Orchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    If there is any way for the chickens to get to those top shelves, yuppers, they will be more than happy to roost (and poop) on them at night. You want your roost to be the highest sittable place in the coop, because that's where the chickens feel most secure. That being said, you don't want a roost 8' with nothing for them to hop down on gradually, or they could injure themselves landing on the coop floor from that height. If you can have your nesting boxes raised a bit (so the chickens don't run around in them) and then the roosts higher than the nesting boxes, that is ideal. [​IMG]

    You will want to paint those walls or cover them with milkhouse board or something similar, or the chicken poo will stick to the rough concrete something awful. (Yes, chickens can poop horizontally. They have talent.) White walls would brighten it up in there considerably. [​IMG]
     
  9. jbrookebarrow

    jbrookebarrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Baker, FL
    I didn't realize it, but my dad told me today this used to be their hen house when he was growing up, and they tried to keep a hundred chickens in there at any given time. [​IMG] Seems like too many in that space.

    He kept asking if I wanted to take the shelves down and I said no. Thinking I will put nesting boxes on bottom shelf and roosting area right above. Top two shelves will be for storage and I'm going to try to make some doors for them somehow.

    He dug out the clay floor today and replaced it with a white sand that he excavated from a nearby creek, then covered that with crushed gravel, then a layer of shaved pine, topped with a layer of pine chips. It's apparently pretty swanky now.

    I'm not sure about painting the walls. It would definitely brighten it up in there, but the rustic look of the house is charming to me. [​IMG] Maybe I'll put some type of removable plastic bead-board around the walls for easy cleanup. All in all, this is going to be a place for the chickens to live overnight, but they're going to just do their own thing during the day. Truely roughing it!

    Thanks for the suggestions!! I appreciate all the comments [​IMG]
     

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