Should I buy a shed rather than a coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Alpal, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Alpal

    Alpal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I’m a new chicken keeper and last week got myself seven gorgeous girls. However, today I realised my house is too tiny - by far. I’m now looking to buy online and can’t really find any that are big enough, and within my price range (ideally under £200) and deliver to Northern Ireland.

    So I’m now thinking of a shed. I can buy one with a good footprint for £200 and can adapt for my use. But will it be too airy to keep warm in the winter? And is there likely to be noxious chemicals used to treat the wood?

    Any advice please!
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Absolutely! Shed is a great way to go!
    ...and Kudos for realizing too small of coop and doing something about it.

    Do not worry about 'too much space' and warmth of birds.
    Adequate ventilation makes 'holding heat' a moot theory.
    Bigger and taller coops are better for harsh climates,
    more floor space for those nasty days they won't want to go out,
    and taller is better for good ventilation without drafts on roost area.

    Here's my theory on the 'stack up' aspect to coop design:
    Bottom of pop door is best about 8" above floor so bedding doesn't get dragged out of coop.

    Nice to have bottom of nests about 18" above bedding to allow use of that floor space under them(doesn't count if your nests are mounted on outside of coop).

    Roosts are best about 12" higher than nests so birds won't roost(sleep) in nests and poop in them, if you use poop boards under roosts it will also 'stretch' your floor space.

    Upper venting works best as high as possible above roosts so no strong drafts hit roosts in winter...and hot/moist air and ammonia can rise and exit coop.

    ETA:
    the only down side to a prefab shed is there can be a lack of good roof overhangs,
    making protection of vents and windows more difficult.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

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    Plan on upper venting, and window openings, and maybe windows in the doors, all covered in hardware cloth well secured. No openings larger than about 1 cm diameter. Build a dig-proof base, either more hardware cloth as a 'skirt', or a deep foundation.
    Pictures will help! Mary
     
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  4. Alpal

    Alpal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aart, thanks so much for all of this - I was wondering how to set out the inside - this is really perfect! Thanks muchly!
     
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  5. Alpal

    Alpal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much for this Mary! I’m a bit clueless, so I hope you don’t mind me asking silly questions. What is the purpose of the hardware cloth over windows and upper venting?

    Again, clueless question. I’m assuming the disproof base is to stop rotting and weakening the protection of the shed from foxes? So would the hardware cloth go on the outside, underneath and up the sides?

    Many thanks
    Alex
     
  6. Alpal

    Alpal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, just did a search and see now what is meant by ‘hardware cloth’. I told you I’m clueless! It’s just for protection rather than waterproofing.
     
  7. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 True BYC Addict

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    You got GREAT ADVICE! Best wishes and enjoy the World of Chickens :ya
     
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  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

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    You're not clueless! If you were, you wouldn't be asking questions, would ya now?;) As you can see, we all help each other, so continue asking until you are happy and confident enough to move forward.

    When it comes to predator-proofing your coop / run, I'd suggest asking on the UK thread for the best local advice (we don't have the kind of determined critters that people do in the States) -
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/655508/uk-member-please-say-hi/890
     
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  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Dig proof is to keep predators from digging under walls of coop and/or run to gain access to a chicken dinner.
    An 'apron' is often the best solution:
    Good examples of installation, tho I'd not recommend 1/2" HC...go with 14ga 1x2 or 1x1, will hold up much longer and is easier to lay flat.
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1110498/wire-around-coop#post_17093528
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/new-coop-project.1169916/page-2#post-18481208

    HC on any windows and vents also keep preds from getting inside coop. I know y'all don't have raccoons over there but stoats(weasels) can get thru pretty small holes, why 1/2" HC is most recommended.

    You're not clueless, just not fluent in chicken coops, yet.
    Agrees with Ken, asking the questions make you mighty smart ;)
    As does realizing you needed a bigger coop..and doing something about it.

    First year of chickeneering is like getting a sip of water out of a fire hose,
    there's so much to learn, after you 'know', it gets much easier.
     

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