Starting the coop....thoughts? (Pic Heavy)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SassyKat6181, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    My chicks are shipping today...yippee!!! Now time to start the coop for when they are ready.
    We have an old barn (1849) that we currently have 12 horses in. This is the upstairs portion of the barn.
    The stalls are in the partially underground part.
    [​IMG]
    There are about 30 stalls, so I am converting 2 possibly 3 into a coop. This is the long view from the inside. Main coop door in pic.
    [​IMG]
    Short view from end. Door to be locked permanently.
    [​IMG]
    Long view from inside.
    [​IMG]
    Looking out one of the doors into the ring, for their outdoor run.
    [​IMG]
    This is their neighbor Henri!
    [​IMG]

    I am going to put poultry fence over the stall bars and along the fence in the ring. I bought deer netting to put over the top
    of the run. We have a lot of predators here, so any suggestions are welcome. There is a 3rd stall between the coop and Henri that I am
    thinking of making into an indoor run for winter. I could put a pop door in very easily, and fill that stall with sand. Do they like to just
    scratch around for fun, or should I buy crickets and worms for them to dig? I am also going to make plywood panels to enclose the coop
    during the winter and take them off in spring.

    What do you all think? Being that I haven't started yet, I am open to any ideas!

    Thanks, Katrina
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  2. ZombieChickens

    ZombieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    What are my thoughts and ideas? I think it's too big and too much for you to handle and you should give it all to me. [​IMG]
     
  3. Pelican49

    Pelican49 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That barn is FABULOUS! I am so jealous I don't even know where to begin.

    Sounds like your plans are great.
     
  4. turbokev

    turbokev Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2010
    NH
    No kidding.. I opened the thread and saw the barn and drifted off into daydream land..
    Man I'd love a barn like that.


    I think using a couple of the existing stalls will be ideal for a coop area..
    The real challenge will be making such an open space 'predator proof'.

    Any chance of rats, mice, snakes etc getting in to the stalls?
    I'd be more concerned about where they sleep than I would be about the run.

    .
     
  5. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    I'm a tad bit jealous as well. I think you got a great plan. Just a couple thoughts. You mention alot of predators. If that's the case deer netting and poultry fence won't keep most of them out. If that's just the area they are in during the day and at night they'll be locked tight in a predator proof area, you might be ok. When they are scratching around it's mostly for food vs. fun. If they can get to dirt they will find there own worms and will find other bugs when ranging. Folks do provide mealworms, etc. but I haven't. I would keep them confined for awhile when you first get them so they are used to their coop. Chickens love old barns and will roost where ever they can and you might find it difficult to get them back in the coop. Have fund and good luck.
     
  6. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Olympia Washington
    WOW!!!! What a cool barn and Henry is adorable.

    I converted a Noble Horse Shelter 12' x 12' with event bar front into my chicken coop. I ziptied hardware cloth to the bar front and door. Chicken wire won't keep preditors out.

    You'll want good ventilation to the outside as chickens put out a lot of dust as they grow and do all that scratching. And YES chickens scratch all day long when they're not dust bathing or sleeping.

    Can't wait to see pics as you progress.
     
  7. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    What a beautiful space- I'm way more than "a tad bit jealous" lol. If it were mine I'd probably use at least 2 stalls (assuming they're 12x12 box stalls) and I would fortify the bars with hardware cloth to keep any critters out. Heavy zip ties should work fine for that. If your stalls have open areas between the walls and rafters I would cover them with hardware cloth as well. I don't know what the weather is where you are but your chickens won't mind the opportunity to go out into regular rain/snow conditions. That being said- if you can spare another stall for a winter weather "run" I'm sure they'd love it in heavy weather conditions, and you might welcome the extra run space too if you have to work late, go away for a couple of days, or won't be around to lock them up at dark. If you need anymore space the adorable Henri would be more than welcome at my barn :) Looking forward to seeing your progress and really lucky chickens!!
     
  8. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    BTW- being a "bank barn" may mean the temperature is more regulated than you think. Remember to keep good ventilation!
     
  9. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    The barn is pretty much closed up at night. I don't worry about anything large coming in, and it wouldn't fit between the stall bars if it did. Rats and such are not a problem, I've got two great barn cats that catch just about everything, including a large rabbit that they left at the door for me yesterday morning. My only real concern is the Hawks, which is why I got the deer netting for the top of the run. Partly why I am considering the indoor run area, as I won't be able to keep the outdoor run covered in winter. The snow off the roof will be too much and I'd be afraid of the chickens getting caught in an avalanche!

    I am using two stalls and the third will be the indoor run.

    Thanks & Keep the suggestions coming. [​IMG]
     
  10. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    Quote:It does stay rather warm, especially with the horses heating it up. In the coldest of January it might only drop to about 20 degrees down there. Shoudl I not put panels across the bars in winter to keep the heat in?
     

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