Suggestions on retrofitting a building

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by houseofnut, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. houseofnut

    houseofnut New Egg

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    0
    7
    May 30, 2011
    Before we start cutting wood, I would love some suggestions on how to retrofit this building into a hen house. I am particularly interested in not just where to put the nests and roosts, but how to build with ease of cleaning in mind. Do you think some sort of litter pan under the roost would be more sanitary and easier to clean or is some type of floor covering (hay or wood shavings) all most people use? In our approximately 8 ft wide x 7 ft long x 7 ft high building, how many hens can live there?

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of the front of the building with the rising sun currnetly at my back.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. babymakes6

    babymakes6 Gifted

    5,832
    24
    278
    Feb 24, 2009
    far west Ohio
    First of all: [​IMG]

    Looks to me like that building will work quite well! [​IMG]
    You could put a "poop board" under the roosts-do a search to see what I mean. You still will want shavings/straw/etc. on the floor, however-chickens are MESSY! I do like the setup inside, but you may want a "pop-door" rather than one that swings out for the chickens to go in and out.
    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Looks like a great start! Love the paint job! Congrats.

    Your nest box location looks great, easy access from the gate and if you cut a hole and hinge it, you can see in before you collect too. I've read too many "snake in the nest" stories! Remember to have the roost higher than the nests for cleaner nests and you may want to make a "ladder" to the roost for young birds to learn on. Be sure the roost is not too high up to avoid injuries but big and strong enough to support all the birds at once (I use 1 1/2 inch tree branches or saplings)

    A poop shelf catches a large amount of the poo mess (I believe about 75% since they poo a lot in their sleep) and having easily removable metal or plastic pan(s) expedites cleaning. Maybe even mount then on drawer tracks that roll it out thru the wall for cleaning access.

    As to number of birds, use the guide of 4 sq ft in the coop and 10 sq foot in the run, per bird. Go with the smaller number of the 2 numbers for happier birds and could probably go with more birds if you run bantys. Elevating the coop lets them use that run space too, plus it's more shade.

    I run coarse sand in my main coops as litter because I'm cheap and feel it's easier. With chips or straw, you have to completely remove the litter to be clean and dry and you may have a disposal issue, unless you compost, you may have to haul a large trash can if caca to the dump. To clean sand you can simply rake and scoop with a kitty litter scoop and it does not absorb moisture unless trapped by your floor by a major spill . Sand also provides grit and a dust bath area for the birds.

    Remember to skirt the fence and if you can, a strong wire top will add to Ft Knox type security plus the birds can come out as early as they wish, letting you sleep in sometime.
     
  4. houseofnut

    houseofnut New Egg

    1
    0
    7
    May 30, 2011
    Thank you for your prompt response!! We are so excited to get going but we want to do it right! Checked out poop boards as you said, and I think I see one I will duplicate. How many hens do you think will fit comfortably in our building? Do you know how many hens will get into a nest at a time? In other words, if we build 6 nests, how many hens will that accomodate?
     
  5. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Looks like a great start! Love the paint job! Congrats.

    Your nest box location looks great, easy access from the gate and if you cut a hole and hinge it, you can see in before you collect too. I've read too many "snake in the nest" stories! Remember to have the roost higher than the nests for cleaner nests and you may want to make a "ladder" to the roost for young birds to learn on. Be sure the roost is not too high up to avoid injuries but big and strong enough to support all the birds at once (I use 1 1/2 inch tree branches or saplings)

    A poop shelf catches a large amount of the poo mess (I believe about 75% since they poo a lot in their sleep) and having easily removable metal or plastic pan(s) expedites cleaning. Maybe even mount then on drawer tracks that roll it out thru the wall for cleaning access.

    As to number of birds, use the guide of 4 sq ft in the coop and 10 sq foot in the run, per bird. Go with the smaller number of the 2 numbers for happier birds and could probably go with more birds if you run bantys. Elevating the coop lets them use that run space too, plus it's more shade.

    I run coarse sand in my main coops as litter because I'm cheap and feel it's easier. With chips or straw, you have to completely remove the litter to be clean and dry and you may have a disposal issue, unless you compost, you may have to haul a large trash can if caca to the dump. To clean sand you can simply rake and scoop with a kitty litter scoop and it does not absorb moisture unless trapped by your floor by a major spill . Sand also provides grit and a dust bath area for the birds.

    Remember to skirt the fence and if you can, a strong wire top will add to Ft Knox type security plus the birds can come out as early as they wish, letting you sleep in sometime.
     
  6. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Looks like a great start! Love the paint job! Congrats.

    Your nest box location looks great, easy access from the gate and if you cut a hole and hinge it, you can see in before you collect too. I've read too many "snake in the nest" stories! Remember to have the roost higher than the nests for cleaner nests and you may want to make a "ladder" to the roost for young birds to learn on. Be sure the roost is not too high up to avoid injuries but big and strong enough to support all the birds at once (I use 1 1/2 inch tree branches or saplings)

    A poop shelf catches a large amount of the poo mess (I believe about 75% since they poo a lot in their sleep) and having easily removable metal or plastic pan(s) expedites cleaning. Maybe even mount then on drawer tracks that roll it out thru the wall for cleaning access.

    As to number of birds, use the guide of 4 sq ft in the coop and 10 sq foot in the run, per bird. Go with the smaller number of the 2 numbers for happier birds and could probably go with more birds if you run bantys. Elevating the coop lets them use that run space too, plus it's more shade.

    I run coarse sand in my main coops as litter because I'm cheap and feel it's easier. With chips or straw, you have to completely remove the litter to be clean and dry and you may have a disposal issue, unless you compost, you may have to haul a large trash can if caca to the dump. To clean sand you can simply rake and scoop with a kitty litter scoop and it does not absorb moisture unless trapped by your floor by a major spill . Sand also provides grit and a dust bath area for the birds.

    Remember to skirt the fence and if you can, a strong wire top will add to Ft Knox type security plus the birds can come out as early as they wish, letting you sleep in sometimes.
     
  7. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Looks like a great start! Love the paint job! Congrats.

    Your nest box location looks great, easy access from the gate and if you cut a hole and hinge it, you can see in before you collect too. I've read too many "snake in the nest" stories! Remember to have the roost higher than the nests for cleaner nests and you may want to make a "ladder" to the roost for young birds to learn on. Be sure the roost is not too high up to avoid injuries but big and strong enough to support all the birds at once (I use 1 1/2 inch tree branches or saplings)

    A poop shelf catches a large amount of the poo mess (I believe about 75% since they poo a lot in their sleep) and having easily removable metal or plastic pan(s) expedites cleaning. Maybe even mount then on drawer tracks that roll it out thru the wall for cleaning access.

    As to number of birds, use the guide of 4 sq ft in the coop and 10 sq foot in the run, per bird. Go with the smaller number of the 2 numbers for happier birds and could probably go with more birds if you run bantys. Elevating the coop lets them use that run space too, plus it's more shade.

    I run coarse sand in my main coops as litter because I'm cheap and feel it's easier. With chips or straw, you have to completely remove the litter to be clean and dry and you may have a disposal issue, unless you compost, you may have to haul a large trash can if caca to the dump. To clean sand you can simply rake and scoop with a kitty litter scoop and it does not absorb moisture unless trapped by your floor by a major spill . Sand also provides grit and a dust bath area for the birds.

    Remember to skirt the fence and if you can, a strong wire top will add to Ft Knox type security plus the birds can come out as early as they wish, letting you sleep in sometimes.

    Don't be afraid to cut some big holes and wire them for ventilation. A old single pane window does great too plus it allows closure for bad weather. Just cut the hole a little smaller than the frame, cover with wire, attach the window frame to the wall with hinges at the bottom and a latch on top, add a chain or string to keep it from falling too far open and you're set. It get hot and you can pop it open for more air but even closed it gives you light to see by.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  8. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Windows and ventilation. Get some going.
     
  9. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:AMEN, birds can't take heat like they can cold
     

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