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What about this instead of burying wire - oh and another coop-Q

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by WestTexasFarmboy, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. WestTexasFarmboy

    WestTexasFarmboy In the Brooder

    Dec 5, 2008
    Wilson, Texas
    OK, I am fixing up an old building for my as-yet-not-even-ordered chickens, I want everything in place before I get them, and its too cold anyways and the breeds I want arent really available...BUT I have a couple of questions.

    1) This building is an old brick shed my grandad built in the '40s. He even made the bricks himself, as all those old German DIYers did. Its a really cool building, but I have to reroof it and do some general repairs. It looks like it was intended for chickens...slanted roof, south facing all in all a good setup it seems to me. I have yet to find any real reference to a solid cement floor/brick structure and I am about 75 pages into this thread (of 198!) We get some cold weather, down to the occasional teens, wind chill big time and snow sometimes, nothing really below that, and not for too long at a time. We do go above 100 from time to time in the summer, but it's so dry I am not really worried about that. The question is...Would this tin roofed, all cement/brick building (15x20 or so) get to cold and damp in the winter for a comfy coop? I intend to insulate the roof, just to keep the rain noise down some and hold in some heat. Thoughts?

    2) I am not really to punkin on diggin trenches by hand for the 18x20 run I want to build. Has anyone ever laid out expanded metal on the ground, say 2-3 foot outside, one foot inside, and put the run fencing on top of that? If I staked it down, I can't see how anything would dig a 3-4 foot tunnel to get to the chickies. I might really be missing something there tho.

    This is a fascinating website, I have so many new ideas to incorporate, I am losing sleep whilst in design mode. I can't imagine the sleep I am about to lose when spring gets here and I actually have to "tend", but I can't wait!
  2. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I would think that sort of building would be just fine. The brick walls would help insulate in the winter, and stay a bit cooler in the summer with some ventilation. If you put in a heat lamp for winter, once it heated up inside, it should hold the heat very well. It may take a little for it to warm up, but once it does, it should stay warm enough. It doesn't need to be 70 degrees inside. You want to make sure you stop any drafts. That is as important as anything.

    As for the run, I'm not really sure. Safe bet would be to trench it in, but I'm not certain if it is a must.
  3. What a wonderful opportunity to renovate a superb building like that. I understand your excitement, because our barn, where we inserted a coop, was part of a dance hall for gold miners here in the 1920's. Earlier than that, the beams made the first church in the area, in the 1760's. I think if you used the metal as planned and created a brick or stone floor, paying attention to having a slight slope and/or drains, you'd have the perfect place for hens. If it gets too hot on the south side in summer, vented shutters or a roofed run would solve that problem! God luck with this and I hopw you'll share the results in pics!
  4. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    First off, Hello & Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Your future coop sounds fabulous. [​IMG]

    To help predator proof our cattle panel hoop run from digging preds, we used a roll of 3' chicken wire, staked down around the outside of the run. This has worked well for us so I think your idea with the metal would work even better.

  5. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    In most of the south they only need protection from the wind an rain so a lean-too is plenty. Yours is above an beyond. [​IMG]

    The expanded metal will work fine. I've seen commercial coops that use that same idea. Just make sure you tye your fence to it. The grass will grow up threw it an hide it. Anything that try's to dig under will try right at the fence an hit the expanded metal
  6. Love the Jack Handy quote. [​IMG]

    I'm in Colorado. Our neighbors have a cement block, tin roofed chicken coop. The guy who built it was a mason, so he just saved up materials until it could be finished. It's completely uninsulated. Part of it is open and only blocked off by wire, they staple plastic over it during winter. The birds do just fine in it. I can't imagine your weather is colder than ours, so I think it will be a fine coop.
  7. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Crowing 9 Years

    Oct 16, 2008
    go for it.. I do not think you have to so far out with the expanded metal, though..to make things easiest. take a 2 foot wide roll and roll it along your proposed fence line.. leave 18" towards the outside and 6" to the inside.. tie the fence to the ground roll every few feet .
    eventually the grass will grow up and bind them together..

    btw.I assume by expanded metal you mean chicken wire/poultry netting??

    your coop sounds great.. I finally insulated mine 2 years ago..I keep a 60 or 100W bulb on all the time.
    the floor and first 16" up the wall are concrete. I have a 92" high ceiling , and it is 12 feet x 16 feet
    with louvered windows to the south

    I kept 35 laying hens, 2 royal palm turkeys and 9 guineas in there all winter.. at 20F below, the water never froze.. I was concerned about condensation, but it never became a problem.. I would say it was border line, though..

    to compensate, after the cold snap, I cracked one of the windows a bit..

  8. WestTexasFarmboy

    WestTexasFarmboy In the Brooder

    Dec 5, 2008
    Wilson, Texas
    Thank you for all of the quick and insightful replies. Funny you should mention the "hoop house" Dawn (also my sister's name btw) because the run will utilize old greenhouse frames I have had forever. I will get some pics up as I move along. It is a shambles right now, but with lots of potential.

    Expanded metal is the stuff you see BBQ grates made out of, much stiffer than chicken wire. It comes in sheets, not rolls. I have access to some free pieces (which is always good) but may have to get some more to finish it out. I do appreciate the sizing info, too. Here in the Southern Panhandle, the only real concern I have preditor-wise are coyotes, snakes, rats and hawks. And my own insane mutt-lab. I read about raccoons alot, but we don't have any, I have never heard of anyone ever even seeing one, which it sounds like "count my lucky stars."
  9. papadekaitlyn

    papadekaitlyn In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2008
    As for winter... Don't worry, once the chicks are fully feathered they will be fine with no light.

    For the burrowing predators:

    I have a low-strung two wire electric fence all the way around my coop and run. Works like a charm. Nothing has even had the chance to begin digging before they get the shasta zapped out of them.

    As for the grate... How about hooking a fella up [​IMG] I could use a new grill! [​IMG]

    jk (but not really)
  10. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    MR westtexasfarmboy![​IMG]

    Pleae post some pictures for us, it sounds to me that you have a real potential of having a real nice chicken house.


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