Where to keep my chickens


11 Years
Sep 20, 2008
Hello all,

I am planning on getting a few chickens next spring and I am trying to gather information for them now. I haven't decided what exactly I'm going to get, but they will be hens for eggs.
I'm trying to decide where to keep them. We have a barn that is currently being used as a car workshop by my husband. I'm wondering if they can share space. Does anyone know how susceptible chickens are to any sort of fumes. They would not be in there while my husband is working on cars, but they would sleep there at night. I'm just trying to find out if we can avoid buying or building a coop or not. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!!
Let me ask you, can you tolerate living in the conditions of the garage, day in, day out, noise, body work fumes and noise?
Go put a cot out there and try eating, sleeping, keeping clean and drinking/eating from the open container and see if you can handle it. If you can, they can- make sure you try that experiment for 4 years, that is the average life span of a hen.

Poultry need and deserve the highest quality foods, water, dust bath and sleeping arangements. Your eggs will carry the same toxins that the hen has absorbed and you will after you eat the eggs.

I would like to assume your husband when grinding down body putty or fiber glass wears a dust mask, do they have them for chickens????

So, do you still want to share space?

Read up on this site how people house and tend to their poultry. Even our meat birds are generally respected even on their death day. Good luck with your choices.
That's why I said the chickens WOULD NOT be in there while he is working.
True, but if he wants to work after dinner some evening, here on the east coast it can get dark at 4 pm in the winter, they will be in bed. Their food and water will still get contaminated. Building a solid walled unit , then the dust and fumes linger.
I am not sure chickens are as sensitive as Canaries, but the canary was kept in the coal mine to forwarn toxic chemicals that will eventually kill the men.
I hope that someone else stops by to agree with your thoughts, I get panicy when I start the tractor in the garage (car stays out side, go figure) and the chickens winter porch (spoiled) could breathe in the CO2 from the exhaust.
Good luck!
Thank you for your input. I'm not opposed to getting a coop, I was just curious if something like that would work out, because they would be able to have more space in the barn. We live in New England so we definitely get those early dark nights in the winter too. Thansk again
Here's my idea of a SAFE suggestion, while using the barn for the chickens. Why not build an attachment coop on the outside of the barn, with an interior pen they only have access to during the winter. Set up a run outside and everything they would need to live a good summer attached to the barn. With him working on cars you don't want any animals close for more then just the 'fume' reasons. I'd be worried about antifreeze leaks and oil, which will make the chickens sick if the consume and it can/will kill them. Animals are attracted to those chemicals because they are made to smell 'sweet'.

It wouldn't hurt to have them indoors during the winter long as your husband wouldn't be working those months. I'd probably just attach a coop to the outside of the barn though.

Good luck and enjoy your new feathery friends!!!

P.S. - WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On the flip side to this, chickens make alot of dust and it will get all over hubby's car, tools, paint, etc. My coop is in my garage but I don't park in there anymore. Everything is coated with dust and I didn't want them breathing the exhaust fumes, even for a few minutes.

Between fumes affecting the chickens (remember they will not always WANT to be outdoors, especially in bad weather, plus they really ought to have access to the indoors at all times for shade, shelter, nestbox use, etc) and chickens affecting your husbands' stuff (they make a fine, greasy white dust that he will NOT appreciate all in his tools and cars and so forth), I think it is probably a lose-lose proposition.

The idea of building a lean-to coop against the outside of that building is a good one. You could have a door to access it from the workshop if you wanted, or only access from outside, either way. You get the structural convenience of using the existing barn, without the many problems.

Good luck and have fun,


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