Will Chickens be ok in the barn?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by epona4, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. epona4

    epona4 Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Central Indiana
    Hello all,

    New here today and new to chickens. DH decided it would be a good idea for us to get some layers and if that goes well, add some more in the way of meat birds. (or maybe dual purpose)

    There's a show this weekend in Indiana and I'm thinking we might be able to find some chickens that are 6 months old or so. (are they still called pullets at this stage?) However, before we do that I'd like to have some suitable housing for them. I'm thinking that maybe we could set something up in the corner of our old barn. My concern is that there would be no windows and no access to a fenced in run. I would like to build a coop eventually, but we would not be able to get it done before this weekend. A set up in the barn would be doable by then, though.

    I guess my question would be if they will be ok in the barn? Built in area to keep critters out, but there will be no windows, so no daylight unless the barn door is open. Also would it matter if it were in the NE corner of the barn or should we put it in the SE corner?

    So many questions running through my head! Been reading the board a LOT the last few days. Grabbed up all the book I could from the library as well.

    Thanks for your time and advice!
  2. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Songster

    Apr 16, 2008
    Southern Iowa
    They'll do better with some light. Could you cut in a window? A carpenter could put in a cheap (used) window for you in nothing flat. You could just cut a hole and put a piece of plexiglass over it. Chickens have lived in barns for centuries. Give them the benefit of the doubt. You probably don't need to keep them penned up in there. They'll roost way up high out of danger.
  3. epona4

    epona4 Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Central Indiana
    Thanks! My main concern is making sure they are safe and I know coons are able to get into the barn. Trying to fix that now.

    I was checking it over and think it should be easy to cut out and put in a couple plexiglass windows and we have an area for a small short term run in front. And we have a couple old doors I can work with as well.

  4. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    most cold air comes from the north,, so a south corner would be less hit by wind,, IF its away from the door,, and lights would do them good they wont lay for ya with no light.
  5. Gloria

    Gloria Songster

    They'll do fine in the barn. But they have to have light if you want any eggs. BTW, [​IMG] to our forum! It's a great place to be with lots of great info.
  6. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    I have been building a coop in a corner of my barn which, least you get the wrong idea, is an urban one-horse barn from c. 1890. I cut in some new windows for the coop, reusing old windows from the house.

    I don't think I would recommend to allow them to run around inside the whole barn; depending on what else you use it for, because you will get chicken poops everywhere.

    Also, your post doesn't say where you are located (edit your profile if you like). If you live in a cold climate, you probably want to have a smaller coop area within your barn, so that the chickens can stay warm in a smaller space.
  7. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I agree with the1much... SE is better.

    Straw bales are an easy way to insulate the area.

    Our hen house is a portion of our old (1880's) barn. Most of the year, they forage our fenced acreage so we don't have a fenced run. But during the winter when there is no pasture showing, the flock is reluctant to spend much time outdoors. So we put chopped alfalfa hay and other greens inside the barn and the flock "forages" inside.

    Like vermontgal mentioned, chickens just let it drop, so be prepared for some extra clean up if you decide to follow our example and let them run loose in barn.
  8. Carolina Chicken Man

    Carolina Chicken Man Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    How big a space and how many chickens?
    I know you said that you do not have time to build a run, but will they be able to free range?
    These questions will make a difference,but rest assured chickens are pretty hardy creatures, so they should be fine.
    A lot of the people on this site, pamper there chickens, LOL!!
    I have a coop that keeps them safe at night, but they free range most of the day. They seem pretty happy. Give them food and water and they pretty much take care of themselves.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  9. chicken stalker

    chicken stalker TOS Rocks!

    Aug 31, 2008
    Binghamton, NY
    We built and indoor coop and small run in the bottom of our small barn. It has a pop door to the outside run also. Its not very fancy but it works great!!! Pictures on my site.
  10. epona4

    epona4 Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Central Indiana
    Thanks all.

    I'll figure out how to do my profile this morning.

    I'm in central Indiana a bit east of Indy. So we CAN have harsh winters but not always. (and typically only a few days of really bad stuff) 1910(ish) house and barn (converted corn crib) on 4 acres.

    If we start out with older birds we'll get 4 or 5 I think. The coop area would be 5x8 and I figured out how to set up a run along the side and front of the barn.

    Regardless of if we get birds this fall or not, DS will be helping me build a larger coop outside of the barn. We are just trying to figure out whether to make it movable or permanent. I want to free range, but we do not have a tractor to pull a larger coop and run around. (just a riding mower) Of course I know they don't HAVE to have a run but we do have hawks living across the field and a neighbors dog that comes over EVERYDAY. Not sure how he'd react to the chickens. (maybe I needs some guard geese to chase him off!)


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