Wire brooder into coop, or put them up in the shed

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by iamcuriositycat, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    43
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Okay, guys. I have tomorrow only to finish putting together a solution for the chickens that got smoked out of the shed. I can spend the day priming & painting the interior of the shed to cover the smoke damage (same shed where I keep feed--in bins--and hay and equipment), or I can convert a wire rabbit-hutch-style brooder into a tiny coop.

    Questions: They are six little silkies. I don't mind them in the shed, and I can cut a pop door for them. I sweep out the straw bedding every week or so to keep the floor clean. Any reason this is a problem? Or would it be better for them to have a small coop?

    If I convert the wire brooder to a coop, more questions: It has a wire floor, and the back half is wood on the back & sides, but the front half is wire all the way around. Plenty of ventilation... probably not enough insulation. I can put plywood down on the floor, but there will be gaps unless I invest more time than I have in cutting the pieces just so. Can I just bed it heavily in straw and call it good, even with the gaps? Also, do I need to build another wall to subdivide the back section (i.e., there would be a section of the back that would not be open to the wire front)? It measures 38 inches by 56 inches--is this enough space for six silkies to sleep in?

    Remember, I have one day to do everything, so it needs to be simple. Shed (I KNOW I can do it in a day) or rabbit hutch? Advantages of each approach? Challenges I haven't thought of?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,124
    3,324
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'm sure I am not seeing it totally right, but can you temporarily put a draft/breeze guard around the bottom of that brooder while you work on something permanent? My brooder is in the coop. I put plastic around the bottom 12" or so and let it go all the way to the ground. It overlaps the ground a bit and bedding winds up on it. I don't know what your weather is like for the next several days, but in North Carolina you should never need insulation, just good ventilation and a way to keep then out of the wind.

    You don''t mention how old they are. I assume they are old enough that they can handle the temperatures you'll see if they are out of the wind.

    My grow-out coop is a raised coop with a wire bottom. I used old metal from a shed roof that blew off in a thunderstorm and made a wind guard all the way to the ground. I also blocked the wire sides to keep a draft out. I had 5-1/2 week olds in there when my overnight low was around 24 F. I'll open it back up this summer when I need to keep it cooler, but I figure this is good for all winter now. It does have a whole lot of ventilation up high, above where they roost.
     
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    43
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Thank you! That's actually very helpful. I hadn't thought about a simple draft guard, rather than trying to make a solid floor.

    Our winters are mild, so I guess it doesn't have to be extreme. I've decided to go ahead and set up the brooder as a coop. It has the advantage of giving me a place to put their food and water that the ducks can't get to (or won't, at least, because they won't want to go up the ramp). I was actually able to get some of the work done today, so that all that's left is to attach the roof (already have the pieces ready) and build a ramp. I may even have time to prime and paint the inside of the shed as well & start getting it set back up the way I like it.

    The silkies are about 9 weeks, and they've been outside since around 5 weeks, so they are accustomed to the temps. They've been in the shed most of that time, but they've been in the wire brooder, even without a draft guard, since we had the fire in the shed a week ago, and they've done just fine. But I want to make sure they'll continue to be fine when we have ice storms and other such cold weather. I'm also planning, when I take the old roof off, to get in there and install a perch for when they're ready to roost.

    Thanks for the help. I'm much clearer on what I need to do tomorrow now. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by