Posts tagged with ‘Henhouse’

 

Make It Your Own: “Krewe of Coops” Virtual Chicken Coop Tour, No. 4 — A Dozen Larger Garden Coops

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Karen's larger Garden Coop with expanded hen house
We’re blowing it up in this fourth ride of the Krewe of Coops, featuring a dozen examples of coops from customers who’ve modified The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop design to build larger, wider, deeper, taller. Enjoy the parade! (more…)

7 tips for building a garden-friendly chicken coop

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

In the urban or suburban garden, limited space, pests, wary neighbors, and the like can make the idea of keeping chickens seem like more hassle than it’s worth. But by designing and building the right kind of coop, you can quickly get past these hurdles and add a whole new dimension to your garden.

Here are seven tips to put your coop project on the right path. . . .

1. Let it breathe.

Window on the front of Dan's Austin chicken coop.

A well-ventilated chicken coop helps keep your hens from suffering and your neighbors from complaining. Of course, you do need to stay ahead of any odors, making sure you balance out their poop with plenty of high-carbon bedding like straw, wood shavings, leaves, or shredded paper. We use the deep-litter method and continue to add straw as the chickens add droppings. This mixture begins to compost in place, and the volume builds only slowly. From time to time we move it all to a compost bin to finish doing its thing, then incorporate the rich fertilizer into the garden.

NOTE: The pictures in this post feature coops built by us and by customers of our chicken coop plans. Click on them to learn more about each DIY chicken coop build.

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Make It Your Own: Dale’s Decked Out Oregon Garden Coop

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Garden Coop with henhouse walls to the ground.

Dale sent us pictures of his amazing garden and chicken coop he built using The Garden Coop plans. Among many other additions, he built the henhouse walls to the ground on three sides, attached attractive outboard nesting boxes, and added rectangular windows to the henhouse. The rest of the post is from Dale. . .  (more…)

Make It Your Own: Cindy’s “Hen Hilton,” Southern Rhode Island

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Garden Coop chicken coop decorated for Christmas

Cindy in Rhode Island sent us this picture of her Garden Coop build, all decked out for the holidays. The rest of this post comes directly from her: (more…)

Make It Your Own: Richard and Ellen’s “Secret Layer,” Vista, California

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

This spacious California chicken coop was built using The Garden Coop walk-in coop plans.

Richard and Ellen shared several pictures of their Garden Coop build along with notes about how they customized it for their California backyard. The rest of the post comes from them. . . (more…)

Make It Your Own: Reva’s Garden Coop “Mini,” Portland, Oregon

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

This cute Portland chicken coop was built using The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop plans.

Using one-by-twos, they fashioned a lip to keep the bedding in place.Reva hired a local handyman to build a modified Garden Coop to house her backyard chickens. She sited the coop beneath a large yard tree and reduced its size so that it would fit the space perfectly. Inside the henhouse, she framed in a raised lip around the hens’ entry hole in the floor to keep the litter in place.

Thanks to Reva for the pictures and ideas. Check out our coop plans to build your own stylish chicken coop or tractor. Or click to see more examples of what others are building.

To paint or not to paint? That is, the henhouse floor.

Monday, August 9th, 2010

A glimpse of the painted hen house floor of The Garden Ark chicken coop, B.C. (before chickens).

You know you need to protect your chicken coop from the elements outside. Wind and sun, rain and snow take their toll on your poultry pen over time, and a good wood sealer or exterior paint on the outside of the hen house goes a long way toward preventing this damage.

But what about protection from the “elements” inside the henhouse? Face it, a lot more comes out of a hen’s vent than just fresh eggs. And depending on the design of your henhouse — whether you have a special poop tray, a slotted floor, or a bare floor covered in bedding — you have to consider whether you want to paint the hen house walls and floor to make cleaning up their droppings easier. Listen in and/or read on for our thoughts. . .

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Should you paint the floor of your hen house?

The Garden Coop and Garden Ark chicken coop plans call for a simple henhouse floor. That is, there’s no poop tray or slotted floor in these designs, though you could certainly add them. What you have, then, is a basic plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) floor. Both of these are bare wood products, which means that if they get wet, they will begin to absorb moisture.

+ Read more about the henhouse design in The Garden Coop and The Garden Ark chicken coop plans.

+ Read more about choosing the right kind of sheet wood for a chicken coop.

Painting the floor will protect it from moisture and everything that can come with it — rot, mold, mildew. Even just the swollen and raised fibers of the wood can make brushing out debris go less smoothly. Seal the surface well, and any soiled bedding should brush right out.

That said, painting the henhouse floor is not a must. Your choice may come down to cost. If you have the right paint handy, by all means use it. But if you’re trying to save on the cost of building a chicken coop, a quart or gallon of quality paint may cost more than the piece of wood you’re trying to protect.

Whether you decide to paint or not, what is a must is that you maintain a layer of carbonaceous bedding (straw, pine shavings, shredded paper, dried leaves, etc.) to collect the chickens’ droppings. This is important for both absorbing moisture and keeping odors down. As the chicken manure collects in the bedding, the mixture of the two is a lot easier to remove and add to the compost.

Painted vs. unpainted

We have a coop in which we painted the floor and another in which we left the hen house floor unfinished. We keep a layer of fresh bedding in both, and since the hens’ droppings fall onto this bedding, the moisture doesn’t readily soak into the plywood. (A bit of chicken trivia, not that you asked for it: A chicken’s urine comes out the vent with its feces. It’s the whitish stuff mixed in with the droppings.)

Here are a couple pictures of those hen house floors. The first is of the unfinished floor. The second is of the painted one.

This floor is OSB and has never been painted. Ive brushed away some of the bedding to reveal the surface. The dust is a mixture of diatomaceous earth, straw, and dried droppings.
The floor of the raised hen house on this Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop is made of OSB, is a couple years old, and has never been sealed or painted. I brushed away some of the straw bedding to reveal the surface. The gray dust you see is a mixture of diatomaceous earth, straw, and dried droppings.

The inside floor of this Garden Ark mobile chicken coop is painted with white exterior latex paint. Ive brushed back the bedding to show the floor. Notice it looks about the same as the unfinished henhouse floor pictured above. But I could wipe this one down to its original smooth condition. (If I wanted to.)

The hen house floor of this Garden Ark mobile chicken coop is painted with white exterior latex paint. I've brushed back the bedding to show the floor. Notice it looks about the same as the unfinished henhouse floor pictured above. But I could wipe this one down to its original pristine condition (if I ever wanted to.) The smoothness of the painted floor does make it a little easier to sweep out the soiled bedding.

Now, while the floors in both these coops are holding up quite well, we do find that the painted floor is easier to clean. It’s definitely easier to tell when it’s clean, and my guess is that the painted surface will outlast the unpainted one.

Painting the henhouse floor

To paint the floor of your chicken coop, simply apply two coats (or more) of a durable exterior latex paint. The coop should be so well ventilated that any gradual off-gassing from your paint won’t harm the chickens, but you may still prefer to use a low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint, especially if you’re painting the floor piece indoors. If you have a primer, applying that first will improve the adhesion and coverage of the paint.

Hens like to go barefoot and rarely trim their nails, so plan to use a paint that’s tough enough to hold up to the constant scratching. As for color, white or a pale shade is best, as it will make it more obvious when the chicken coop floor needs to be cleaned.

What about the hen house walls?

Since the interior walls don’t get soiled like the floor, we’ve left them bare on all of our family’s coops. But if you have the paint or a durable flooring material like vinyl or linoleum and the time, you might cover them anyway just to brighten things up.

Some final tips on painting the inside of your chicken coop:

  • Your choice may come down to cost. If you have the materials and the time, you might as well paint or cover the floor of the henhouse.
  • Make sure you apply any paint or floor covering to the henhouse floor before the chickens move in.
  • Also, paint the floor and walls at the right time in the construction process. If you’re using our chicken coop construction plans, we note in there when it’s a good time to paint. If you’re building without a plan, keep in mind that it may be easier to paint the floor or wall sections before you install them.
  • Let the paint dry or cure well — and then some — before inviting the girls in. They’ll tear it up without a second thought (without a first thought, actually). Refer to your product’s literature for proper drying times.
  • Our coop designs call for raised henhouses. If the floor in your coop design will be subject to both human and chicken foot traffic, consider the most durable hen house flooring option first, then work back based on what you can afford.

Let us know what has worked for you. Did you paint your henhouse floor or not? Any particular paints or sealers work well on your chicken coop floor? Leave your comment below!