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Author Topic: Brick Outbuilding as a Coop?  (Read 1983 times)

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dbaggie

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Brick Outbuilding as a Coop?
« on: April 22, 2014, 21:05 »
Hi all

I'm looking to start keeping a small group of chickens in the relatively near future - most likely some ex-battery hens - and would like to know whether a brick outbuilding could make a suitable coop?

I've read that a shed can be converted into a coop but haven't found much in relation to outbuildings and given what I've read about red mite I'd prefer to avoid wooden housing where possible. The outbuilding we have is a concrete roof and floor with brick walls. It's quite compact; approx 5' wide by 3' deep and maybe 5' high and would be secured with a full door (which would include a pop-hole).

Could this make a suitable coop? If so, are there any key things I would need to think about, e.g. how could I create some easily accessible nest boxes? Could it still be susceptible to red mite even though its not wooden?

Thanks in advance!
I thought of something really interesting and witty to say......then forgot.


hen addict

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Re: Brick Outbuilding as a Coop?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2014, 21:40 »
Yes the right outbuildings can work well, a few things to consider. Hens need a good source of ventilation, can you put in high ventilation vents in the brick work? Hens don't like draughts is the perch area draught free? Does the out building get any damp? Would the next box material stay dry? Red mite are attracted to poultry wherever you keep them, are there any cracks or crevices in the brick work and mortar where they can hide? It can be harder to remove red mite from such places than timber in some circumstances.
Imagine a long rabbit hutch without a front a few inches of the floor in the darkest position and you have your nest box's, perches should always be higher than the nest box to discourage birds using the nest box to sleep in. Floor materials vary but a good deep layer of something absorbent helps keep feet clean when entering to use the nest box particularly during wet weather.
A good close fitting door will help keep predators out as well as vermin during the night,
A chicken mad addict currently owned by 12 lovely hybrid hens, 1 large allotment growing lots of  fruit and veg

dbaggie

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Re: Brick Outbuilding as a Coop?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2014, 22:48 »
Thanks for the reply hen addict - lots for me to think about!

Adding ventilation high up in the brick work wouldn't be a problem and keeping it free from draughts around the perching area is definitely do-able. I did wonder about the red mite - do you think it would be possible to seal around most of the nooks and crannies using something like silicone sealant or is this just likely to end up being something the chickens peck at? I'm not sure on the damp front so this is something I'll need to look into.

joyfull

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Re: Brick Outbuilding as a Coop?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 08:00 »
Silicon sealant can start to lift and chickens being inquisitive things will peck at it (probably thinking it is a worm) which can cause them problems.
Staffies are softer than you think.

hen addict

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Re: Brick Outbuilding as a Coop?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 08:05 »
Silicon in the cracks and crevices might be a tiresome none starter. Could you not consider going over any cracks with something like mortar? It will last longer and pay off in the long run. A coat of Lime wash on the inside is also good but I've not used it myself.

Casey76

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Re: Brick Outbuilding as a Coop?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 08:56 »
If you haven't had chickens in the past I would steer clear of ex bats.  Ex bats do require more care and attention than POLs; they may require more frequent doctoring and while some do live a happy and productive life, sadly for a lot of them they do die very quickly from various ailments.

Secondly most re homed ex bats are around 80 weeks old, and are considered "spent" by the farmers (which is why they are getting rid of them), so while they may produce some eggs, they shouldn't be expected, and the eggs themselves may be of poorer quality as the hens come to the end of their laying life.

Not that taking on some ex bats isn't a woryth cause, it is, but you need to go into it with eyes open if you do decide to re home some ;)

dbaggie

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Re: Brick Outbuilding as a Coop?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 19:23 »
Silicon sealant can start to lift and chickens being inquisitive things will peck at it (probably thinking it is a worm) which can cause them problems.

Suspected this may be the problem with silicone sealant - was worth checking though.

Could you not consider going over any cracks with something like mortar? It will last longer and pay off in the long run. A coat of Lime wash on the inside is also good but I've not used it myself.

Will probably go down this route - thanks for the suggestion.

If you haven't had chickens in the past I would steer clear of ex bats.  Ex bats do require more care and attention than POLs; they may require more frequent doctoring and while some do live a happy and productive life, sadly for a lot of them they do die very quickly from various ailments.

Secondly most re homed ex bats are around 80 weeks old, and are considered "spent" by the farmers (which is why they are getting rid of them), so while they may produce some eggs, they shouldn't be expected, and the eggs themselves may be of poorer quality as the hens come to the end of their laying life.

Not that taking on some ex bats isn't a woryth cause, it is, but you need to go into it with eyes open if you do decide to re home some ;)

Thanks for the heads-up - I had read about the reduced egg laying with ex-bats and would be quite happy with this as we don't actually consume loads of eggs. We were looking at keeping chickens primarily from the pet perspective which is why I though re-homing ex-bats would be the best way to go - any eggs would then just be a bonus.

The potential greater tendency towards health problems are worth knowing about though. This is an area I haven't looked into in any depth as of yet - can medication/vet costs be relatively high with chickens?

hen addict

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Re: Brick Outbuilding as a Coop?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 20:14 »
Yes it's expensive in my opinion most vets with the exception of specialist poultry vets know little or nothing about chickens, it's a case of... you tell them what's wrong with them, you tell them what to treat it with, then they consult a text book and give you what you asked for and then you pay them for the diagnosis!!! But at the end of the day it's the heath and welfare of the bird that counts if the bird can be helped? Sometimes they just can't be helped :( just up your credit card limit and you'll be fine :(

steveandbee

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Re: Brick Outbuilding as a Coop?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2017, 15:54 »
Quote
Thanks for the heads-up - I had read about the reduced egg laying with ex-bats and would be quite happy with this as we don't actually consume loads of eggs. We were looking at keeping chickens primarily from the pet perspective which is why I though re-homing ex-bats would be the best way to go - any eggs would then just be a bonus.

The potential greater tendency towards health problems are worth knowing about though. This is an area I haven't looked into in any depth as of yet - can medication/vet costs be relatively high with chickens?

Just saw this after trying to see if building a brick coop will fix my mites issues for my ex-bats.
Taking in ex-bats is the most rewarding thing you can do. We've had them for about a 8 years now and yes they don't last long, egg production is hit & miss, they decimate your garden (front and back in my case) but they're very, very rewarding, especially if you choose the "Oven Readies" from the re-homers (in my case BHWT)

I've come to the conclusion that even brick & mortar could potentially be more attractive to the mites than wood ever do as they're so good at hiding in the smallest of cracks!

Sassy

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Re: Brick Outbuilding as a Coop?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2017, 18:46 »
As well as ventilation consideration should be given to the building in terms of may it be hot in summer and cold in winter. The number of hens you keep can help with cold. Ie if you keep more there is an ambient heat. Consider condensation especially with a concrete roof. You could also provide a small coop or old rabbit hutch or cupboard within the building. Just thougts! Goid luck they are very rewarding  :)
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!



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