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Shed to coop conversion.
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tomsmate



Joined: 04 Apr 2005
Posts: 4
Location: Galway, Ireland
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 3:23 pm    Post subject: Shed to coop conversion. Reply with quote
    

Hi folks,

I've been talking about producing as much of my own food (inc. meat) as I can from my 2/3 acre plot for sometime. I'm finally doing something about it: stage one chickens.

I read the mags and dreamt about a ForshamArk, then I read postings here... I've just ordered a 8'x 6' rustic shed (see https://www.obrientimberproducts.com/sheds.htm )

I have never kept chickens before so I would greatly apreciate your advise and opinions on how I might best adapt the shed. I plan to attach a large run to one side.

Stage two will be rabbits...

I'm brandnew to this forum, so hello to all!

Last edited by tomsmate on Thu Apr 07, 05 3:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44613
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Hello tomsmate, glad to see you posting. I'm sure someone that can help will be along soon.

Gertie



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 1638
Location: Yorkshire
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Hi tomsmate! Firstly, welcome to the site

Lundy (hubby) and I are new to keeping hens - we got 7 last week (er, ours are just glorified pets and egg providers - bless 'em). Mind you, ours are Warren's - not exactly a meat producer, anyway!

Anyway, that sounds a good idea to get a shed and convert it. There's already been quite a discussion about this a short while ago.

https://forum.downsizer.net/about1830.html

Hope this helps.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Hi Tomsmate and welcome.

Are you planning to keep meat chickens or layers in your shed?

If you are keeping layers, then you will need several nestboxes and one or more perches, a removable board under the perches will help with cleaning. You could keep quite a crowd in a shed that size.
Broilers, on the other hand, don't need much in the way of fancy appointments - they grow very quickly and are usually in the freezer before they would need perches, and they are so big that they aren't great at perching anyway. A pile of straw on the floor will suit them just fine.

If you were really clever, you could create a double decker arrangement with broilers on the ground floor and a ladder or ramp going up to the upper floor for some layers. They would need separate runs, of course.

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12918
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 05 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Judith, that would work as long as the broilers had somewhere to go away from the bombing, so to speek.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 05 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

alison wrote:
Judith, that would work as long as the broilers had somewhere to go away from the bombing, so to speek.


You're right, of course - or perhaps give them umbrellas ! I think my imagination was running away with me a bit. It just seems that there is a lot of height in the shed that will be going to waste.

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12918
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 05 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

They would look funny with umbrellas though

tomsmate



Joined: 04 Apr 2005
Posts: 4
Location: Galway, Ireland
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 05 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Thanks for the replies folks. Obviously I have to do a bit more reading about managing broilers. In the mags there is so much emphasis on egg-making and not so much on rearing birds for the chop. We'll need eggs too, but we eat chicken much more often than eggs. I have the Roberts book mentioned under another topic - I have trouble with the feet and inches stuff, we're a bit more metricated here!

What breeds would you recommend as broilers? Or is it down to husbandry?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44613
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 05 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

tomsmate wrote:
What breeds would you recommend as broilers? Or is it down to husbandry?


There are specialist meat breeds but I've no idea which, better wait till someone that knows more comes along

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12918
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 05 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

We are raising a batch at the moment, and they are growing really fast, although we are trying to keep this steady.

I am not sure of the breed, as i split a batch with Debbie from RC and she sorted that out. I'll find out later.

Kirstie



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 05 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Hi, for meat production you are better of with hybrids as these have a proven rate of growth, the leading hybrid strains recommended for meat production are Arbor Acres, Anak 10 and 2000, Cobb 500, Hubbard, Indian River, ISA Vedette, Petersen and Pilch, there are a few others.

There are a number of good books on the market that will give you an idea of the design, I used a garden shed originally and cut a piece out of the back and put a hatch on it and a ramp so they could get in and out. I also put perches in the shed and a few broody boxes, made sure there was adequate ventilation but not too draughty, my poultry did absolutely fine with this and continued laying all through winter.

cede



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 62
Location: surrey
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 05 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

before we got the hens our children voted that they'd be happy to convert their wendy house into a home for the new arrivals. oh built a double nestbox out of chipboard, 2 perches, a pophole in the door, the windows painted to darken it and a piece of wire in the door for ventilation, eh voila! i should mention that the house sits on wood on concrete slabs

dean_cwmbran



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 5
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 05 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Purely for meat production you could do worse than the Ross Cobb which will reach around 6/7lb dressed out at about 13 weeks of age , quicker during summer or being kept under artifical light in the winter for a few extra hours day or even light 24/7 they are eating machines so be warned.

Personally Id get Light Sussex and cross it with an Indian Game bird tho, slower growing but better tasting.

tomsmate



Joined: 04 Apr 2005
Posts: 4
Location: Galway, Ireland
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 05 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Thanks for the replies folks. The 8x6 shed has arrived (looks bigger than I expected) and once me exams are over (next week) I can get on with the adaptions and the hunt for stock and organic feed. I have managed to find some like minded people locally, which is great. I'll post back in a whiile with an update.

tomsmate



Joined: 04 Apr 2005
Posts: 4
Location: Galway, Ireland
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 05 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

A update:

Well the shed got converted. I cut out a pop hole and added a draw-bridge kinda door. I put the nest boxes under the droppings board, and that arrangement looks like a kiddie's desk with perches on it. I was worried about the flooring - would the block-board (I think) last? A friend then donated a lovely piece of quality vinyl flooring in a hardwood planks design (far too got for a hen house) and it looks lovely.

I got hens last weekend. They're a laying "brown hen" hybrid, about a year old. No eggs yet. I also ended up with a rooster. He's pretty and, of course a bit, noisey.

Oh Phase 2 has started. Have 3 bunnies 2 does and a young buck. He's mated one of the does. Hoping the second will be receptive this weekend.

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