(if you’ve converted a Garden Shed)
If you have gone down the route of converting a Garden Shed into a Chicken House (as previous page), here’s a few ideas and tips for the interior based on the Plan on right…..
This is imperative. Chickens must have air as there’s more danger in them overheating than getting too cold. Better still is to have one at each end thus causing a bit of a through flow. These need to be just the depth of a removed wooden slat and 6 - 12″ wide. Even so, check out the temperature of the house daily just to see if you need to adjust.
This can be either a 2″ square timber going accross the width of the shed. Alternatively, why not find a suitable branch to give them an even more natural feel to their environment.
I use the plastic bread bins as photo. These are an ideal size, a tabloid newspaper complete or a broadsheet newspaper folded once fits perfectly. Just put Wood Shavings in and you’re away for a slightly easier life!
The diagram shows two, but you could probably squeeze three into four feet. They often share these anyway. These would be approx 15″ deep which makes the ‘ceiling’ an ideal size to put the Poo Trays on top.
As stated, the diagram would be OK up to about six chickens. A 6′ x 4′ Garden Shed would, going by guidelines, take up to 20 Chickens, but you’d need to use the longer wall for this. If so, buy a Garden Shed which has a door on the 6′ side or you could be a bit cluttered.
The ideal thing about using a Garden Shed is, if you have six or less chickens, they have room to walk around a bit before you get up to let them out, whereas in a housing at the end of an Ark, they’re a little cramped. Remember they’re awake and ready to go at 5 - 6am during the Summer !
Only put a light in there for your purposes, not the Chickens. They don’t need one, it won’t assist in their egg laying unless you had a ‘one hour to brighten, one hour to lessen’ type system. Even then, you may get more eggs during winter, but their overall egg laying days will be vastly reduced - about 50%!
Finally I would like to emphasize the overheating part.
If the Shed has a window, it’ll get very hot inside, even in the cooler seasons. You could paint the windows with Whitewash or Emulsion paint which would take off some heat. Shutters could be built, but this could make it too dark and the suddeness of you opening the door on a summers day may shock them a little.
During Winter, 99% of the time, your Chickens will be OK as far as cold goes. The only time you may need to consider some form of heating, or better still ‘extra cosyness’ is if they are very recently released ex-battery hens who’ve come out of a constant articial summer environment with only a few feathers on the poor creatures.
Other than that - don’t panic - they’re OK !!