BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance › Converting Dog Kennel and Run into Coop and Run...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Converting Dog Kennel and Run into Coop and Run...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We are new to raising chickens, and have 6 chicks growing up fast. We are converting an old dog kennel with an attached run. It has a cement base. Looking for suggestions on how to make it chicken friendly. We are planning on adding plants and herbs in containers. Should we make areas for grass or dirt? Or just cover it all up with shavings or other bedding? We are planning on using pine shavings to line the inside of the coop. Should we worry about making it deeper because it sits on cement? Thanks for any help and advice!
post #2 of 7
Yes deeper is good, because chickens like to dig and root around. Add dirt or at least a tub with sand, ash, very dry dirt in it for them to take a dust bath in. Some herbs are ok, but realize the chickens will probably dig them up and kill them. You would be better planting a vine plant that produces something they can eat, pumpkins, sweet peas, with the roots away from the chickens reach.
post #3 of 7
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/44220/planting-vines-for-shade#post_461276
This talks about what would be safe for chickens and what would not.
post #4 of 7
I kicked my 10 week old pullets out into a 10x10 dog kennel (predator-proofed) on concrete until their real coop is finished. For the litter, I put a couple of straw bales in with them and they happily destroyed and spread one of them out for me. I give them two huge shovelfuls of dead leaves anda bucket of weeds daily to scratch through and shred and add to the bedding. When the coop is done, I'll shovel all of it into my compost pile.

I also gave them multiple things to climb on/under/through since they were confined. I put 4x4 lumber through concrete blocks for a nice perch, an old wood table, the aforementioned straw bale, a plywood-topped pallet, and an underbed storage container filled with peat (for dust bathing). They also have a large plastic dog house filled with straw that they like to nap in.
post #5 of 7
If you are looking for something to keep them busy, buy a mirror (one of those plastic non breakable kind for children) chickens love looking at themselves. I set one up for the at winter, funny watching chickens admire their own plumage big_smile.png
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
@organicfarmwife I love the mirror idea and can't wait to try that! And thanks for the link about the plants... there were some great ideas there!

@jensownzoo We will definately be adding things to climb on and under, great ideas, thanks!

Do you guys think that having the cement base will hurt their feet at all? It is going to be their permanent home, with field trips into the garden and our yard (we have too many predators around to let them just free range). At least with the cement we know nothing could dig under. It is about 10x20 with and additional 10x6 kennel attached.
post #7 of 7
I think you will want a litter of some sort for odor control if nothing else. Walking around on it, not too worried about the chickens, but heavy birds landing off perches may be a different scenario...shock absorption would be appreciated.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance › Converting Dog Kennel and Run into Coop and Run...