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Old swing set turned coop

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

We are in the process of planning our first coop. I have read the introductory articles and I have a few questions.

 

We recently got an old steel A frame swing set from a neighbor, it is home made from the 50's and very solid. Each of the poles is 10 feet long, so it is rather tall. I was planning on using scrap steel to create a roof over a little less than half, with a platform halfway up the height. That way, there will be shade under the inside part for the hot summer. I am wondering, would it be better to install windows in this set up or to leave the side facing the outside part of the coop completely open? We live in the desert, so I imagine this will allow for the most ventilation and make it easier for me to clean. I would have the roof over hang the inner platform so that when it rains hopefully the rain won't get in, but we have sideways rain at times which makes me think that maybe a wall would be better?

 

I have seen mentioned a few times an article about poop platforms, but I am not sure where to find it if someone could point me in the right direction. 

 

I was going to build a nesting box that extends outside the coop, I am not exactly sure how that will work but I am sure my husband will figure it out :) 

 

I am also going to have a ramp going up to the platform, and two roosting bars in the outside section with two smaller going horizontally on the inside part. I will use hardware cloth around the bottom, is it safe to use chicken wire around the top half to save money?

 

For extra ventilation I was considering having the side facing outside of the entire coop be a door over wire, that way it can either be open or closed. 

 

What would be the best way to prevent predators from digging under? Pavers? Buried wire? I was thinking of surrounding it with a few feet of pavers as a porch like look and to keep diggers out. 

 

Thank you for any and all advice!! I will try to attach a picture of my drawing, it is rough and a little scribbley as I have been thinking while I draw :)

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
post #3 of 4

I think @rIrs roost recently did a swingset conversion -- maybe he might have some insight.

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #4 of 4
From looking at the drawing, and assuming this is a full run and coop, not just a coop where they get out and free range, i think your plans are good! If the bottom of the coop is the ground (as in grass or sand or whatever piece of earth you have going on), i would venture to say a door on one of the sloped side that you can lift and prop open for ventilation should be adequate.

If they are getting out to free range, and this is just where they sleep and lay, i would still do the door you are talking about that lays sideways and can be opened and closed. Leave the nesting box side fully boarded up and rely on the opposite side and the door to provide venitlation. You could leave one huge door sized opening and spread hardware cloth or chicken wire across it so that even while open, it's protected.

As a side note, the small $2 metal vents at hardware stores are FANTASTIC for adding ventilation without compromising much safety. You cut out a rectangle and screw it in, caulk it or secure it with fancy trim, and you can add air flow.

I love this idea by the way and might use it in a couple of hears when our boys outgrow their swing set!
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