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Designing a coop out of a doghouse

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I made my chicken a coup out of a large dog house and connected a large dog crate to it with metal frames and chicken wire. It is up against our shed for more shelter from the wind. It also has heavy duty plastic covering the run part for more shelter. I put wood chips and a nesting box in the doghouse. The run is about 4 ft long and 2.5 foot wide. The dog house is  about 3 ft square. Is this enough room for 2 chickens and will it be warm enough for a Pennsylvania winter.

Owner of small dog,kitty,2 turtles and 2 chickens
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Owner of small dog,kitty,2 turtles and 2 chickens
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post #2 of 17

Hi from Ga. Depending on the size of the chickens it might be tight . Why don't you show us some pics.  big_smile

 Calico and Mille Fluer Cochins, Lavender Orpingtons, Buff Orpingtons and Barred Rocks  UOC member NPIP Ga. 1211
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 Calico and Mille Fluer Cochins, Lavender Orpingtons, Buff Orpingtons and Barred Rocks  UOC member NPIP Ga. 1211
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Right now they are pullets,one is 5 months and the other is 7months. The older one is currently in a large dog crate with a bin inside for her to sleep in. She kept pecking my younger one when in the same coop. I will have to post a picture when I learn how to do that. I built this contraption myself so its not really pretty. (I have no building skills)

Owner of small dog,kitty,2 turtles and 2 chickens
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Owner of small dog,kitty,2 turtles and 2 chickens
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post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b344/sillygamer/chickens/inherhouse.jpg

This is the inside of percys run with coop at end. It is about 7 ft long because the shed is 8 ft wide and as you can see in the other pic it is almost as long as the shed. The cage with the bigger chicken is just temporary because she was pecking at Percy.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b344/sillygamer/chickens/chickenpen.jpg

Owner of small dog,kitty,2 turtles and 2 chickens
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Owner of small dog,kitty,2 turtles and 2 chickens
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post #5 of 17

The run space is really tight...they should really have about 20 sq. ft as a minimum (assuming they're not let out to range for at least a couple of hours each day), and it sounds like you have about half that.  If they're very submissive, calm breeds, they might do okay with that.  But tight spaces often cause pecking issues, especially in winter, when birds are confined closer than normal conditions.
Make sure there is ample ventilation when you cover things up with a tarp so that moisture doesn't build up - cold plus moisture often results in frostbite.  Is there room in the shed behind them???

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #6 of 17

Percy's mom - have no idea why, but your coop situation flitted through my head while I was sleeping last night...lol. hu  Which was does the roofline fall on that shed.  I was picturing almost a foot of snow sliding off that roof and burying your little coop area.  So if you guys get more than just a few inches of snow, and your shed roof is gable/gambrel style, make sure that your coop sits on one of the "safe" sides.

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

The snow falls off to the front and back and the coop is on the southern side.Snow should not hit it. I do let my chickens out to free range several hours a day. This is still a work in process and I am trying to figure things out. When I had chickens years ago they free ranged all the time and I had a horse barn with a loft and coop inside where they went. I now live in town so I can't build anything to big without a permit or the neighbors complaining. Thats why I only am going to keep the 2 chickens.I will probably be changing things again when it stops raining and I can work on this. I want my chickens to have a nice home. I also wonder how I can cut a hole for an external nest box so I don't have to lift the lid of the dog coop to get eggs when they start laying. Any helpful comments are appreciated.

Owner of small dog,kitty,2 turtles and 2 chickens
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Owner of small dog,kitty,2 turtles and 2 chickens
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post #8 of 17

I think the simplist thing to do if you have a jigsaw or something similar it to cut an opening (maybe a 6-8 inch little doorway?) into the bottom/back portion of the doghouse.  Then make a little wooden door (just plywood or something similar).  Add small hinges and a latch.  You'd need to predrill holes so you could use the flat type screw w/nuts so that they're be nothing sharp sticking through.  The top half would be better, but then I'd worry about water leaking/dripping in when it rains.  Hmmm....maybe the top/back if you hinged it on the top side to open upward??   If it leaked you could keep a tarp section over the dog house???

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

We don't have a gigsaw but I did see plans where a guy turned the roof around backwards which made a smaller hole in the back for eggs and it also made a smaller entry in the front. I don't know how I could cut the plywood for the door without a saw though.Thanks for your help. I will figure something out and post a picture when I am done

Owner of small dog,kitty,2 turtles and 2 chickens
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Owner of small dog,kitty,2 turtles and 2 chickens
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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Percysmom 

We don't have a gigsaw but I did see plans where a guy turned the roof around backwards which made a smaller hole in the back for eggs and it also made a smaller entry in the front. I don't know how I could cut the plywood for the door without a saw though.Thanks for your help. I will figure something out and post a picture when I am done


Hi Percysmom----

IMO you are on the right track for your dog-house-conversioin.  I have seen the roof turned around and external access to the nesting box.  The chickens will be fine with a smaller door entry, and it may even keep more warmth inside the coop when the temperatures drop. 

You may be able to get a piece of scrap plywood.  Lots of times Lowe's or Home Depot (maybe local lumber yards too) have a scrap bin.  You want to definitely have your nestbox access door secure so predators couldn't get in from that external entrance.  If you have a template, you may be able to get an employee at the big box store to cut for you.  (Not sure about that...but they will cut lengths with their saws)

Also-- no jigsaw, maybe some friend will have one, or a local high-school shop class could have someone cut one to your template.  (trace the opening on paper)

I think this is shown in Mother Earth News or something.  If I can find a link, I will be back with it.

Here we go
http://www.motherearthnews.com/uploadedFiles/Marketing/lf_CHICKENCOOPS_MEN.pdf
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/2007-04-01/Portable-Chicken-Mini-coop-Plan.aspx


Good luck with your plan.  Oh also....I see you have gold comets (or what ever name they go by in your area)  I think they are absolutely amazing egg layers!

back again--- here's a photo from Tractor Supply's site:
http://www.tractorsupply.com/content/knowhow/chicks/livestock_care_the_perfect_chicken_coop_for_any_space


Edited by ChicKat - 9/11/11 at 5:40am

"Was dich nicht umwirft, macht dich starker"   "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."-Friedrich Nietzsche 
 

Here's a link to my BYC page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickats-page

Here's a link to my BYC blog of sorts http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jottings

Are you interested in the Cream Legbar Club? use this link:  www.creamlegbarclub.com

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"Was dich nicht umwirft, macht dich starker"   "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."-Friedrich Nietzsche 
 

Here's a link to my BYC page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickats-page

Here's a link to my BYC blog of sorts http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jottings

Are you interested in the Cream Legbar Club? use this link:  www.creamlegbarclub.com

Reply
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