Goodin Hen House

By Grits&Eggs · Dec 16, 2018 · Updated Dec 16, 2018 · ·
  1. Grits&Eggs
    This is our kids swingset turned coop - was a fun/challenging project!
    We are located in Florida, so we weren't worried about winterizing and took advantage of the many windows already part of the playhouse (and just screened over them) maximizing air flow in the summer.
    Phase I - Swing Set turned Coop/Run
    chickenwire_convert.jpg Started by putting up middle support beams and stapling up chicken wire across the A-frame swing area. (Note: if we were to do it again, would use hardware cloth!!!). We did a second pass 3 foot up and 1 foot buried under (not shown)
    playhouse_convert.jpg For the playhouse turned coop, we put plywood over all the existing "walls" and put hc on the top open area to make windows!
    The door shown here is on a pully, but we have since put in a solar door to open and close at sunrise/set
    convert_dirtbath.jpg The swing set had a sandbox on the lower level (under the play house) which we split for half sand and dirt bath and closed in an area for food. Here is Beauty and Lala exploring it during building phase...
    playhouse_enclose.jpg After closing in the playhouse...we started painting, white with green trim to match the house; Added two doors (one was the ladder, one the playhouse slide)
    swing_convert.jpg We strung more chicken wire under the playhouse, built a door for the eventual chunnel (Finished roll-a-way nesting box on the left)
    nestboxoutside.jpg Final pic of the rollaway nest box (later we painted inside black, and added curtains they prefer darkness!)
    enclosed&painted_convert.jpg The door on the run opens only at the top to avoid them escaping when we throw in treats (here is a good shot of the sandbox split into a covered feeding area, sand and dirt bath)
    finishedinside.jpg Inside the coop, we started with stick and a 2x3 roosting bar (they preferred the board -- even when I switched them they roosted on the board) the mat system has been replaced with a poop sling the can be lowered and poop rolls off into tub (cleaned weekly or more frequently as needed). The wood shavings/chips was replaced first with sand, then with linoleum, which is SOOOO much easier to clean!!!!
    frontcurrent.jpg Added a sunshade and trellis over the main door, started planting hibiscus, banana and pineapple trees as well as a cinnamon and mango tree - the back of the run has a blackberry, blueberry and raspberry vine growing.
    Phase II - The Chunnel/Compost
    As the chickens got to be 10 weeks, we added a couple more so had to expand!
    old coop.jpg We found a free "old coop" on offerup and used it for a chunnel to connect to the compost area, here you see them running between the main coop and compost area. The entire chunnel system is movable and 20 feet from coop to the back corner of the yard.
    compostchicken.jpg Here is the starter compost pile, we have had three different tries at this, this one seems to work the best.
    Phase III - Day Pen
    As the summer sun is intense we noted that the girls were spending a lot of time in the back of the yard and the compost pile, so we built them a day pen!
    DayPen.jpg This 12x12 enclosure is under a 30 foot magnolia tree - the temperature is usually at minimum 10 degrees cooler than the main coop during the summer this is a huge deal!
    We are slowly adding roosts, logs, toys and a nesting area - more pics to come
    Hope you all enjoy your coop building as much as we did!!

    Share This Article

    NightingaleJen and N F C like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. MROO
    "Great Reuse of a Swingset"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Dec 20, 2018
    This is a great idea and your pictorial is a great way to show it off. There are lots of tips on building for warmer areas - and good ideas for "coop-scaping" with vines and trees.
    We did a similar thing with our playhouse, but without the swingset run. Instead, we took out the kiddie swings and are waiting on Spring to build a garden bench swing so we can watch more chicken-TV. There are so many things you can do when you take over the kids' playhouse and make it yours!
  2. N F C
    "Re-purpose a Swing Set"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Dec 17, 2018
    Having lived in Florida, I can see the value of such an "open air" concept. And I like the chunnel!


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!
  1. N F C
    Nice way to re-purpose the old kid's swing set!
      Grits&Eggs likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: