Horse Stall To Easy Maintenance Coop Good Ideas For Any Coop

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  1. Chicken Techie
    This is my second coop since April of 2012, its now October 2012 and after much work and thought the second coop is complete! The goal of the coop was to keep my feathered friends happy and to make it as low maintenance as possible. this will probably be a long write up, but i think there is some good ideas here that any coop can use to make the lives of the of the ones that maintain the coop easier and give them more time to do other things like hug a chicken :)
    So where to start.... I guess picture by picture is best:

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    Well here is a pic of the inside of the coop which is located in one of the three stalls we have in our barn. this stall is approximately 10' X 10'. the door you see leads to the outside. We are fortunate to have a barn that was build in the late 90's so its in great shape. the walls are insulated with hard foam and the walls inside and out are all solid boards, this will help in winter some. before we started anything we put down 1/2" hardware cloth and secured it all the way around. we have weasels here in NH and they are evil...... which is also why there are no holes bigger than a 1/2 inch anywhere unless its covered by hardware cloth. Since my barn is attached to my house we don't have to go outside at all during winter or rain to maintain it or collect eggs. so to the left we see a roost above the nesting boxes but i'll come back to those. the nesting boxes are cat litter pans 15"X 18" so plenty big and they are not attached so they can be pulled out and cleaned easily, i did add a piece of wood at the back so when they jump on the front lip of the pans they don't flip up. then a simple piece of strapping in front of the nesting boxes so they have something easy to jump up to when they want into the nesting boxes. nothing in the whole coop touches the floor, its either wall mounted or hung from the ceiling rafters. this makes for easy cleaning. since the floor of the barn is dirt we do the deep litter method and that has worked well for us. the feeder on the floor is obviously a 5 gallon pail, it has holes drilled all around the bottom of bucket with a hole saw then its bolted down to a metal oil drain pan u can get at a good auto parts store and it holds about 35lbs of food. this is nice because you can go a while w/o refilling depending on your flock size.

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    the above two photo's are of the roosts above the nesting boxes, at the wall side they are mounted with hinges so it can be flipped up and out of the way for easy cleaning, a simple piece of string holds it up. i used mostly strapping and smooth edged pieces of wood for comfort. the idea just popped in my head to put shavings below this roost..... im gonna do that tomorrow

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    these roosts are on the other side of the stall, again nothing is floor supported and they have a handy ladder to use if they want to. i used old baseball bats and boat oars, they seem very happy with these, chickens don't care if you use top of the line wood or reuse stuff that was going to be thrown out, like the bats and oars.....

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    these two pics are of the window i added, there was no window before because for horses you can open the top half of the door, not safe for chickens though. i used this window design (about $65 at home depot) because sidewards rain won't come in and the whole window opens unlike a sidewards slider would for maximum ventilation and light. i made a second screen on the outside of 1/2" hardware mesh to keep predators out, window also easily comes out for cleaning.

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    this is a simple ramp, its a 2"X10" thats 4' long, i used the table saw and cut grooves every 3"s, i did two passes for each groove so it was wide enough for their claws to grab, the ducks had slipping issues with the old ramp and this one they don't slip on even in the rain.

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    these two pics are of the inside and outside of the inside door (confused?) the openings are all covered and secured with 1/2" or 1/4" hardware cloth. i wend all around the wire with strips of wood for extra security. there was no upper half to the door so i had to make one. i used a slide latch so we have the option of only opening the top should the need arise. the box fan provides extra ventilation and just really keeps the air moving. the cooler is part of my watering system i made (high capacity with chicken nipples) ,


    Now for the really cool stuff........

    The waterer: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/summer-winter-chicken-nipple-waterer

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    This is the amazing automatic coop door opener (little white box above door), sure i paid like $95 for this but sleeping in and not rushing home at night to open/close the door is soooo worth it!!!! i control when it opens and closes with a lamp timer. when the times is turned on the door starts to open and stops itself where you set it, when the timer turns off, the motor resets itself and then when the timer turns on again at night it goes in the opposite direction and stops where you set it, then that process repeats. simple really but soooo helpful. the door is a piece of aluminum plate i cut up and the slides are aluminum c channel i got from home depot. the door closes well below the bottom of the opening. i don't see how any animal could get there paw to open up the door, its very hard to grip and the more you push in the harder it is to lift. i did come up with a latch that the auto door opener can operate but i don't think its necessary.

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    and the two above pictures are from my camera, yes i have a camera in my coop.... its an ip camera i got from amazon ($72) it pans and tilts, has night vision and audio. i'm going to get another and aim it the other way so i can see everything between the two cams. I LOVE HAVING THE CAMERA'S! i can see and hear my feathered friends anytime day or night from anywhere, i set up the wife/my cell phones to view/hear the camera's. with this view i can see the temperature, check the feed level (notice holes in side of bucket covered with clear plastic from a 2 liter bottle), see if the door is open or closed, and see if we got any eggs. notice how the arm of the thermometer glows and how the door glows next to the other glowing spot, i added reflector strips to those things. i couldn't see the indicator arm of the thermometer and it was hard to tell of the door closed 100%, so if i see the reflector on the door and wall line up i know its closed. simple yet effective! When i show people the video feed on my phone they are amazed that its a live feed and they always get a kick out of it. its really just super handy to have. both this camera and the outside camera record on motion, so if my feathered friends were attacked i would know what did it and when it happened.

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    This is the outside camera, all the same as the camera above but no audio, still has night vision though. they have more run space than this, just not enough cameras yet.....

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    The two pics above are of the timers and their uses, i actually use 3 timers, one for the auto coop door, one for the light inside the coop (19w florescent with daylight brightness) since the window doesn't give enough light, and the third timer controls the outside motion lights in the run, the lights would kick on before the coop door closed and they would all go back out in the run then the door would close them out, i use the timer to cut power from like 5pm to 9pm or so that doesn't happen anymore.

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    and these last 4 pics are just because i could :) plenty of roosting space for the ladies and gents and a pic of some of the huge eggs i have gotten from them, so far only the red stars have laid, i think one of the easter eggers started laying but i gotta check the camera and see.


    So to sum it up, timers are your friend to help make the coop automated, the waterer is amazing but again thats a whole other write up, large quantity feeder, very secure coop design, camera's to remotely view temp, feed, coop door, and for eggs, great ventilation, plenty of light, easy to clean, and plenty of room for all 24 chickens and 2 ducks. I hope this post helped some people with ideas, many of them can be used in a coop that isn't a barn stall. thanks for reading and have a great day. any questions just post a reply.


    Edit:

    I followed a suggestion from BYC member "coolcanoechic" to use 2X4's wide side up as my roosts because the chickens can more easily cover their feet when its cold and prevent frost bite on their toes. I thought this made sense and was a good idea but then decided to slightly change the configuration of my roosts also. instead of having the roosts perpendicular to the wall i made them parallel to the wall so more birds can fit side by side to keep each other warm, the roost over the nesting boxes still flips up with ease and i also made it easier to see the temperature in the camera during the night time. i took strips of reflectors i got at home depot and cut them thin (about 1/4" or less) and made a 0 for 0 degrees, a 2 for 20 degrees, a 4 for 40 degrees and so on. in these pics the light was on but the flash made the reflectors really glow! im including another camera screen shot of the nighttime with the reflectors, if i move the IR light i put in they won't glow as much and should be a bit easier to read but works good for now. hope this helps somebody, Thanks

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    As you can see, i have a chicken in the nesting box... for some reason one of my roosters Gandolf who is a grey frizzled cochin and actually has no issue being held, decided to sleep there that night instead of sleeping right up next to his favorite hen.... lovers quarrel maybe?

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  1. Chicken Techie
  2. Poohb10454
    I am also turning a horse stall into my new coop. I love all of these ideas. Thank you for sharing.
  3. Chicken Techie
    its worth the work to ave it in your barn, my barn is attached to the house so i don't even have to go outside to take care of them which is nice in winter, i actually have to update this write-up, i just added a thermostatically controlled ceiling fan for them on hot days.
  4. knjinnm
    Hi All,
    We have a empty 12X12 stall which would be better for chicken's than another hay burner. LOL!
    I really like keeping everything off the floor for easy cleanup. Our concern is predators, we have Bull snakes, Rattle snakes, pack rats, mice, Raccoons, Skunks, Bears, Coyotes so it's going to take some work to ensure the stall is safe.
    The next concern would be creating a run separate from the horses, I'll take pictures.
    JAC
  5. Chicken Techie
    thanks! the stall works great and i to have a brooder in another stall currently it has 8 turkeys in it. the nesting boxes work great, dollar store cat litter trays are the way to go, easy to clean, just make sure you put something over the back lip of the litter pan so it doesn't flip up when they step on the lip to get in. good luck
  6. CCCCCCCCHICKENS
    I am also converting old horse stalls into coops.Mine will be used as breeder pens and have huge outside runs.I like your nesting boxes.
  7. Chicken Techie
  8. Penny Hen
    the cameras are very cool.
  9. knjinnm
    I agree, great ideas.
    Where did you buy the poop door motor?
    You should use poop hammocks where ever possible to aid in clean up.
  10. Chicken Techie
    it is in a barn but i know the ideas can be used in a normal coop because some of them came from my last coop i built.
    the indoor camera i use is: http://www.amazon.com/Loftek-Newest-Wireless-wired-Installation-black/dp/B005CFSZE6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349746526&sr=8-1&keywords=loftek+cxs+3200
    the outdoor camera is: http://www.amazon.com/Agasio-A602W-...8&qid=1349746568&sr=1-1&keywords=agasio+a602w[​IMG]
    these are both IP camera's, they are not top of the line but they work well and have whats called an "ir filter", this makes the colors accurate during the daylight, most cheaper camera's don't have this, with some goodle research they are not too bad to setup, i work on computer equipment for a living so if you don't have good knowledge you will need to do a good amount of research to figure it out, but really its not too bad. it is however verry handy
  11. emarketwiz
    What is the brand and model of your cameras? Very cool!
  12. Joe Jordan
    Very cool stuff! I only made mine to look like a barn, yours actually is a barn!
  13. Stumpy
    Wow -- that's fantastic!
  14. rekkas peeps
    i love our coop!! thanks hinny for making it awesome for all of us!
  15. Chicken Techie
    thanks, i spent tons of time thinking "how can i make chickens easy?" and this is what i came up with. i literally put the finishing touches on it today so now i'll have more time to enjoy them. i just put the link to the waterer in this post and i think you guys might want to check that out, it has saved me a ton of time.
    Amb3r (nice that its in l33t) i have a japanese bantam roo, frizzled cochin roo, and a jersey giant roo, im not woried about variety :)
  16. Amb3r
    It's like a dream!! Lucky chickens to have that cozy coop!!! XD On an unrelated note, introduce a naked neck or crested or other bizarre looking Roo, then the next generation would have variety! :)
  17. Gargoyle
    A lot of nice ideas.

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