Would Appreciate Any Tips Or Pointers Before I Start A Playhouse Rehab

  1. Brucepierce
    Hi Folks,

    After a short summer vacation stint of chicken sitting for a neighbor my children and I feel like we'd like a go at it ourselves!! I have a 8x8x8 unused playhouse in my back yard that looks like it could be converted nicely into a coop...after reading loads of posts and articles I keep seeing the P.S. "if I were to do it again" comments and I would like to get it as close to the mark right off the start if I could with your help...

    I live 45 minutes outside of Boston, MA where we can get hot summers ( humid 90's ) and some nasty cold winters ( 0-30 degrees ) so obviously that's one of my first concerns, I feel like I need to be concerned with adequate ventilation and heat reduction for the summers, I'm pretty handy with small construction projects and have the tools I need so I'm wondering if I should open one side of the coop entirely for the summer and re-attach the removed wall for the winter months.. or..the playhouse now has 5 window openings about 16 in by 16 in starting at 3ft off the floor, is this adequate for the summer months? are they too low (causing drafts) to leave open in the winter? I read up on ventilation but quickly became confused by all the options. I was thinking of posting photos and maybe some of y'all could take a look and tell me what your thinking...

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  1. Brucepierce
    I put together the nesting boxes...still need a door, roofing and paint but its getting there...not sure why I went with the front facing door but I did...Without this forum I don't think I would of had the courage to start any of this. Thanks
  2. nono
    I'm in metrowest Boston...I just did an 8x8 playhouse coop. :) Here's the link, maybe you can get some ideas from ours. http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-schoop
    Some of my pictures are temporarily missing...they are working on it, and hopefully will be visible again within a few days. Good luck!!
  3. Brucepierce
    Thanks for the input folks, I haven't even though about breed yet, I'm just trying to figure the ventilation situation out first before I start cutting holes in the playhouse, I was thinking about insulating and sheet rocking for sure as well as building a run, my first though was do I need vents up higher in the coop (8ft ceiling) I have the 5 windows that are down lower that I probably cant leave open in the winter...So do I add a couple up at the top that I can open and close? And as far as summer goes will those and the 5 windows be adequate or do I take a wall off? I'm reading so many different things I don't know which way to go...I guess there is no such thing as too much venting in the summer months as long as I can seal it up for winter?
  4. Rebel Soldier
    First of all, I would stay away from heavy breeds unless you are putting deep litter[shavings,etc.] on the ground. A wire floor or the wooden floor is going to cause bumblefoot when they fly off the roost., repeatedly bruising the bottom of their feet. Chickens withstand the cold pretty well, especially if you dub them. I raise American games and they are naturally hardy and disease resistant, so knowing what type of fowl you are planning on may help us better advise you.. I would definitely add arun so they have access to soil and grass. This would solve your ventilation issue.
  5. Dawna
    I would advise you to make it real easy to clean out the poop. I bought several trays from Tractor Supply that are used in the bottom of rabbit pens. Also if you put insulation any where they can reach it you should cover it with something they can't reach through because they will peck at it and eat it. Use hardware cloth (as it is called), but not right against it. I put insulation over my pen, but they could get on top of the coop and ate several holes in it. I used it to protect them from the heat here in Texas. I also agree that ventilation is important. They like to roost as high as they can get and it looks like you can accommodate them there.
  6. Brookliner
    What a great start to a coop. I live in NH and have the same weather you do. I am going with insulationand a lot of ventilation for the summer. I also use poopboards in my old coop check out the articles on them. I have no smell in my coop. Don't forget to make it predator proof.

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