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Advice converting pool deck/area to chicken coop/run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by proud2b4family, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. proud2b4family

    proud2b4family In the Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2010
    I am preparing to convert an above-ground pool deck into a chicken coop. The deck was built around a little more than 1/4 of the circumference of the above-ground pool we just got rid of. I'm hoping you'll have some pointers for me. I read an article at http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Bu...lements-on-Building-a-Chicken-House&id=477219 and other similar articles. But I'm wondering whether I'm fooling myself by believing such a conversion can be done.

    The pool deck sits about 4.5 feet off the ground on a foundation of multiple 4x4 deck posts, most of which are fastened into concrete post foundations sitting on the ground. The outer perimeter of the deck is about 30 feet long and "curved" outward by angling the degrees of straight runs to match the round contour of our former pool. The inner curve (close to the pool) is about 20 feet long. The 4x4 posts on the outer perimeter are buried in the ground and run all the way up to about 12 feet from ground to full height. These served as the supports to which lattice walls were attached when it was a pool.

    My plan is to strip it all down to the essentials, removing the aging, spaced deck boards and lattice walls. Then, as option 1, I plan to insulate the floor by either making a "false floor" by laying down 3/4" particle board, then a setting of floor joists filled with insulation, then another final floor of 3/4" particle board. OR, as option 2, trying to attach the 3/4" particle board underneath the existing floor joists (difficult), laying down insulation, and topping that with more 3/4" particle board.

    Once the floor is in place, then come the wall framing with windows facing south and west, exterior walls, insulation, interior walls, roof and insulation (vaulted to the west side only and draining to the east, away from the run), and rain gutters. The flooring finish will be vinyl, which I hear is easier to hose down, graded towards a drain hole that empties into a barrel to store and use the droppings for garden fertilizer.

    The run itself is the circular area where the pool once sat. It sits in a slight depression relative to the surrounding yard and is currently covered with fine beach sand. I'm going to cover that with a layer of pea gravel, bordered with plastic yard edging (to contain the pea gravel and act as a barrier to digging racoons) and a chain link fence outside of that and flush with the edging. I hear that pea gravel is good for easily washing "down" the run droppings with a hose. Of course, there will be a ramp leading from the run up to the coop with a door we'll manage manually or electro-mechanically on a timer.

    There is electricity to the deck and even a gas line that once fed the gas water heater for the pool that can be reworked to provide light, electricity, and heat for the coop. We were planning to get a used refrigerator and put it inside the coop, just inside the entry door, for storing the eggs.

    Have you seen other people convert pool decks into chicken coops? Do you think this is doable? Which will be better in the long run for the floor, option 1 or option 2? And, is it wise to try to store and reuse the droppings in this way or is there a better way?

    Thanks.
    Rob Watson
    Spring Grove, IL
     

  2. Fox&hen

    Fox&hen In the Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2010
    Hi, it sounds doable. I work alot with what i have available also so this kinda hit home with me.[​IMG]. Anyway, Not real sure exactly what you have to work with but I too would strip it all down to the 4x4 posts and start from there. then floor joists floor etc. good luck
     
  3. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I think this is very doable. I do wonder though about drainage issues with the run. Since it sits in a depression and you are wanting to surround it with edging, will that just make it a 'collection' spot for rain water? Maybe you could dig a drainage trench before you put the gravel down, so the rain water (and when you clean the run) will have a place to drain off out of the depression. As far as insulation in the floor...this is probably not necessary unless you are in an extremely cold place. How about sun exposure? Usually pools are sitting out in the full sun...how hot does it get where you live? This could be a real problem if it is very hot. I see that you intend to insulate the walls, too...that will help. Since you have electricity, I guess you could use a fan in the coop when it gets hot. I don't know anyone that hoses down the inside of their coop, most people use pine shavings and just change the shavings out when it gets real dirty. I have a thin piece of beadboard paneling under my roost to catch the majority of the poop. Every few days I go in with a bucket or sack and scrap the poop off the board and I save it to put in my compost. I sprinkle a light layer of shavings over the board so the poop doesn't stick to the board as much. I also sprinkle Stall Dry and DE over the shavings and lightly mix it in. They both help with moisture and the Stall Dry will reduce any ammonia smell that may develop (hasn't yet). You can get the Stall Dry at TSC or any store that sells horse supplies/feed. If they don't have it, they could probably order it for you.

    Overall, it sounds like it is going to be a really cool looking coop! Please post pics as you go. You could call it Cluck Med! Good luck and post pics as you go!
     
  4. Hen Mistress

    Hen Mistress In the Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2010
  5. proud2b4family

    proud2b4family In the Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2010
    All, thanks for your responses to my inquiry. Very helpful.

    @Hen Mistress: That's really cool! Thanks for posting it. I'm actually planning to change the whole pool deck into the coop since it's not attached to our house, but sits alone in the yard.

    I'm adding some photos to clarify my previous post:

    1) I did some reading today and realized that there isn't a consensus on whether pea gravel is the least troublesome cleanup option or the most troublesome. Some favor it, others like sand, yet others like pine shavings. All for different reasons. The pea gravel crowd says 10-20 mm diameter gravel is the best. Here's a photo of the gravel size(s) I have (it seems to be mixed). Is it the right size and type?

    [​IMG]

    2) The sand is typical beach-type sand. Here's a photo. Would this work better than gravel, given that it could be more like cat litter?

    [​IMG]

    3) Here are three shots from different angles of the pool area and deck.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    4) The sand area where the pool was is in a depression relative to the surrounding grass for about 270 degrees of its circumference.

    [​IMG]

    5) Here's a closeup of the actual floorspace from side to side (it's more curved inward in front than it looks in this panorama).

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    6) And here are closeups of the underside and footings (the ones that sit on the ground, that is...the outer footings are buried). My main concern here is if I plywood the underside, with such "deep" (2x8) boards am I going to have to fill all that space with two layers of Fiberglas insulation? Or is one layer with a pocket of air in the remaining space above it sufficient?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    7) And, finally, here is the photo of the electrical and gas outlet area.

    [​IMG]

    Anything you'd do with a "clean" slate like this that I might not be considering?

    Thanks again for your help and advice.
     
  6. DSTchickencraze

    DSTchickencraze Chirping

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    Jul 11, 2013
    Concord, NC
    Hey, sorry I know this is an old thread, but I am trying to do exactly what you were trying to do. I was wondering if you managed to succeed. We had an above ground pool for a while as well, but then the pool got torn down by a storm and now we just have a deck and I thought it would make a great chicken coop.

    This is what we have to work with...


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Do you think you might be able to give me some advice on how you managed to solve your problem? I really would like to turn this into a good chicken coop, but I'm not entirely sure how... and was just wondering if you managed to figure out and if you would mind giving me some pointers...

    Wouldn't mind some pictures to see how you changed it [​IMG]
     

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