An indoor stealth coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Candachan, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. Candachan

    Candachan Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2009
    Hey guys,

    I'm pretty new to everything, and have no chickens yet but will probably consider it next year. If I do get chicks, it would only be 2 or 3, and they will probably be Bantams. They will also be primarily indoors.

    Long story short, I have been looking at plans for stealth coops like the "trashcan" coop, and it got me thinking...has anyone here ever done a DIY or converted coop out of a piece of furniture? I've seen coops made from trucks, kid's playhouses, and other wonderful things, and I am trying to get ideas in a similar vein but with a piece of indoor furniture like a desk or a dresser, maybe even something like a heirloom chest or a sideboard cabinet? I would love to have a piece of furniture that secretely holds chickens inside, what a suprise!

    I have seen conversions like this that have been used to keep snakes and reptiles in, they are beautiful and go unnoticed if you need them to be. I am thinking of getting a piece from Goodwill or Craigslist and either converting it mostly intact or harvesting pieces of the facade and using it to mask a coop I make myself. If I was converting an original piece, I would probably line the inside with something like melamine board for easy cleaning, put up some roosts and a nest box, etc. If I wanted to get fancy I could cut out the bottom and put wire in or construct something to where the bottom could be slid out like in a kennel or critter cage.

    I have a large wire dog crate that could also be used as a run or a holding pen when the birds weren't galavanting free inside with their little diapers on.

    I think this could be an excellent chance to explore some creative alleys, and I would love to see what you all think. I'm fairly new to DIY stuff, so any tips/ideas/concerns/comments are very appreciated.

  2. cameldairy

    cameldairy Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2009
    Cairo, GA
    [​IMG] R U kidding??LOL! Chickens running around your house? Really?? Diapers?? [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. Candachan

    Candachan Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2009
    Quote:I know for a fact I'm not the only one, I know there are members here that have a hobby of making and selling chicken diapers! It's definitely a controversial topic, I know. I would imagine that a pair of Bantam hens would make less of a mess than a dog or a child, though. [​IMG]

    I know of someone who keeps a pair of micro seramas in a giant bird cage, and they're happy as can be, and very tame!

    They'd only be in diapers if they weren't in the coop or in the run. [​IMG] I was thinking of putting some rolls of astroturf in the run and sprinkling treats, mealies, and seeds in it to encourage scratching and foraging behavior. I've also thought of using actual rolls of sod or pots of plants that they can destroy.

    Call me crazy, I don't mind. [​IMG]
  4. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    don't put them on wire it is bad for their feet. other wise i like the idea..
  5. HenPen

    HenPen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Sounds like a good idea but I agree don't use wire...
  6. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    [​IMG] more power to you. I don't do livestock inside though.
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    We have bantams that we kept indoors only at night until they were 8 weeks old. I personally would hesitate to keep chickens permanently indoor for two reasons. First of all, it seems apparent to me that our birds are happier being able to run around outdoors, scratch in the dirt, sunbathe, etc. They'd be missing all these things if they lived indoors.

    Secondly, we have other indoor birds (two different kinds of parrots and doves), and the mess and smell of chickens compared to these other kinds of birds is significant. Chickens are dusty, and their cecal poops stink to high heaven, even if you clean several times a day (as we do for our other birds). Myself, I just wouldn't do it on anything other than a temporary or emergency basis (like a sick chicken in a hospital cage).
  8. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    Quote:Haven't you heard of them? I think you need to read over BYC! [​IMG]
  9. dlfridie

    dlfridie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2009
    I wonder if it can be done w/out too much smell. I hope you getsome responses from someone w/ experience in this area.
    I had a Serama pair outside and they were much more stinky than my Golden Comets.
    I still have the female, and smelling her poo can make me hurl. That's only 1 night's accumulation.
    I have to dispose of her poo daily.

    Hmm...I wonder if there is a less stinky breed that's suitable for the home.
    I think those Modern Game Bantams are adorable. I heard they can be kept in the house. I'm assuming they get a chance to run free in an outdoor run a few times during the week.
  10. Candachan

    Candachan Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2009
    Thanks for the advice about the wire bottom, wasn't sure if it would be bad for their feet. I'll be sure to have a solid bottom, probably with a removable tray with some compressed wood bedding and zeolite granules to reduce smell and moisture. I've also read of people putting dried lavender and chamomile in their bedding to help with smell, plus the chickies can eat it.

    Dlfridie, interesting note about the Serama smell, I wonder if that's a breed trait or just a wierd quirk! I know people with micro Serama housechickens and they said the smell isn't very noticeable, but they also clean their enclosure daily and give them baths in the sink! Definitely not your regular chicken lifestyle.

    I know I'm going to get a lot of negative commentary on the subject, and I respect that, but I do believe it can be done and done correctly. I believe the most important aspects would be cleanliness and enrichment for the birds, basically finding ways to keep them clean and entertained. If I believed that the birds wouldn't be happy inside, I wouldn't do it.

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