Anyone have or build a cement block coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Princessferf, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. Princessferf

    Princessferf Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I am seriously considering building a new coop out of cement (cinder) blocks. You know, the ones used to build basements.

    Has anyone built one out of this material? I don't mind the investment, I want something that rats can't chew through and is draft-free.

    We would incorpoate two windows and a door, plus a small access door to their run.

    Thoughts? Benefits? Draw-backs?

    Any information would be very helpful (and pictures would be awesome)... thanks!
     
  2. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    That is what my coop is made of. Actually its an old hog house, cinder block walls, concrete floor about 4' high on the sides and roof peeks. The roof is shingled w/removable glass panes. I have not removed the panes but they let in lots of light and heat in the winter from the sun. It was built in 1949 (written in the concrete). When I shut the doors on the side, nothing can get it.

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    Doen the center of the building is an alleyway. Support beams lign up along this alleyway. I can easily install pens on each side of the building. I just used what building was here and was not in use already. I like that its predator proof and doesnt leak or seep water. The cupola allows for ventilation, even the side access doors are closed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  3. crazyhen

    crazyhen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mtns of ,NC.
    Just my thoughts but what kind of floor would you have? Rats dig under a shed I have out of blocks. Also if it backs up to a hill there is the water that seeps through the blocks. If I had it to do again I would insulate with foam and then put up something like plywood inside. On the outside I would do some kind of water block. How are you going to clean it out?
    I like the fact it would be permanent. And if insulated ,waterproofed and floored it would be great. Make plenty of ventilation that can be opened near the top of the roof and closed if need be. Just my thoughts. Jean
     
  4. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    We have an old cinder block "garage" that I converted into a coop this winter. It's approximately 20 x 30. I lined the inner walls with old bales of hay to insulate it. Last fall, when my DH was mulching the fallen leaves, I had him dump them in the coop to line the floor for the winter. I also had him bag up all the extra leaves and I stored them to use this winter too. The floor of my coop is concrete, so I have to keep lots of bedding down to insulate against the cold floor. I absolutely love my coop. It keeps all of my flock safe from predators as well as providing shelter from these extremely harsh Michigan winter winds. Where I live, the wind is blowing to some degree every day. So as long as you insulate for the winter, and keep plenty of bedding on the floor, both you and your flock will absolutely love it. Just a note though...there's absolutely NO WAY to keep those darn mice out...even in a concrete coop. They'll manage to get in somehow...but they're on their own cause if the chickens can catch them, they'll be eaten. [​IMG] Good luck!
     
  5. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    Quote:The mice must run in when the side doors are open. I saw one on the ledge the other day. Didn't take BB (ruthless resident cat) to come, investigate and find it. She will sleep in the nesting boxes. In the summer when the coop is open during the day, I have found her napping in there. She skedaddles when a chicken tries to check her out.
     
  6. Princessferf

    Princessferf Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2007
    Wisconsin
    We would end up putting in a concrete floor. The roof would be built to address our ventilation needs (we have builders in the family to help).

    I would like to put in a wider door so I can bring my wheelbarrow directly inside to do clean-outs. Right now I have to shovel out the stuff and carry it to the door.

    Our barn cats take care of any mice, so I don't have a worry there. Rats have been more of a pain, and my cats don't want to take them on once they're grown. We've been able to keep down the rat population with a variety of methods, but they never completely go away.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I don't have a cinderblock coop but have worked in a lot of horse and other livestock barns made of cinderblock.

    They require more ventilation than a wooden structure, because the heavy thermal mass of the walls and floor stores heat in the summer (meaning, you need more nighttime ventilation to get the thing to cool down properly on an August night) and store cold in the late winter/early spring (meaning that for a couple months, every time you get a warm humid day, when the air enters the building the cool walls/floor condense the moisture out and cause dampness problems, sometimes quite serious [NEVER store hay in a concrete block building!]).

    The dampness in late winter early spring is the larger of the two issues IME. To some degree you can finesse it by closing doors/windows/vents as much as possible on warm humid days (whereas, ventilate the heck out of it on cool less-humid days when the rel humidity is low but the outdoor air is warmer than the indoor air). You may well, however, find you need to insulate or at least plywood over some or all of the walls to further decrease this problem. On the bright side it will not lose heat very fast at all in the winter this way [​IMG]

    I'd say if you have the budget -- those things are NOT cheap! -- and are prepared to incorporate a lot more ventilation than you describe (ridge vent does not count; gable end vents do some good but are not sufficient) then go for it. It won't keep the mice out, nothing does, but as long as your windows/doors/vents are secure it will be pretty resistant to anything else and will last a LONG time [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  8. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    Getting your wheelbarrow inside is a must. I absolutly agree with that! Mine stays parked in my coop most of the time
     

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