1. AllisonD

    AllisonD In the Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2012
    Hello, all!

    The folks on these forums are always so helpful, I thought I would post this here for suggestions/opinions.

    We have four chicks around eight weeks old that are outside in a coop that will eventually be too small for them once they're grown up. We're looking for inexpensive coop ideas, and we were thinking about the camper shell in the backyard that used to be used as a playhouse. It hasn't been used as such for a couple of years, and we're considering what might be needed to convert it to a working coop. Here are some photos:
    [​IMG]

    The latch/lock on the door is since gone, but I don't think it should be too difficult to install a hasp and lock on the door to make it secure.

    [​IMG]

    The side windows open for ventilation and are currently covered with normal window screening... how difficult would it be to replace the screens with hardware mesh? Same with the skylight in the roof.

    [​IMG]

    I think all we'd need to do to the inside is pull up the carpet and maybe nail down some more plywood on the floor. Then add some nest boxes and screw some roosts in to the walls. Also probably take out the little table. I'd like to consider putting in egg doors or maybe even rig some file cabinet drawers as nest boxes that will roll out on tracks, but I'm not sure how ambitious it is to cut doors into the aluminum/wood structure of the camper.

    And of course:
    [​IMG]

    Two of the four adorable chickens who will be inhabiting this rustic little chicken paradise!

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Songster

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    Mar 25, 2011
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    Cute chicks! The aluminum on a camper is pretty thin so if you use a jig saw with a metal blade it shouldn't be a problem. I would leave the screens on the windows and just put hardware cloth on the outside. You could use a metal drill bit and then use screws with washers to attach it. Campers can be hot - keep the roof vent. Cover the interior flooring with linoleum.
     
  3. AllisonD

    AllisonD In the Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2012
    That's great advice about the windows, I guess keeping the screens in will be easier AND help keep flies and mosquitoes out. I'm not too concerned about the heat, but we will keep the roof vent as it will help draw air in through the windows. Do you think I should put the roosts below the windows to keep the airflow from impacting the chickens directly? Or will they just not really care? I live in the PacNW and I only remember it getting below zero twice in the thirteen years I've lived here.
     
  4. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Songster

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    I made my pop chicken door with hinges on top too so it keeps rain out. I also have a inside chicken door - plexiglass that slides up and down and is automatic on a timer with a D20 Add-A-Motor. The outside door stays open almost all the time. Chickens like roost that are high but, you don't want the roost in a draft so, I would put the roost across the front from side to side. If you put a plywood board under the roost it will catch the poop and keep the floor cleaner too. You could just extend the edge around the sides & If it's real hot they might like to roost in-front of the window during the summer. The roost boards need to be a foot off of the wall to help keep the wall clean. If there is room the feeder and water could be hung under the poop board so, they stay clean. My roost boards lift out so, I can give them a good cleaning every once in a while. I cut the plastic feed bags and place them on the poop board to remove and clean. Anything I can do to make cleaning easier so, it's not such a chore is good.
    I just ordered 3 more D20 Add-A-Motors for our new breeding coop from www.discounthomeautomation.com They have the best price I have found.
    Good Luck with your renovations!
     
  5. AllisonD

    AllisonD In the Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2012
    Thanks, Friedgreenegs! Yeah, a poop board as an extension of the internal ledge was why I was thinking about putting the roosts by the windows, but maybe keeping them out of the draft is more important. And I reckon if I can hang a shelf, I can put in a poop board on the front wall, right? An automated pop door sounds really handy, but I almost positive that something like that is beyond my abilities. I was just going to put one in, hinged at the bottom, with the door doubling as the chicken ramp. I think that'll work.
     
  6. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Songster

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    Mar 25, 2011
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    LOL I'm sure you are quite capable! Maybe your chickens will be better trained than mine but, mine poop on the ramp a lot. If it's the door too [​IMG] The automatic pop door is a pretty simple design and really not hard to make your own. You could always add it later if, you want. Here is a link to see one I'm sure however you design it and build it your new coop - your chickens will Love you!!! They don't even care if, the cuts are not straight or if it's not perfect so, just make it the best you can and it's All Good!
     
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