Can I turn a cabin into a coop? - updated with photos

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LindsMB, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. LindsMB

    LindsMB New Egg

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    Dec 3, 2014
    Central MA
    UPDATED WITH PHOTOS:

    Hi! I'm new here. I'm planning on getting some chickens this spring and want to get their new home ready. There is a small cabin on my property that I was thinking of using as their coop. It would require some adjustments - I'll still need to predator-proof, build a run, add some access doors, nesting boxes, and places for them to roost - but it has the advantage of already being built, and in the location on the property where I'd like to keep the chickens. However, it has more space than we really need for the chickens, and if we ever had the money to refurbish it would make a lovely guest cottage. I am not sure that if I give it over to chickens, I can ever get it back for human use.

    I'll update with some photos later, but what do you think? Worth a shot, or should I just save the cabin for another use and build a coop from scratch?

    Thank you!

    ETA: We've cleared out the brush from around the cabin, and removed the carpet and furniture. It has a screened porch on the front (first photo). It also has a small, non-operational bathroom and the main room in the cabin has a kitchenette.


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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  2. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Look at it from a different angle. How many chickens will you keep?

    The cost and simplicity of building a small coop for a small flock may be more attractive than the cost of refurbish the cabin to coop and then back to cabin.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One more thing to think about is adequate cross ventilation. A cabin built for humans would have to have much rennovation.
     
  4. Biologrady

    Biologrady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree that once it goes to the chickens, it would be too hard to reclaim...how about using the cabin for storage of food, etc and building a coop adjoining an exterior wall of the cabin?
    If you decide to only use part of the cabin's interior, I was thinking about partitioning my (predator proof) shed's interior with the 20 dollar ish wood frame screen doors from Home Depot...haven't looked at them too closely though, they might not have tough enough screen. Seems like a lot less work than framing and wiring a partition...
     
  5. LindsMB

    LindsMB New Egg

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    Dec 3, 2014
    Central MA
    Thank you for the replies. It sounds like the consensus is that a new coop is probably the way to go. Biologrady, that's my plan B - build the coop as a kind of lean-to against the cabin, with a run. And if I eventually have a large flock, maybe consider giving them the cabin at that point.

    I'm planning to start with 8-10 chickens, but would love to go up to 20-30 at some point. My husband wants 2. This is similar to our disagreement about number of children. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  6. DOUGNASH

    DOUGNASH Out Of The Brooder

     
  7. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    I am going to echo what the others said.

    I would keep the chickens out of the cabin.

    Cleaning chicken poop out of it would be a pain in the butt.

    The air tightness of the cabin would be deadly to chickens.

    Nail together 5 pieces of OSB and you have a chicken coop. That cabin is way better looking than my cabin, I will trade!!! lol
     
  8. LindsMB

    LindsMB New Egg

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    Dec 3, 2014
    Central MA
    Thanks very much, everyone. This is such a great resource. I'm convinced, I'll leave the cabin as-is and build a coop elsewhere.

    I live in north-central Massachusetts. We have about 3 acres of land, and abut 100 more of conservation land. I'm sure I'll be back with a lot of questions, especially about predator-proofing. We have hawks, fox, fisher cats, bear, you name it. Plus three small children and a dog - I hope these chickens make it!
     
  9. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member


    Hawks are horrible!! Because of federal regulations on them.

    Do you know what the laws are in Ma. on the fur bearing critters?

    Here we can dispose of them if they are causing damage.

    Good Luck on the chickens! May you have 100 birds next year at this time (chicken math)
     

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