Can I use this 30' x 13' metal building for a coop? photo


Nothing In Moderation
12 Years
May 14, 2009
(SW MO) Nevada, Missouri
My Coop
My Coop
I would like to use this metal building for a coop. Will it require too much work to make it usable as such? Or does it have the bones to work out? I know I will need to consider ventilation, and was thinking of cutting off the metal about 2 feet deep along the back (long side) and covering it with hardware cloth. There is electricity in the building, so I would really like to use it, instead of breaking new ground. There is cement floor on the far left 1/4 of the building, the rest is just dirt floor. I was thinking of dividing it into breeding pens, or smaller pens inside, and a walkway down the middle, and each would have their own pop door to the outside.
All advise is welcomed.
Thanks, Kathy

I think with some work it'd be fine! Given the winter temps, you probably need a fully-enclosed (yet ventilated) coop, but chickens don't need fancy interiors. With electricity, you can heat it if your area needs it. I don't see why it can't be converted!
Are you kidding that size coop would be my dream! The beauty of it is, three walls are allready made, thus needing only one wall. I would not cut a metal from the building. Ventilate on the wall you will soon build. Man with some materials and time that is going to be chicken paridise! My tip to you do not alter existing building add on first, then cut your holes and what not. The great thing is most of the work is done. Just take your time and do it right.
Oh absolutely, that is a WONDERFUL setup for a coop!
First, can I ask whether it is built on sloping ground and the photo is just a little tilted, or are the posts on the R side heaved up? If so, you would want to make sure to correct that problem before putting chickens in there, as you do not want further frostheave to a) cause structural failure or b) heave the bottoms of the walls (and your digproofing) up off the ground so that hungry beasts can get in and have chicken dinner.

As others have said, leave the open side open (with mesh) most of the year, and either build a solid-sided 'coop' part inside towards the back wall, or have plywood panels that bolt on to cover much of that mesh side for winter. Because it is a reasonable depth building not too tall, and with the trees protecting it, not too much weather should blow in unless for some reason it is facing west. So you may not need that side nearly as totally-solid as you might think, as long as the chickens have somewhere protected around their roost.

Good luck, have fun,

Yes, it is built on a sloped area. The front is 8 foot high, and the back is over 5 foot (on the left side, where I measured inside). So the right hand side is taller, due to the slope. The front of the building faces north. How much ventilation along the top of this wall I am going to build? Is 1 foot enough, or 2 feet? Oh, wait, I know, "never too much ventilation!"

Would it work to use railroad ties as the "footings," between the posts on that front open area? I want the entry door on the far right hand side. The building is sturdy, and has plenty of 2x4s of the frameing. I thought I should use the 1/2 inch plywood I have rescued to cover all the wall area, as I am not planning to insulate. Would that be sufficient?

I figured I would just use 8 or 10 inches of sand as the flooring, after the building is complete. I have read it is the cleanest (and cheap!). There is a small layer of gravel in there now, that I thought I could just cover up. However, the left 1/4 has concrete flooring, and I will use pine chips on that.

OK then, here we go ..... it is going to be a coop! I hope to have it done this month (October!) ..... I am sure I will have more questions to come back with!
Make sure you take a magnet rod or something and sweep the ground with it chickens have an amazing talent of finding and trying to eat things they are not supposed to. just to make sure there is no nails or scrap metal that might get eaten and kill/hurt you feathered friends.

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