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Concrete (Cinder Block) Coop - Can it be done?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Heidisue11, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Heidisue11

    Heidisue11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Gretna, LA
    Hi -

    I'm inheriting a load of about 100 cinder blocks. And I was thinking... Can these be used to build a coop? Using an industrial adhesive to hold the blocks together. I would used them for Walls only. Securing doors and windows, and adding a roof, can this be done? I've always thought cinder blocks "breathe" better than some materials, and if some are turned on there their sides, they have small windows for ventilations. I know of a few materials that secure the bricks to assure stability.

    Should I attempt this? Am I crazy?

    thanks,
    Heidi
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    I would use fence poles through the holes (concrete reinforced steel style)- sideways snakes and weasels and small possums .... and other bad things could get in, you can use hardware cloth or fence for the roof instead of blocks.

    Not sure about windows... they would have to have hardware cloth or fencing also.

    Maybe you can turn the top row sideways and the windows sideways so the whole thing is block.

    not sure, good luck.
     
  3. Heidisue11

    Heidisue11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Gretna, LA
    yeah, I'm not sure either.. The run will be secure so I'm not overly concerned with the coop being a fortress. But time will tell. It's an idea. I hate to waste the blocks but if i can make it happen, I will.

    ugh... my lack of ideas are killing me
     
  4. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Igloo shaped?

    Metal holding it?

    sideways blocks are an escape hazard for chicks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  5. StephanieH

    StephanieH Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2012
    Maybe sideways blocks at the top only? If the run is secure, escape shouldn't be a problem. If the coop doesn't work, those block make a great border for raised beds!
     
  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I really envy you - I'd like the acquire about that many to build some raised beds at my new place.

    Yes, I would use them to build a coop, but wouldn't put them sideways as you would then need to cover the entire wall with hardware cloth to keep critters out. By adhesive, do you mean mortar? Bricklaying is a skill but if you have a little know-how and the right materials, you should be able to make it work.

    If I were taking on this project, I would level out the ground, and get a load of sand to make sure my base really was level. From there, you can start building a layer at a time, cementing the bricks together with mortar. Leave gaps for windows and door(s) - these can be framed in afterward. Depending on how big a coop you are talking, 100 may not be enough but it will give you a good start.

    Let us know what you decide to do - and send pics of your progress.
     
  7. Heidisue11

    Heidisue11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Gretna, LA
    Those are GREAT ideas and really have me motivated! I can't wait to see what I can do!

    And thanks for mentioning the leveling. I may just get a load of sand. My dirt is really hard packed, so I'm going to check out that area.
    When I mentioned adhesive, I was thinking Liquid Nail. And maybe some rebar in the holes for extra support. Unless mortar is advised?

    I thought of turning the bricks sideways for ventilation and windows.

    I even thought of building a few nexting boxes on the outside like you would with a wooden coop and just putting a hinged roof on the boxes, the same way I would do the roof.

    I'm going to dig through my yard this weekend and see what kind of random materials I can add to the project.

    I know it sounds scattered, but in my head, I'm seeing a beautiful coop!
     
  8. chicks2012

    chicks2012 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2012
    So Oklahoma
    A lot of homes in the 60's were built out of 4"x8"x16" cinder block walls installed with mortar. You need to cut the main door, chicken door and window installations. You need specialty tools and fasteners to do this and could possibly rent in your area. You can allow for vents at the top of the wooden roof frames. It can be done, add up all the prices of the hardware and see if it's cost effective.
     
  9. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Actually, I just now noticed you are in LA - my brain is constantly on "build for KS weather conditions" mode, so I was picturing a more substantial building than you probably need for your climate. In our climate we need to keep them cool in summer, warm in winter and our winds are legendary so we have to keep those in consideration as well.

    I'm still concerned that on their sides there will be too many openings, and you will end up with snakes and rodents living in your coop. Also, if I am picturing the same cinder blocks you have, they are 16L x 6D x 8H. So....putting them on their sides, you will need more bricks to attain the wall height, than standing them the regular direction. Oh - here's an idea, since you have a much warmer climate than we do - why not make a 3-sided coop? You said your run is secure so that might work.

    I googled Liquid Nails and concrete and it does appear they have a product that is used to repair concrete so that's probably the product you planned to use? I'm not familiar with that, but it may be the more expensive route to take. Mortar is pretty easy to use. You mix it up in a bucket, use a trowel to smooth it on, and then add the next layer of bricks. Remove the excess that squeezes out at the join and 24 hours later its set pretty hard.

    You might talk to someone at your local Lowes about your options there - they may have additional suggestions, and would certainly know more about what works best in the LA climate.
     
  10. Heidisue11

    Heidisue11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Gretna, LA
    The blocks are 16 x 8 x 8 so i can flip them eitther way. It's a valid point about the rodents. I'm 3 miles from downtown new orleans, so coyotes aren't a problem, but rodents might be. The run is going to be completely closed in, including the roof.

    I could make the first 2 or so layers windowless and them start adding them alternating the block. I could secure some screen to the holes if it seems necessary. I can easily make the an opening for the chickens to come in and out.. and if I plan correctly, the nesting boxes should be able to be added also. I'm sure if I used a masonry bit, I could drill some holes for hinges and such?? (semi-question)

    the roof would be removeable but hinged in the middle, So I can easily access it for cleaning. Same with the nesting boxes.

    I priced cinder blocks, they are $1.34 each.. Just to be curious. I think I will need 20 block a layer, and that would be for 4 layers. giving it a total height of 2 1/2 feet tall. Short but roomy.

    With some luck, I could do a nice quality job for less than $50.




     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012

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