Converting an open front horse stall into a coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Squishypuff, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. Squishypuff

    Squishypuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    Kernersville, NC
    I've decided that since my pony never goes into his stall, and loses his mind when forcibly put in and stresses to the point of making his legs swell up that I may as well make it into a coop, since he has other shelter from the elements. The stall was originally a shed for goats, and when turning it into a horse stall, we removed most of the front, and the door, and put in a gate on one side, then the rest of the wall is 4-5 large boards about an inch or two apart. It was made to be very open, because of how hot it gets here. We have mild winters, rarely see any amount of snow more than two or three times a year and always under an inch that sticks around a day or two before melting. When it's really wet, I have it set up with a heavy duty tarp that is secured with rope to cover the entire stall front. That has always kept out the rain/snow/etc. There is a small window with woven wire stapled as a "screen" that allows more air in. In the summer, I keep a box fan attached to the outside to keep it cool. Seems like with not too many modifications I should be able to make a pretty nice coop. i plan to build a run attached, but keep the gate so I can lock them in at night. So far, I've put up chicken wire. I know, chicken wire won't keep predators out... But, the only place the chicken wire is going is on that front part that is made up of boards. The chicken wire is stapled on over the boards, and I plan to staple on another layer both inside and out. I do not think that even if a predator ate through the chicken wire, that it could get between the pieces of wood, they are big, hefty, and close together. The rest will be hardware cloth. The stall is built on concrete, so I'm not worried about anything digging inside, really. Once I get all the wire/hardware cloth up, what should my next step be? I do not have pics yet, but the stall is just an empty stall. I have rubber mats on the floor to make it easier to clean, and after 2 years of horse standing on them, they're staying put!

    My thought is that I need to add some roosts. Would putting up those shelving bracket things, with a wide board screwed onto the brackets (so it doesn't slip off the brackets and send chickies falling down) be a good idea? I like the board idea better than dowels or branches... I also have an old ladder that I could secure against one wall at a lower angle, but would the metal be too slippery?

    I was thinking that for nest boxes I would use an old shelf with left over hardware cloth along the shelves to keep eggs in, as well as the hardware cloth to separate each shelf into a couple separate boxes. I do not want to set it up with a way to get eggs from outside, because I'm not willing to cut holes into the 3 solid walls of the stall. i don't mind going in to do everything.

    I have the chicken drinking nipples and planned to put 3-4 of them into a 5 gallon bucket that I will hang where the pony' water bucket hung, in a corner. A feeder will be hung at the opposite end.

    We live in a rural area, it's a neighborhood, but you can have livestock, so it's in the "country" too... As such, we do not have a lot of wildlife. Mostly stray cats and the odd skunk. Never seen a raccoon, though I am sure they are around. I've had chickens in the past, but they were free rangers that slept in my hay shed, until the day something ate them... So I know we have SOMETHING, no clue what. I'm thinking the double layer of chicken wire on the boarded area and then the hardware cloth everywhere else should be fine for that. The coop will also be inside the electric fence that keeps the pony in, and there is the option of running a couple lines of hot wire across the top/middle/bottom of the stall/coop front.

    What am I missing, and not thinking of? Any cool ideas for how to make happy chickens? I've gone through all the coop threads and gotten some wonderful ideas, but I'm always looking for more!

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