converting horse shelter to chicken coop? (now with pics!)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sheps4her, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. sheps4her

    sheps4her Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2008
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    Hey everyone! Haven't been on in a loooooong time! Anyway, I have moved to a 5 acre property that has a horse shelter on it. I have gotten permission to convert one side to a chicken coop. I have some ideas, but since everyone here has such a wealth of knowlege, I wanted to take advantage of it! [​IMG] It has 4 sides, but they don't connect to the roof, and the entrance is two doors, that also don't go completely to the roof. It also has an open area on one wall covered by chainlink fencing, that is a "window" into the other side of the shelter. I will attempt to post pictures...I can't seem to remember how so it may take a minute... Back soon![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  2. sheps4her

    sheps4her Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2008
    Guilford County, NC
    Well...apparently the card reader from my camera is lost in box land. I have forgotten how hard it is to move and be able to find things! Hopefully I will find it tonight or tomorrow so I can post the pictures! [​IMG]
     
  3. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Olympia Washington
    I converted my two 12' x 12' noble horse shelters into a chicken coop and goat house.

    The horse shelter with the event front is now the chicken coop. I covered the event front bars with hardware cloth ziptied to the bars.

    I enclosed the open front shelter for my goats by attaching 2 x 8 pressure treated deck boards (something I had left over from deck) with lag bolts and then covered that with 2 x4 welded wire. Made a 4' wide gate out of the same decking. (heavy-duty for sure). The goats seem to love it and so do I.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Obviously cover the open areas with *securely attached* hardwarecloth (or at least with 1x1 welded wire, for portions that are more than 2' or so from anywhere that chickens will ever be, e.g. upper vent openings with no roost or perch anywhere near them). You may (or may not, depending on roof overhang and where the shed's located) find yourself wanting to arrange a way to cover some of the upwind-side opening on sideways-rain type days to keep the coop from getting too drenched inside. OTOH if you keep it as a 3-sided very open shelter, maybe with a roosting box type enclosure inside if you get colder winters (sorry, forget what part of state Guilford Co is in), it is likely to be fine if some of the bedding gets rained on b/c it will dry out again.

    Your toughest task will be proofing the place against digging predators -- particularly if there are still horses in residence (or the place needs to be kept horse-useable), because that will mean you can't put down a wire apron. I think your best bet is probably LARGE concrete pavers, no smaller than 12x12 and really the larger sizes would be a lot better, partly because you can make the apron 18" wide and partly because the larger ones are heavier and thus harder for a predator to shift. Large pavers are pretty harmless to the horses' feet, and while they will not help vs rats (frankly, not much does [​IMG]) they will do a pretty good job of keeping out larger things like dogs and coyotes, and discourage skunks and weasels and such pretty well too.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. sheps4her

    sheps4her Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok....had to borrow a card reader.. here are the pics:
    this is the horse shelter.......

    [​IMG]

    This is the right side of the shelter..It has my old coop that I kept my couple of hens in that I had before...Look at the size difference! I am so excited!

    [​IMG]

    This is the left side of the shelter...I will be converting this side...

    [​IMG]

    this is the back wall with the "window" to the other stall...

    [​IMG]...

    This is the right wall.....

    [​IMG]

    This is the left wall...

    [​IMG]

    this is the front wall with the doors...

    [​IMG]

    Whew! What do you think?? Thank you for the anwers that were already given....I am busily taking notes..I can't wait to have my chickens again, and now I can have MORE!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Hm, only a real optimist would keep horses in there, so it is perhaps *better* used for chickens *anyhow* [​IMG]

    Yeah, I'm sticking with my previous advice -- put hardwarecloth or 1x1 welded wire mesh very securely attached over all openings (including frame out the transom opening over top of the people doors and put mesh on that too), and put large pavers (at least 12x12 and really bigger ones would be safer) all around the outside of the bldg where the walls meet the ground. (Level the ground well first, before doing it)

    I think it should make a perfectly fine coop for you. Whether or not you need to add somewhere a bit more enclosed around the roost for cold winter nights I am really not sure, as I'm not sure how cold you get or how windy; but it would not be difficult to do in a hurry later in the year if required.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  8. sheps4her

    sheps4her Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2008
    Guilford County, NC
    Quote:The tenants before me had two horses, one on each side....I had never seen horse stalls like that, but then again, I have not really been around many horses, so my seeing how they are kept has been extremely limited! Anyway, do you think it is to open on the top? Our winters rarely go below the 30's, but it has happened on occasion. We get more freezing rain than anything else here. Also, do you still think I would need the pavers? There is a lot of gravel around the building. I am sure I will be dealing with more predators here. Where I was before only had the occasional hawk attempt. This is much more rural. Also, I was thinking that I will probably have to close off that wall with the "window" into the stall......Hope I can have all this work done by the time I need it! But then again, I just recieved my hatching eggs today!!![​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
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    Quote:The tenants before me had two horses, one on each side....I had never seen horse stalls like that, but then again, I have not really been around many horses, so my seeing how they are kept has been extremely limited!

    A horse kicking or even just 'sitting against' one of those walls would go clear through with not much resistance [​IMG]

    Anyway, do you think it is to open on the top? Our winters rarely go below the 30's, but it has happened on occasion. We get more freezing rain than anything else here.

    In general you will be GLAD of that 'open at the top' most of the year. It is true that, depending on your particular chickens (breed, comb size), there may be short stretches in the winter when they'd be glad of something more directly over their head (and around them) to keep breezes off and their body warmth nearby. However it would be SO easy to knock together some kind of 3-sided crudely-roofed sheltered area for them to roost in that I do not think the issue really affects the building's suitability as a coop. If you are concerned, whomp together a cold-weather shelter in there for them NOW, then they can use it whenever they want; otherwise just have materials and mental plans on hand, and keep an eye on them, and see what they seem to need. Some chickens would be perfectly fine all winter without any further shelter than that horse shed.

    Also, do you still think I would need the pavers? There is a lot of gravel around the building.

    I would not trust the gravel much. If you can get a pick and shovel into it, a hungry predator can dig through it. So chances are, yes I would still recommend pavers (or similar)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat, who lived in Durham for 6 years way back when (and ironically enough I now live in Durham region (county) Ontario, just down the road from Sandford ON, after having done a bunch of my fieldwork in NC just south of Sanford. We live in an odd world [​IMG])​
     
  10. sheps4her

    sheps4her Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I live in the Greensboro area, so not to far from Durham...and yes, Life is funny how it parallels itself! [​IMG].

    I will probably go with covering the back window, leaving the top right open(covered in HW cloth [​IMG]) and cover half of the left top wall above where the roosts will be. This will leave the other half of the wall open as well as the area over the door, which I will take your advice and cover somehow with HW as well. Hopefully, this will still leave them with enough ventilation... I hope to have Delawares as my breed..[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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