Converting kids playhouse . . . what do we need?

minniemom

Hatching
8 Years
Feb 21, 2011
8
0
7
We are planning to get a dozen chickens in the next couple of weeks. We are going to be converting my kids old playhouse into the coop. It's a nice size - 12 x 12, so I think there will be plenty of room, but I'm trying to figure out what additions/modifications we need to make. We'll also be free ranging the chickens a good bit and have a nice, fenced-in area for them already planned.

I know we'll need about 4 nesting boxes. What about "perch poles" - not sure exactly what they're called! For a dozen chickens, how much length do we need? There is ventilation in the coop now - windows/vents. There are two doors that both lock tightly so I'm hoping we won't have any problems with nighttime predators.

What else should we be considering? I keep thinking we must be missing something! Are poop boards necessary? If so, do these just go under the perch poles that they sleep on?

We're thinking of using the sand method for the floor of the coop. Any other thoughts?

Thanks!
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,802
27,228
1,077
St. Louis, MO
We are planning to get a dozen chickens in the next couple of weeks. We are going to be converting my kids old playhouse into the coop. It's a nice size - 12 x 12, so I think there will be plenty of room, but I'm trying to figure out what additions/modifications we need to make. We'll also be free ranging the chickens a good bit and have a nice, fenced-in area for them already planned.

I know we'll need about 4 nesting boxes. What about "perch poles" - not sure exactly what they're called! For a dozen chickens, how much length do we need? There is ventilation in the coop now - windows/vents. There are two doors that both lock tightly so I'm hoping we won't have any problems with nighttime predators.

What else should we be considering? I keep thinking we must be missing something! Are poop boards necessary? If so, do these just go under the perch poles that they sleep on?

We're thinking of using the sand method for the floor of the coop. Any other thoughts?

Thanks!
I like the size. Most people try to cram too many into too small a space.
The roosts need to be about 1 linear foot per large fowl. Eventually they won't use it all but until they get chummy it gives room for those lower in the pecking order. They also need to be flat rather than round. They're not perching birds. A 2X4 works well. It should be wide enough to allow them to cover their toes with their feathers in cold weather. So I would run the roost the length of the back of the building.
Put a 1X4 or wider board across all openings at the bottom to keep the litter from falling out when the door opens.
The bedding depends on your climate. Many people rave about sand but I like pine shavings. On cleanouts I put everything in the compost pile. I think in my cold humid winters sand would get hard.
You want the nests close to the chicken door so they don't have to track through feces to lay.
Having electricity is a plus as is nearby access to water.
I don't use poop boards but they are very helpful.
For ventilation, 1 square foot per bird of openings is a minimum. The more ventilation the better keeping respiratory diseases and humidity at bay. They produce a lot of moisture in their feces and respiration.
Cover the windows with hardware cloth. You can put that over the screens. The screens will keep flies and mosquitos out and the hardware cloth keeps the raccoons out.
Make sure the roosts are higher than the nests or they'll sleep in the nests.
 

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