Converting Shed/Stable to Chicken House (piccs)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by eskimokiss, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. eskimokiss

    eskimokiss New Egg

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    Sep 10, 2007
    Hi All
    I am only new to this forum and I am wanting to convert an old shed/stable on our property to a chicken house and would like some thoughts on what would be best to do with it!

    I have a few ideas about what might work, but as I will be a first time chicken owner I would like some expert advice and ideas!

    Here are some pictures of the existing shed....

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    This is the existing shed and yard.

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    Shed/stable

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    Ideas we were thinking of doing....

    - inside the shed building frame with mesh from stable door frame to back to close off to make the chicken coop ie. with mesh and door to allow entry.
    - making nesting boxes at back left or other corner with external egg collecting so we don't need to go inside the chicken coop to collect each day.
    - roosting perches maybe in front left of shed in ladder type style
    - flooring using wood shavings or hay.

    The shed has previously had chickens in there by the last owners (years and years ago) and any gaps etc are filled with mesh. But we wanted to use mesh to put on the frame to prevent any nasty predators such as snakes from getting in!

    Would love to hear what you think and any other ideas that might work!

    Thanks, Nicole :)
     
  2. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2007
    Massachusetts
    Hi there and welcome to the board. That is going to be a beautiful coop! It is a good size so you will be able to have a nice flock. Your ideas all sound just fine to me but I take it you are in an area of snakes? How about winter? If severe the front will have to be closed in or covered to keep out the elements.
    I also noticed the whole pen is open so it looks like it was used for a horse, pony or goats maybe? If you wanted to you could put netting on top of a section of it that they could go into should you have hawk problems. I love that little flowering tree in there and that to will provide protection and shade for them.
    It is a nice set-up to work with. Everyone on here will have tons of good ideas doe you![​IMG]
     
  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Thats a great starter! Where do you live? Does it get very cold there in the winter? Looks pretty large as well. What are the dimensions?( I bet you can have LOTS of chicks in there!) The nest boxes woud be great on the side...not the back. They would get too much daylight shining in on them. I know my chickens like the nest box in the darkest corner of the coop. They have 8 nest boxes, but prefer the one thats in the darkest area. ( Time for me to redo the nest boxes) The door....well....you might want to add another on top of the existing door. They can swing independantly....but just to have a way to close them in secure at night. Congrats! Looks like a great coop! Oh, and welcome to BYC! Lots of great people here!
     
  4. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    What a nice setup. Did the person who had chickens say if they got out? I could picture them all roosting on the fence rails. I'm imagining all the breeds i would be able to get with all that space.
     
  5. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!!!

    Very nice place! Yes, I, too, can see birds roosting on the fence rails. [​IMG]

    I'm not sure what you mean by mesh wire. If you mean common chicken wire, many preditory critters, esp. coons, can tear right through it. Chicken wire only keeps chickens in not preditors out. So, for the windows you'd be far better off to use welded wire, even 2x4" welded wire though 1/2" hardware cloth would be better. And, since you're thinking of shavings for bedding look at ways you can protect the windows from rain coming in. Maybe just wood or plexiglass hinged on top so you can prop it open for air and light but it would be like a little roof to keep the rain out. I think your idea of building a wall, even a wire wall, inside from the front door post to the back for the coop is a great idea. It would have it's own door and you'd have all that space from the outside door back to store feed and stuff. Great! You will need a top part for the outside door, though, to keep the critters and chickens from going over and getting into the feed. But plan for them to go right over the fence and into your yard.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2007
  6. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    If it was me, I would make the door Solid from the top to bottom. Then I would add a 2x4 in the middle of each of the openings that are screened. You could then make coverings hinged on the top out of plywood or framed with plexiglass. They could be lifted and braced open during the day for air and ventaliation and then closed during bad weather or night.

    If you wanted you could also partition the shed in two sections to keep different breeds or set up a maternity ward and growing out pen. Leave the opening from the door to the back open for supplies and entry and exit for the birds if you do not want to cut a hole in the side for a chicken door. Your have a wonderful building for an excellent coop. Good Luck in your project
     
  7. eskimokiss

    eskimokiss New Egg

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    Sep 10, 2007
    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome [​IMG]

    I live down under in Australia, in sunny Queensland. It doesn't get too cold here in winter, we are in the hinterland, so we sometimes get frosts early morning, but I think it will be warm enough. My neighbours have chickens that are much less protected than ours would be in the shed and they seem to do ok!

    When we first moved in there were remains of chicken pen in there, ie. partially pulled down perches, chicken wire etc and the outside had chicken wire put in around star pickets. We removed everything out, redid the floor and built the fence around the outside as we were using it as a dog house/pen area. But prior to that I believe that it was used as a stable.

    justusnak: thanks for letting me know the side is best for the nesting boxes...yes, hadn't thought of that they would like the darkest spot. Good idea!

    BeckyLa: Yeah, I mean the welded mesh wire (ie. the strong one with squares - like in pet enclosures). I am not really fond of chicken wire, plus snakes just go right thru it. I was thinking I might have a better chance with the stronger wire (can't you tell I am worried about snakes lol!!) The outside perimeter fence is pretty secure as it was built as a dog pen, so large predators can't get in or out. Also I like the idea to protect a little more from the rain with the wood up the top.

    So the inside sectioning off seems like a good idea? I suppose I was wanting to as well thinking it would be a slightly smaller area to clean and cover with the wood shavings or straw and also have a storage/cleaning area within.

    In regards to making the door for the chickens to go in and out into the yard, I was thinking of putting it somewhere under the screened off section so it will be in their closed in section.
    Is it ok just to put it so they run in and out straight at ground level, or is it better to have it a little higher up and put a little ramp in? And then what do you do on the other side....do you have a little landing and another ramp? I saw this dog kennel....would this be any good to put on the other side? Or something that we make similar to that?

    [​IMG]

    Now about the outside yard, yes, I can imagine them roosting on the rails as well. lol! We don't mind them getting out and going into our property as we have nearly 3 acres and are happy for them to roam a little. I am not sure about the situation with clipping wings/ or one wing to stop them flying away. What are your thoughts on this? I am also not sure of the type of birds we will get yet....got to do the coop first!! But have started dreaming about them! Gee they are a little addictive aren't they :) My plan was to keep them in the shed at night so they are safe and protected, and possibly keep them in there on rainy cold days with some out time in the yard, then on regular days let them out into the yard, with some periods of the day out into our property as well. All our neighbours chickens briefly come onto our property but they don't seem to range too far away from their home boundaries. Is this generally the case?
     
  8. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Sectioning it off, really depends on how many chickens you want to put in there. Just remember, they need 4 sq ft per standard size chicken and 3 hens to a nest box. I just love your coop! Of course, wouldnt work for us here in Indiana, USA.....winters are bitter cold at times.
    When the chicks get used to thier coop, and going back in at roost time....there will be no worries. If you start with chicks, not full grown, they will know "home". Once they are older, they will wander a little bit, but not too far. Mine have 5 acres, and stick pretty close to the coop at all times.
     

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