coop repair help?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MontanaDolphin, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2013
    Columbia, Virginia
    Hi! I am new here, and just posted my introduction in the new members section.

    Hubby and I just moved into our first purchased home a month ago. We live on 8 1/2 mostly wooded acres. The previous owners of the house had chickens, and I am assuming they built the coop, since they bought the land and built the home.

    The coop is not in the best condition. It is attached to some sort of shed, which I believe it is the "slaughter" house, since there is metal splash guards on the walls where the table/counter top is.

    I know nothing about chicken coops, except for some obvious things, like needing to make it predator proof, and you need nesting boxes for the chickens to lay their eggs. Therefore, some of the questions I have may seem silly, and I apologize ahead of time.

    The coop is not secure. It is missing a door to the bottom three nesting boxes (I'm guessing that's what they are). The back side door is wide open, with no way to secure it closed.

    There is a lot of rotted or rotting wood. I've already removed some of the bad wood, and replaced what I could with materials I had on hand. I will need to get some particle board/plywood to replace the base of the bottom three nesting boxes, as well as the three vertical ones towards the back.

    I removed all the old "litter", since I don't know what condition their chickens were in, and because I found a LOT of mouse droppings all over the place. I want to start fresh, with no risk of contamination when it comes to my chickens. The "litter" was spread over vinyl flooring/linoleum. The linoleum was curled into tubes on the edges, and mice had made nests in them. Needless to say, I ripped out the linoleum and took it to the dump.

    Here are some questions.

    First, do I replace the linoleum that was covering the particle wood floor? If not, do I just get some new straw and layer it over the wood floor? I would think not, since the droppings will make the floor wet. But I need to know what I should put down, without costing a fortune. How about the nesting boxes? Each one had linoleum on top of the wood as well.

    Does it need ventilation? There is a pexiglass window at the top, but no way to open it. The only way they would get ventilation is if I leave the door open.

    With the "slaughter house", there are two windows that have screens so air can come in, and the door is a two-part door, so you can open just the top, just the bottom, or both together. Would this be a good place for the chicks when I get some?

    I'm sure I'll have more questions, but that's all I can think of regarding the coop right now. I am going to try to add some pics so you can use the images for reference.

    Thank you!

    INSIDE OF COOP BEFORE

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    SIDE OF COOP BEFORE
    [​IMG]

    FRONT OF COOP AND "SLAUGHTER HOUSE" BEFORE
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    REMOVING ROTTEN WOOD FROM BOTTOM AND TOP NESTING BOXES SECTION
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    FINISHED REPLACING ROTTEN WOOD, EXCEPT FOR BOTTOM WHERE I NEED PLYWOOD OR PARTICLE BOARD
    [​IMG]

    INSIDE OF COOP AFTER REMOVING OLD LITTER AND LINOLEUM
    [​IMG]

    REMOVED BACK PANEL TO REMOVE ROTTEN PARTICLE BOARD FOR THREE VERTICAL NESTING BOXES
    [​IMG]

    INSIDE OF "SLAUGHTER HOUSE". THE LINOLEUM ON THE FLOOR IS THE SAME AS WHAT WAS IN THE COOP.
    [​IMG]

    INSIDE OF SLAUGHTER HOUSE...SEE THE LINOLEUM CURLED INTO TUBE? THAT'S WHAT IT WAS LIKE IN THE COOP. I HAVEN'T REMOVED THIS YET, AND WON'T TILL I SEE IF I CAN AFFORD TO REPLACE IT. WILL HAVE TO DISINFECT THIS PLACE, TOO. I ASSUME THIS WAS USED TO SLAUGHTER THE CHICKENS, SINCE THERE'S THE METAL SPLASH GUARDS ON THE WALL.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jakoda

    Jakoda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2012
    Old Lyme CT
    Hi, welcome and hey nice building to work with:)

    This is what I would do, (keep in mind I am not an expert but have built my chickens an area off my dutch barn)..

    I would gut that "slaughter room", I'd powerwash the entire building making sure you get rid of any "stuff" ..I'd use the slaughter part for the chickens. Use the chicken part for "storage". I'd make sure any litle cracks were plugged up to keep out 'critters'..I'd then either put some cheap linoleum on the floor or I bought those foam mats that fit together like a puzzle? pretty cheap, at BJ's Wholesale 8/ 2x2 ft for 17.00..You can probably find them online.

    The thing is I would cover the floor with 'something', particle board gets wet and just disinigrates(sp)..

    You could most likely reuse some of the wood taken out..like the bench in the slaughter house? You could make a nice poop board/roost/put your nesting boxes underneath (look in the Coops section here, tons of ideas for inside your coop)

    As for the windows, I would put 1/2 mesh (hardware cloth) over them to again, keep out critters.. You can get 'vent's really cheap at lowes/home depot and cut out a piece of the siding towards the roof for ventilation.

    Ck craigslist! If you need a new door, you might be able to pick up one cheap.

    I think the most important thing is, to thoroughly clean the building, make sure it's predator proof, include mice/rats, cover the flooring with something ..

    Looks like a fun project ! Hope I helped some:)
    Diane
     
  3. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2013
    Columbia, Virginia
    Thank you for the suggestions, Diane!
    I don't think I want to use the "slaughter house" as the main place for the chickens...not yet, anyway. The reason being is that I am starting small. I will only be raising a maximum of 6 chickens, because I've never done it before, and I want to make sure I don't overwhelm myself. I had planned on power washing the space though...bleaching as well, I don't trust what's been in there for the past year to year and a half (that's our estimate on how long the place has been vacant based on what the neighbors told us). I also plan on bleaching and power washing the coop as well. I read that sprinkling DE on the floor will help with the bugs...I have some, I use it for my food storage.It is also helpful on keeping moisture down.

    My problem now is the weather. The day I gutted the coop was nice, and unusual for this time of year. The close to freezing temps the coming week will be keeping me from doing any more to it.
     
  4. Jakoda

    Jakoda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2012
    Old Lyme CT
    well from the pics it certainly looks like you have enough room in the chicken area for 6 chicks..I'm sure you'll do FINE with them! Good that your power washing , I would run a poop board/roost/nesting boxes underneath right along one of those long walls if you can..That will save on space to..

    And YES on the DE,,I throw it on the floor of my coop underneath shavings, in nest boxes, in the poop board as well, and out in their run ...Works good for bugs and stuff.

    Weather here is awful I'm waiting on spring to rebuild my coop just way to nasty and cold right now:(
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Lots of good advice. Your chickens will love having that much space!

    For 6 chickens you need only one or two nest boxes.

    Personally I would not spend money on DE. It is expensive and doesn't do much except absorb some moisture, and kill eggs in feed. When it's wet it doesn't do anything. If you want something to help dry things out, which the pine shavings will mostly do on their own, get a horse product like StallDri, or a bag of pelletized lime. The latter is my preference. A handful does a lot, also helps control odor if things happen to get wet, or your coop needs cleaning. DE is a widely debated product here, sometimes claimed to control internal worms and external lice/mites. It does not kill worms internally, and does little against lice/mites.

    here's a great article on ventilation, if you haven't seen it.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...-go-out-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop
     

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