Fixing up a coop

Justicedog

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2012
267
271
231
Maryland
When I started with chickens 10 years ago, I'd bought a nice, Amish made, expensive coop, as my husband isn't a builder and, unlike me, has no inclination to try. I'd said that our first egg cost us about $1000. I guess I'd thought this coop was going to last us forever. However, it's in need of some repair and sprucing up. Some carpenter bees have gotten to it, the stain is wearing off, the chicken ramp and coop door is rotting. A window was broken and needs to be replaced. I'd also love to turn around the windows so that they open from the outside, rather than the inside so I don't have to climb in to open the windows. I have no idea what they were thinking when they designed that - like the chickens are going to open and close the windows.

A few of my questions are:

Can one paint the outside of the coop while the chickens are still living in the coop?

I was thinking of painting the inside of the coop as well, but don't think I can manage that with the chickens.

Any suggestions for type of paint? I think it's stained, but that seems to be wearing off.

Spiders have also made a home of the coop - inside and outside (I'd have thought the chickens would eat them, but apparently mine aren't into that). Is there something I can use to get rid of the spiders and sometimes ants? I've used the food grade DE inside the coop whenever I saw them. They seem to hang out around the nesting boxes when they come in.

Any suggestions for getting rid of carpenter bees and wasps? I have spray for them, but, don't want to spray around the chickens or where a dead bee/wasp may fall and a chicken eat it.

I'm also redoing the run and have that plan almost figured out. But thought if I was redoing that, it would be the better time to paint and fix the coop. I'm not sure how this is going to be all done in a day. :) I'm planning on painting the wood framing for the run as well as having it be pressure treated wood. The linseed oil didn't really hold up all that well, back in the day, I'd been concerned about using pressure treated wood with the chickens.

The final question is about timing of integrating my new chicks. Would it be better to do it at the same time as the changing of the run and painting of the coop? Or would the old chickens blame the new chicks for the upheaval?

I plan to have half of the coop netted off for the new chicks to live with the old chickens for several weeks before letting them co-mingle. The one (out of 8) nesting boxes that the now only one hen is using to lay is on the new chicken side, so that may tick my one laying hen off. Though last time, 5 years ago, that didn't seem to be a problem.

Anyway, I'd appreciate your thoughts. And is there something I'm not thinking about and should?
 

Justicedog

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2012
267
271
231
Maryland
Here are some pictures
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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
19,443
40,134
1,112
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Painting outside is doable (I do touch ups, let it surface dry, then let chickens have access to coop again), painting inside while they're occupying it is tougher and I wouldn't bother with it.

Spiders I just knock down with a broom. Mine will eat them at least. No experience with bees/wasps setting up in a coop though.

For integration, taking advantage of work/changes around the coop is actually ideal, as they'll serve as a distraction to the existing flock. I would consider bringing in the chicks as soon as the work in the coop is done, but still plan on having the chicks in a separated, safe area for the hens to see but not touch.
 

Malkaris

Songster
Sep 20, 2020
127
241
116
ATL Canada
I'd leave the spiders and hope they go to war with the carpenter bees... I love spiders though!

What I do for exterior paint is make sure I'm painting in the morning outside the run so it has plenty of time to dry when they're outside. Inside the run maybe once they're back in the coop, but that's tricky if you're painting near the vents. Then I do a bit at a time, planning to make sure anything that's wet will be out of their reach.
 

fuzzyfarmer

Chirping
Mar 9, 2021
50
105
83
Just a word of caution about paint... My chickens apparently love to peck at painted wood. I think mine are weird, but they did eat an actual quarter-sized hole in the side of their coop by going after the wood --___-- I wish I'd used natural paint but didn't think of it - I didn't think they would try to eat the paint!

As for wasps and bees and ants, permethrin is an insecticide approved for use in chicken coops (just make sure you buy the right dilution) and is very safe once it is dry. (Also works great for mosquitoes!) I've also heard that orange oil concentrate works on bees, wasps, and ants and it's very safe. Bonus, it'll make the coop smell great! But you may want to check that it's safe for chickens' lungs.
 

Justicedog

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2012
267
271
231
Maryland
Just a word of caution about paint... My chickens apparently love to peck at painted wood. I think mine are weird, but they did eat an actual quarter-sized hole in the side of their coop by going after the wood --___-- I wish I'd used natural paint but didn't think of it - I didn't think they would try to eat the paint!

As for wasps and bees and ants, permethrin is an insecticide approved for use in chicken coops (just make sure you buy the right dilution) and is very safe once it is dry. (Also works great for mosquitoes!) I've also heard that orange oil concentrate works on bees, wasps, and ants and it's very safe. Bonus, it'll make the coop smell great! But you may want to check that it's safe for chickens' lungs.
Thanks. I ended up spraying everything with permethrin as I discovered I had a mite issue. I even ended up dipping the poor birds in it as well. In a couple days I'll do a big scrub down and respray. I need to get my new chicks out there ASAP. Poor kids are in the garage brooder. So, I'm thinking the painting will end up having to wait until these guys are integrated.

I did notice one of the stupid carpenter bees put a hole all the way through the wood. Maybe I should keep them as this coop likely needs more ventilation.
 

fuzzyfarmer

Chirping
Mar 9, 2021
50
105
83
Thanks. I ended up spraying everything with permethrin as I discovered I had a mite issue. I even ended up dipping the poor birds in it as well. In a couple days I'll do a big scrub down and respray. I need to get my new chicks out there ASAP. Poor kids are in the garage brooder. So, I'm thinking the painting will end up having to wait until these guys are integrated.

I did notice one of the stupid carpenter bees put a hole all the way through the wood. Maybe I should keep them as this coop likely needs more ventilation.

Carpenter bees will use the same nest year after year and expand it. It can eventually cause structural problems. Or you could leave them and just replace that chunk of wood when it gets too badly damaged, I guess. (Beware that while generally not aggressive, male carpenter bees defend their nests in the fall and can sting. So if you do want to cut out their nest - and maybe relocate it to a nearby tree? - wait until they are dormant during cold weather.) I have "pet" carpenter bees that set up a nest in a spare piece of lumber I had lying around. I don't have the heart to spray them, and I think they're cute. My house is made out of rocks, though. I'd probably find them less cute if it were wood.

I think next time I do a coop, I'm not going to bother staining or painting any of the wood. I'll use something weather resistant and when it gets gross, it'll go in the wood chipper and I'll replace boards as needed. My husband spent forever scraping off old paint, shop-vac'ing up the paint chips that fell off the tarp, and applying 2 coats of new paint... all for what >.<;
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
19,443
40,134
1,112
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Just a word of caution about paint... My chickens apparently love to peck at painted wood. I think mine are weird, but they did eat an actual quarter-sized hole in the side of their coop by going after the wood --___-- I wish I'd used natural paint but didn't think of it - I didn't think they would try to eat the paint!
Mine eat paint too. I wrapped light bird netting around the bottom couple feet of the coop (it hooks onto screws at the corners) and that's mostly stopped it, but any area not covered, like the human door, gets paint pecked.
 

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