Has anyone converted an outbuilding?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cathnmike, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. cathnmike

    cathnmike In the Brooder

    Oct 29, 2011
    Hi there.

    I live in an old farmhouse in Italy. There is a chicken house and run within the grounds which I'm planning to restore. It's made of the same old stone as the main house which is great as it retains warmth in the winter but keeps it cool in the summer. It has a tiled roof and structurally it's in very good condition.

    But inside, it's more or less just four walls. It has small windows which are open, but no perches or anything else. It also does not have electricity.

    I'm reading as much as I can so I know what my chickens will need when I get them in the spring, but I'm finding all the masses of information quite confusing. [​IMG]

    I was wondering whether anyone has converted either an outbuilding or a shed and could post some pics so I can get a few ideas? I really want to get this right!

    Many thanks.

  2. pawsplus

    pawsplus Songster

    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    I think you would get more responses if you posted some pix of what you're starting w/ --inside and out. Then we can make suggestions!

    I envy you living on a farm in Italy!
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
  4. ozark_chickies

    ozark_chickies Songster

    Jun 19, 2011
    We turned an old 1930's well/wash house into a chicken house. All we did was add roost, nestboxes, modern windows, and a pop door. It doesn't take much for a chicken to be happy, just the basics, like roosts , nest boxes, room to move around in, and light. Make sure the building is weather proof, and leak free, has good ventilation (usually not a problem on older buildings), and is predator proof.
  5. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Deciding how much you want to clean up after the chickens would be where I would start. Do you want to scoop poop every day or just occassionally? Will the chickens need to stay inside more then outside? How often do you want to go out to the coop? I consider my coop to be a work in progress and not finished - ever!

    In my coop I have a manure board and roost over top of it with external nest boxes that I will get the eggs from outside the coop. But in a big building you could just as easily have little file boxes or buckets on the ground for nest boxes. As long as your roost area is higher then the nest boxes the chickens will sleep up on the roost and not try to sleep in the nest boxes normally. The reason being the chickens poop while they sleep and you don't want all that poop in the place where they lay their eggs.

    You could put a big long 2x4 board from one side of the room to the other up on saw horses or brace it on the wall to serve as a roost. Put something under it to catch most of the poop if you intend to clean every day or cover your floor with pine shavings if you want to leave the poop to build up and use the deep litter method. I scoop the poop every day because I have a manure board and am using sand in the manure board. I am considering removing the board and going with the deep litter method and a different roost - but maybe I'll leave it the same - this is my first year of having chickens and this coop - so I'm still trying to decide if I like cleaning up after them every single day. [​IMG]

    You could put a big old 3 gallon container for food and one for water and only check on them a few times a week (or daily if you're like me). I have my food inside the coop and the water inside & outside. I put treats outside and dust bath container in the run.

    Chickens aren't too picky - they'll be happy enough with food, water and shelter and it sounds like that shed will be a perfect place for them.

    My older chicks hanging out on the roost over the manure board. The red thing in the forefront is my automatic coop door - definitely a great buy.

    Nest boxes - although we haven't used them yet as my oldest is just 16 weeks - so they may change again later.

    Looking across inside the coop from the "storage" side - that I haven't been able to use as a storage yet because I keep using it as an outside brooder

    Shows the manure board over storage area. The only thing I don't like about this set up is the chicks like to sit on the very back edge of the manure board against the chicken wire and poop - it drops into my storage area. Not good.

    Over the summer months I had both a 3 gallon feeder and a 3 gallon waterer hanging inside the coop. It replaced the long red chick feeder.

    Almost recent picture of my coop from the front outside - I've since moved that exercise pen outside the run and put in a bunch of treat areas and a dust bath tub

    Hope this helps.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by