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Has anyone used a corn crib as a coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sangel4you, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. sangel4you

    sangel4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Halifax, Pennsylvania
    Loving the idea of using an old corn crib we were given as a coop, has anyone done that/ have pictures? Here are my ideas.

    Floor- is being cut off bc its old and rotted from sitting on wet ground. Plant to frame it in and put it about 2 feet off the ground. Planning on hardward cloth floor over 2x4s framed for the chickens. Then the half with the entrance door I plan on using as storage area and leaving it fenced off from the chicken half so that half I was just going to put a plywood floor.
    Door- will be an old screen door facing east reinforced with hardware cloth.
    The "chicken half" will be about 3x6' and I am planning on making just a simple hardware cloth door between their half and the storage half to allow for airflow. Though I am planning a wire floor, please know I plan on having the entire underside fenced off as part of the run and will bury wire to predator proof the run as well. Then because of the wind and predators I will probably put plywood onside the corn crib on their half, on the lower 2/3 (keeping in mind it will be 3 walls not four because the 4th will be the door to the storage area which faces the east and is inside the other screen door 4 feet away) I will then put hardward clothe on their half around the top 1/3 as well to keep the predators from trying to stick arms and whatnot in those slots. The other half I plan on basically leaving open as is except for the screen door and the hardware cloth/2x4 door separating the storage from the chickens. I dont think airflow will be a problem and Im hoping the extra layer of protection around their side in the winter is enough protection against the wind. If not, I may just wrap a tarp around the wind side.
    Roof- the roof is also old and caved in and will be cut off so I will be reframing the top with 2x4s and laying down a layer of plywood and covering it with corugated metal sheeting.
    The run I will cut a hole in their half for (need suggestions on how to make a door that opens from the outside of run)
    and open into their fenced in run. Covered with hardware cloth on sides and chicken wire tied in the top (plan on covering 1/2 the run if I have extra corrugated metal sheets) and burying hardware cloth 1 foot skirted. then I'll probably hang the food and water from under the crib itself. I also need to figure our how and where to put a door to clean out the poop and since both the original corn crib doors are about 5-6 feet high I likely wont be using them for anything. I know its hard to imagine but I kind of have it in my head and just want to make sure I covered all my bases and see pictures if anyone has ever done a corn crib coop before. I want to retain as much of the original look of the crib as I can.

    as a side note, I will be getting two of my hens before I even have it barely started (crib is coming later than it was supposed to be) and need some ideas for some temporary housing for them (maybe a week or 2) and wonder if ya'll think they'll be ok to free range during the day and still come back to their temp housing just to sleep?
     
  2. sangel4you

    sangel4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Halifax, Pennsylvania
    oh! Also I forgot, my brother wants to get two ducks and Ive heard they can be housed with the chickens (they are actually growing up with my 4 week old buff orphs now) but what/how do they sleep? What modifications to my typical coop do I need to make for them?
     
  3. sangel4you

    sangel4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Halifax, Pennsylvania
    um anyone? :-(
     
  4. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to the fun. Got any photos of the crib you are getting?

    Here are some notes to consider:

    Make sure the screen door frame is strong enough to stop a dog jumping on it.

    Be sure the base is all weather wood or treated wood so it doesn't rot again. Plywood will need to be painted or marine grade due to water splash, delaminating and rot

    Unless you're fighting rats, mice, snakes, weasels etc, don't bother with a hardware cloth floor. It's hard to clean. How about steeing dorect on the ground and fill the floor in with pea gravel? It would allow water to pass thru and absorb into the ground. Or you could use D1 compactable gravel and it sets up like concrete.

    Skirting around the run can be simply attached to the base of the run or the wire and laid flat. Digging it in is a lot of work and loosens the ground for the diggers. Laid on the ground allows the grass to grow thru and you can mow right over it.

    Ducks and geese can run with chickens with no issues. They may want their own house on the ground and you will have to decide what to do about their food as they will steal each other's feed.

    If your run is skirted, wire topped, and solid, you don't need to worry about a securable coop door and this allows you to water and feed outside the coop in a dry area
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I wouldn't want a wire floor in areas that get cold winters (I'd presume Penn. does) - but I don't like wire floors anyhow - rough on their feet. Plus with a wire floor, I'm not seeing (based on your description) how you'd keep it draft free??? The plywood around the inside sounds good (because corn cribs are nothing but drafts).
    I kind of get the idea that you'd like to add birds (besides two chickens, two ducks) down the road, so I'd permit more space for the bird section. Being located where you are, I'd go for the min. 4 sq. ft of indoor space generally recommended on this site, in case you add another one or two chickens down the road. Keep in mind that what seems spacious for little chicks/ducklings and in warm weather begins to look rather crowded when those same birds are the size of housecats and they're staying inside a lot due to cold and snow.

    I would not presume that you can free range them in any new place - temp. housing or perm. housing. If it's new, they don't know it's home/safe place, so they probably won't automatically come back. I would rig some fencing for the week or two it'll take you to redo the corn crib.
     
  6. sangel4you

    sangel4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Halifax, Pennsylvania
    ok, thanks every one for your input! DEf ruled out the wire floor now and am making some modifications on the rest.... So excited I picked up my babies last night now I REALLY have to get moving!
     
  7. homesteadmomma

    homesteadmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Parke Co. Indiana
    Here is a pic of our corn crib that was eventually converted to a coop. It's a lot bigger than your dimensions, but I can tell you what I did. The open squares at the top are now covered in hardware cloth. We also have doors that will cover them in the winter when that much air flow is not desired. I filled in the original door on the right with the original slats that just slide in down to chicken height. The floor was original and still in great shape, it's wood, although I couldn't tell you exactly what kind. I've just been using pine shavings in there. I wanted to leave it looking like the original corn crib, so I screwed very thin plywood to the inside that could be easily removed if I didn't want it to be a coop any longer. The roosts are along the right side.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. sangel4you

    sangel4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Halifax, Pennsylvania
    thanks for the picture! I actually havent logged in since then as we have been busy working! Its about done! I have my run and nest boxes and some painting outside to finish but the chickens have been living in it for a week now....will post pics when done but it seems to be working! :) Did end up basically tearing it apart and using the sides....my coop is more square than rectangle and we had an entire 6 foot ssection that was rotted out that we couldnt use, but I think it looks cute!
     
  9. sangel4you

    sangel4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    831
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    139
    Apr 11, 2009
    Halifax, Pennsylvania

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