Help-converting playhouse

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mnm, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. mnm

    mnm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Hey
    I was thinking of getting some chicks or chickens:ya and i have a whole bunch of questions.[​IMG]
    First:
    I have a tiny little play-house shed thing that my dad built for my kids when they were little. They've out grown it now, and don't use it, so i was wondering if i could convert it into a chicken coop. It's really cool though, it's even got real kitchen flooring (like that linoleum stuff, with squares on it?) and shelves and tables and everything. I would remove all the tables and chairs, but i still don't know if i would have to take the flooring out, or could i just put the shavings on top??? [​IMG]

    Also, the house is 7*6 ft, which is i think room for 2 chickens. My other question is: If i buy that kind of movable fencing, could i build a little pen in the yard for them to be in during the day and let them run around in that, and just have them sleep in the house? I would have a little shade structure in the pen too for them to use if it gets hot. If I could do that, could i keep three chickens instead of just two?
    Thanks allot
    mnm [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2008
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    7x6 feet? That's 42 square feet - enough room for at least 10 chickens going by the usual 4sq ft per chicken.

    Leave the lineoleum in - that will make sweeping out the shavings easier.

    can you attach the pen TO the playhouse, or are you wanting something movable to keep the grass from being totally removed down to bare ground? Either way will work, but if they are confined in a pen they will remove all vegetation pretty quickly.

    have fun with your chickens! If you look at the very top of the forum page there is a link there for coop designs, and there are many converted playhouses out there living a second life as a chicken coop!

    Have fun with your chickens and WELCOME!
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:As long as the flooring is secure around the edges and not loose or gappy, by all means leave it in, it makes cleanouts easier [​IMG] Many people (me included) have the floor that way and it can work well. Use extra bedding if it seems slippery with less.

    Also, the house is 7*6 ft, which is i think room for 2 chickens.

    They really really oughta have some outdoors space (see below), so assuming you give them a decent size run, you've actually got room for like 6-10 chickens if you *want*! [​IMG]

    Personally I would strongly recommend at least 3 chickens, since there are lotsa sad things that cna happen to a chicken and you don't want to lose one and then have to scramble around finding a disease-free compatible companion for the remaining one. Three gives you a touch more insurance. I actually had this happen last fall and was glad I started with 3 not 2.

    My other question is: If i buy that kind of movable fencing, could i build a little pen in the yard for them to be in during the day and let them run around in that, and just have them sleep in the house? I would have a little shade structure in the pen too for them to use if it gets hot.

    You could make a chicken tractor (=ark, in the U.K.) (=a moveable roofed pen) and move them around your yard that way, yeah.

    However it would be far simpler, and work a lot better overall, to make a permanent run attached to the coop. Something like 6-10 sq ft per chicken is fine, although of course more is even finer [​IMG] The ground inside it *will* go to dirt (you can top with sand or whatnot to make it look nicer nad be easier to clean) but that is true of ANYwhere you pen the chickens, and not really something to worry about.

    Not to say you couldn't *also* have a tractor if you decide you want, but it will just poo up a larger portion of your yard, and is much more management intensive, especially if it lacks living quarters. With a run, you just open the door to it every day and let 'em come and go at will. Or if you are REALLY SURE you have built a predator-proof run you could even consider leaving the door open 24/7.

    The problem with moveable fencing is that there is nothing really to stop 'em flying over it (yes, chickens can fly if they want) and it gives them basically zero protection against predators from land (dogs, foxes, raccoons, etc) or from the air (hawks, etc). Remember that pretty much everything bigger than a breadbox, and some things smaller than, regards chicken as The Original White Meat -- so they do take some good bit of protecting [​IMG]

    Hope this helps,

    Pat​
     
  4. mnm

    mnm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2008
    Massachusetts
    ohhh i thought it was 3-4 square feet for each chicken!!
    yeah, i was gonna make the pen out of movable fencing, that way the grass might live. We have a pretty big yard so i could give them a new place each week.
    thanks allot, it makes more sense now
    mnm [​IMG]
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    You have to show us photos when you get this hen house together. I love cute play houses recycled for hens and chicks!
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Uh, it is. Your playhouse is 6' x 7', yes? which is 6x7=42 square feet?

    [​IMG]


    Pat
     
  7. mnm

    mnm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Hey, just one more quick question for you wise guys.[​IMG]
    Do you need nest boxes if you don't have a rooster? And how many nest boxes would you need for five [​IMG]? One for each, or what?
    mnm [​IMG]
     
  8. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    yes hens will lay eggs without a rooster.you need 1 nest to 5 hens.
     

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