Help me convert this deck into a coop

nuevaburro

Hatching
6 Years
May 1, 2013
3
0
7
Since moving into our house 2 years ago, we have been undecided what to do with the "deck to nowhere" on the west side of the house (the previous owner built a deck, but no door to it). We recently acquired our first two chickens, and are looking to expand our flock (me wanting more adorable chickens, significant other wanting more eggs). Our current coop is small and somewhat temporary. So two birds with one stone, so to speak, would be to convert the old deck into a new, larger coop to house more chickens.

Here are photos of the deck:



It is about 5 1/2 ' x 5 1/2 ' and a foot and a half off the ground. As you can see, it is mostly being used as a storage space for spare junk right now.

So, does anyone have any tips for design, or features you find indespensible in your current coops? What would you or wouldn't you do, starting from a structure like this?


Some design considerations:
  1. We live in the suburbs, so probably no more than 4-6 hens total is ideal.
  2. We live in Wisconsin, so extreme cold and a fair amount of heat are both expected. The coop has to be able to be winterized in some way.
  3. I'm lazy. I don't want to have to bend over, lift, clean, etc. any more than necessary.
  4. Building materials will mostly be scraps, recycled/repurposed, etc. since the budget is pretty small (we still have renovations to do on the human house). The good news is we have lots of various scrap wood, extra insulation, etc. around and lots of chicken wire from our old temporary backyard fence.
  5. It faces the neighbors, so it would be good if it also wasn't a total eyesore.

Thanks for reading!
 

chfite

Songster
8 Years
Jun 7, 2011
2,171
122
214
Taylors, SC
Taking the upper portion of the deck and removing the small boards in the railing would allow you to use the 4 x 4 structure as a framework for the coop. It appears that it would be high enough to avoid stooping to clean.

Remove the stairs to allow more working space. The chickens won't need them. The pavers could be used to make a skirt around the run to deter digging.

The cold might not be much of a problem. The waste heat from the house will provide some warmth. Chickens are rather hardy in the cold, needing more protection from the heat. It appears that the trees in the background could shade the coop and run, depending upon what side of the house the deck is on.

Overall, I wonder about the wisdom of blocking this exterior door. I realize that the deck is quite a bit lower than the door, but the doorway might be critical in the time of needing to escape in a fire. Your building and fire safety code may require two accessible exits for your house.

Removing the deck entirely, installing steps to the doorway, and building the coop elsewhere might be a worthy consideration.

Chris
 

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