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Help me turn this into a coop!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by herwitsend, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. herwitsend

    herwitsend In the Brooder

    I have a corn crib in my yard that is not being used for anything right now (except junk storage). It is big. 12'x24' I would love to make a coop out of it. I am not sure where to begin. The walls are slatted for ventilating the corn, but obviously this is not suitable for housing chickens. I would like to have 2 runs and some way to divide the coop (for chicks, broodys, new birds, etc).

    If this was your building, what would you do to it?

    Go ahead, design me a coop! ;)

  2. goodbull92

    goodbull92 In the Brooder

    Feb 8, 2012
    NE Texas
    Wow!....I love the look as it is. But then again I love the rustic look. I myself would simply put some OSB plywood on the inside, so not to disturb the outer rustic charm & to cut down on drafts, & put together some nest boxes & roosts on the inside.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  3. Habibs Hens

    Habibs Hens Cream Legbar Keeper

    Mar 31, 2012
    London, UK
    My Coop
    gone are the days of making the moonshine

    say hello to the days of the EggShine :)

    this is only me but i see the shed a bit crooked and also because its slatted

    i would dismantle the whole thing and start again from the ground up

    using same wood and buying more new woon for perches,nestboxes and room

    just think of it as a house and make rooms the same way

    hope that helps
  4. herwitsend

    herwitsend In the Brooder

    This was my thought, as well! I love the look of the building and my great grandfather built it. The roof is sound, as is the floor. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of how to set up the interior to divide the space, allow access to the outdoors for both sides...
  5. laura877

    laura877 Songster

    Oct 18, 2011
    Attica, Mi
    First thing you need to do is level it. It looks like the floor is a bit droopy on the left side. What is the floor made out of? Is it just wood slats on 4x4's or something like that. Is it a dirt floor? I'm almost 61 and a woman and this is my kind of project. Your roof line on the right is a little droopy too. Don't even do anything on the inside until your structure is fairly level and solid. You would hate to design and build a beautiful inside only to have a big wind come along and blow the whole thing over. I know it probably has been standing ok for ages but it still needs to have a good support. I have a brood mare stall that is 12 x 20 so I have a good idea how big this.

    Then the next question is:
    Aare you going to have enclosed runs...how many?

    Did you want a space to keep your grain and other misc equipment?

    Did you want to let the chickens roost as high as they can? Some of mine roost over 20' in the air in the rafters of our indoor riding arena....and not because I want them too either. I just can't catch them to lock them in the coop.

    How many chickens are you planning on having"?

    Are you going to keep different breeds separate or together?

    Where do you think you will be with your chickens 5 years down the road?

    I'm assuming that its 12 wide where the door is and 24 long.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  6. suzeqf

    suzeqf Songster

    Mar 17, 2011
    What I would do is work from the inside out, I would put osd on the inside to cut down the drafts that way you still have the rustic look outside and it needs a like cosmetic work on the outside but nothing major. I would build one large community pen on one side with roost and nest boxes and I would have a "tack room" when you walk in the door and I would have 2-3 smaller pens for broody's and newbies and older chicks and if i had room I'd have a small infirmary pen in the "tack room" as for runs I would make a large one to take advantage of the trees on one side and small run on the other side for the momma's and older chicks.
  7. Indigosands

    Indigosands Songster

    Apr 9, 2012
    Yucca Valley, CA
    Oh wow, gorgeous!... well if it were me I'd divide it in two with a walkway down the middle. On the right make plywood "bins" for young babies and on the left chickenwire it in to the ceiling with a door and make the run out on the side that I'm guessing faces your house so you can enjoy watching them. :) I would put any additional supports and plywood on the inside to avoid changing the beautiful rustic outside of that building. Good luck, you've got some great "bones" to build off of there!

  8. bj taylor

    bj taylor Songster

    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    i think you have to stabalize the floor first since you say the roof is good.
    perhaps build your brooders/grow out pens/coop on one side with human walkway down the middle leaving a section for feed/tools/etc. on the other side.
    each section could have it's own pop door to the outside w/it's own run so you have a place birds can get acquainted without little ones or new ones getting beat up.
    if you can make it happen, run electricity & water to it.

    i have a hoop house of comparable size. i have dutch doors on both ends. my coop is 1/2 of one side (it accomodates 10-12 birds). my egg collection is done (when they're old enough to give me eggs) from inside the building, but i don't have to go inside the coop. it's like what you see on many coops, just indoors. the brooder is on the same side & takes the other half. that leaves my walkway which is about 4' wide & on the other side i have a work table & various tools. my coop has a human screen door from the interior walkway & the pop door leads directly outside into their run - so they aren't loose in the rest of the building but i can work in there, check on them, keep my feed dry etc. i have electricity so i have multiple plugs and believe it or not, i have a ceiling fan! i have a water spigot inside where i want to put a work sink & a spigot on each end outside. the whole think doubles as chicken habitat & potting shed & tool storage. i love it. it works really well.

    maybe you can shore up the building from the inside and cut down the draft without changing the exterior facade. especially since your great grandfather built it. that way you get the best of both worlds.

    whatever you decide it has great potential. let us know what you do.
  9. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Oh, don't I wish I had that!

    I agree with leveling up the building first. Also, check the roof for leaks, and fix them first, if the roof is bad all your efforts will be wasted.

    I would put 2 indoor coop areas leading out to 2 outside runs. The least expensive way would be to have the runs next to each other, as that would cut down on fencing costs, but you could run them out either side of the building if you didn;t want the birds to have direct contact. I would also include an area for food, bedding, etc. and place it depending on how you wanted your outdoor runs to attach. Good luck!
  10. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Songster

    Mar 20, 2012
    Southern PA
    Well that thing has stood for however many years, so as long as the roof doesn't leak and it hasn't already blown over, I would not be too worried about it. But I live in an old farmhouse where the corner stone is from 1898, so I may feel differently about these things...haha!

    I would line the edges around the bottom with the hardwire mesh angled against the floor and walls to prevent anything from getting in. Then I would line the inner walls with plywood up unto a foot and a half or two feet from the roof. Use more mesh from there to the roof, so the top bit gets ventilated through the slats. Built in ventilation!!! Awesome!

    On the inside you can use chicken wire to separate, since you will only be keeping chickens apart, not predators out. Make a few side-by-side rectangular runs so you can allow chicks to meet each other before integration. I would also make it so that the runs have pop-doors between them so the chickens could have use of all the space once integrated.

    Set it up like this: Walk to the human sized door into an entry way with storage tubs and the doors to the parallel runs in front of you. The runs go back to the back wall, where you can have small pop door sized holes cut into the wood that can IDEALLY be operated by a wire without having to go into the pen. Build a run off of the back of the building.

    You can have pull out nesting boxes lined up on the walls, with the openings facing the wall, and a little sill they have to climb over to get in. Build little hinged doors on the backs of them so you can get the eggs out, and if you need to clean them out from the bedding, just slide the whole set up off and dump it on the floor.

    Make roosting bars with poop boards underneath - you can make the poop boards into sand trays and use the horse stall refresher sweet PDZ on it - then you can scoop the poop off like cat litter, and it will smell better.

    That's how I would do it. Do you have electric or water near there? You can look into making water tanks that use a nipple system, or use adjustable height hanging food and water, and you can keep it by the human sized door.

    Have fun with your project!! You have a beautiful family!

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