How to convert to a coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by eep123, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. eep123

    eep123 In the Brooder

    Jul 28, 2008
    Hey guys. I just got this for free from some people my mom met. They used to raise chickens. Its completely open and covered in hardware cloth. Its starting to get cooler at night and i want to keep my little ones out so I'll need to enclose it. I have two 2 month olds and a fully grown cornish x (who can't walk properly) so I want to enclose it. Any suggestions on what to do to all of it so the chickens will be warm enough in the winter but still cool in the warm Florida summers?




  2. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Songster

    Hey Buddy,

    You Scored !!!

    We just got a Chicken Hutch over the weekend to keep our Cochins in the basement in on very cold nights. It has screened in sides all the way around. They use thin pieces of pressure treated wood with holes drilled in it and supply you with bolts, washers and wing nuts to hold the wood to the screens... YOU could do something like that. Measure one end, half the sides, and half the bottom dimensions VERY carefully. Then maybe subtract an inch from each of those respective dimensions. Write it all down piece by piece on paper. Get your folks to take you to a place like Lowe's or Home Depot - they will cut wood (even 1/2 inch plywood would be FINE) to your dimensions, they charge for the cuts but it is dirt easy on you this way...

    Do those measurements carefully - as my carpenter handy neighbor says "measure twice, cut once". The hardware cloth has pretty small holes (I think 1/2 inch) so get bolts that fit thru those holes. And matching wing nuts and BIG FAT washers... It doesn't matter exactly where you drill the holes in the wood to hold them (with the bolts, wing nuts and washers) but kinda near each side and the middle will do... And it'll be just fine for where you are.

    I'm excited for you - that is a great find you got


    I'm supplying a photo of our Chicken Hutch, on the sides you can see how the wood is held up against the screen material... That's our bantam cochin Rooster Tony and our new girl Strawberry Alice, she's kind of a mixed breed bantam cochin, sweet as pie

  3. LeeLeesFarm

    LeeLeesFarm Songster

    Mar 28, 2008
    So. California

    Well, bigmike&nan gave some good advice about the washers to hold the plywood in place .... i never thought of that.

    I simply went to Home Depot and got the plywood cut to size and then just slipped the cut pieces into the 'rabbit hutch now turned chicken coop'.

    I than put bricks on the floor of the coop to hold the plywood in place against the screen walls. The cut plywood goes right up to roof level, so the plywood does not fall down at all as the roof 'holds' the top in place and the bricks 'hold' the bottoms in place.

    I also put plywood on the floor screen, and for my cold Southern California nights, I have shredded newspaper on the flooring for them to nestle into. (The hay used to slip out the screen holes and make to much of a mess on the ground to clean up).

    I use the bricks to put the waterers onto, so the waterers aren't sitting in the shredded paper.

    BTW, BigMike&Nan .... your girl is BEAUTIFUL ! (well ... the white one is beautiful.... maybe that is the rooster ???) [​IMG]


    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  4. chicksalot

    chicksalot Songster

    Sep 20, 2008
    To enclose the coop totally would make it too hot in the summer for your climate. You could, if you are bound & determined to use wood, put them on with hinges...then when it's cold - panels down to trap the heat...when it's warm - panels up to let air flow. That is a very nice starting point you got yourself...have fun 'tweaking' it!
  5. orchidchick

    orchidchick Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    south florida
    I also live in Florida, so my coop needs to be very airy in the summer months, but a little more enclosed over the winter, so I made storm windows, also useful during the blowey rain season and doesn't cut out the light.

    Basically, some Suntuf panels bolted and wingnuted on similar to Bigmikeandnan's discussion.
    (By the way, I have a Chicknhutch in the garage with 4 new chicks in it! That's what I started with)



    Hope this helps!


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: