I want to turn a dog pen into a chicken coop and I need some help

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ponderosa8671, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Ponderosa8671

    Ponderosa8671 New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Feb 17, 2012
    Bonanza, OR
    Hi Everyone. I'm new to BYC and I need some help with a project. I inherited the dog pen shown below from the previous property owner and I would like to turn it into a chicken coop. The pen is 16' square and is very well built. My plan is to fence in a 1/2 acre surrounding the pen for daily run area with lots of dirt for bathing and junipers to keep the hawks out. They would then be locked down at night in the pen/coop as coyotes are an issue. Basically, I want to build a structure within the pen that I could use as a coop without doing anything to the pen itself. We live in an arid high desert climate in southern Oregon and the box wire lower half will provide plenty of ventilation. I am going to have the floor poured with concrete, it is gravel now. I have good wood working skills and tools but am not a carpenter by any stretch. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    [​IMG]
     
  2. lesgo54

    lesgo54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    238
    10
    103
    Feb 13, 2012
    spencer, tn
    u are off to a good start with the dog pen. just make sure u make the run predator proof. and maybe bear proof. i see u live in idaho
     
  3. Ponderosa8671

    Ponderosa8671 New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Feb 17, 2012
    Bonanza, OR
    No worries about the run being predator proof...I need to make it dog proof as well. I have two 7 month old shepard/retriever mix to keep out! Actually, we live in southern Oregon. There are cougar, bear, coyote, and badger in the area. That's why I like the idea of using the pen to house our coops. They will definitely be protected at night.
     
  4. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,372
    27
    198
    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    whoa what a cool run to start with! I have a dog kennel coop, but I am in Texas, so it is more of an open air coop, but what I did for an enclosed area is add a deer blind inside with roosts and cut the windows larger. It just sits flush with the coop.
     
  5. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,234
    110
    201
    Jan 16, 2012
    Texas
    How many chickens do you plan to have?

    Is it open under that roof? If so, maybe you could close off half of that area and that could be your coop. The chickens would just need a walkway to get up there. That would leave all the area within the pen for a run, and sometimes you will have to leave them in there.

    I don't think you need to put concrete in the pen. The chickens would prefer the dirt and nature does a better job of cleaning. You just need to secure around the pen so animals can't dig under.

    You said you will let the chickens free range in a 1/2-acre area that will be fenced. I would just suggest having chickens that can fly a little to get up into the trees and away from predators. If you just want chickens for eggs, I would suggest a variety of brown leghorn. The hens will lay 5 to 6 eggs a week average in a year and their color helps them hide from predators.

    The dual-purpose breeds (for eggs and meat) have larger bodies and have less flight ability. I think they would not be able to get up six feet high, maybe less.

    That is beautiful country up where you live. I understand there are also some wolves in Southern Oregon now, and don't you have bobcats in that area? You have every possible predator in your area. Hopefully you can train your dogs to not chase the chickens, and then they can help keep away predators.

    My father is thinking about moving to your area.
     
  6. tomdeggeater

    tomdeggeater Chillin' With My Peeps

    174
    1
    119
    Sep 20, 2007
    Rocky Hill, CT.
    Ponderosa, Since you already have a roof, you could just build or find a wooden box and put it up on legs so the floor space would be open too.
    Then you would need a ramp. Or maybe a children's playhouse (plastic) with something to close the windows during cold weather...
    Tomdeggeater
     
  7. Ponderosa8671

    Ponderosa8671 New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Feb 17, 2012
    Bonanza, OR
    Bullitt, thanks for the reply. The floor in the pen is gravel now, do chickens do OK on gravel? The gravel has chicken wire under it to stop burrowing animals as well. You're right, basically, I just need to build a coop within the structure and I could use the front half as a run. My problem is I don't know the first thing about building a coop. I've seen all the pictures of coops being built in various stages, I just need a plan or drawing of what to build and I could then just build it to proportion within the pen. The fenced area I mentioned would be a day area around the pen that the chickens could 'free range' in, then get locked down in the pen/coop at night. The pen will provide excellent protection from all the predators we have in this area. And yes, we have bobcat and we now have 4 known packs and a total of 25 wolves in Oregon.

    I am near Klamath Falls, OR, located about 12 miles north of the California border. Many retirees come here from CA because the cost of living is very low. I picked up 40 acres with an 8 yr old 1200 sq ft home, a 52'x48' shop, and the dog pen, for $220k. Let me know if your Dad needs any information on southern Oregon. It really is a beautiful place to live.
     
  8. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,027
    10
    151
    Feb 18, 2011
    I don't have advice, but I'm jealous of that great pen! Maybe a couple little tykes houses for the girls to lay in and nest in? What a great space to have inherited. I'm pretty sure your new run is larger than our backyard. Ha ha.
     
  9. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,234
    110
    201
    Jan 16, 2012
    Texas

    It seems you have a nice place there. Your shop is huge,

    Is it really heavy gravel in the pen? If it is smaller gravel it will be fine. With larger gravel, you might want to spread some sand around in the pen.

    How high is the bottom of the roof? It looked a little low. I was thinking you could enclose the back half under the roof so that when you stepped through the door you had plenty of headroom.

    All you need to do is enclose that space for the chickens, put in some nesting boxes for laying eggs, give them some poles or something to roost on, and you want to make sure there is cross ventilation. You would need to build a ramp so the chickens could walk from the pen floor up into the coop. Provide them feed and water and you are set.

    The size of the coop you need depends on the number of chickens you will have. You need about 4 square feet of space per chicken. For example, an 8-foot by 8-foot coop is good for 16 chickens.

    How many chickens do you plan to have? What type or types of chickens do you plan to get?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  10. 3forfree

    3forfree Chillin' With My Peeps

    982
    22
    141
    Mar 17, 2010
    essexville, michigan
    What I would do is build a coop inside the pen. section it off with the coop inside, and an area where you could access the coop but they couldn't get at things that are stored there, and the rest of the pen could be their run. How tall is the pen where the fencing is?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by