Looking for advice - converting and old chicken coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by adoug001, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. adoug001

    adoug001 New Egg

    Mar 16, 2013
    Our house was built in the 30s along with a chicken coop. We've been here 9 years and are finally going to use it for it's original purpose. It is basically just a shed with four walls, a tin roof, and elevated about a foot. I like the originality, but want to get some light in and allow us and the kids to watch the chickens play so I'm thinking about taking the siding off two or more of the sides and replace with wire then enclose a small section for safety and laying. It's about 6ft by 9ft long/wide, the walls are about 6 feet tall and the peak of the foot is probably 12 feet. See the photos below, the first picture is what I'm thinking about doing, the others are of the coop as is.

    A few specific questions:
    -Can I have the small enclosed section and the egg boxes (cantilevered outside the coop) down lower to the floor so it'll be easier to get the eggs out?
    -If I do the enclosed section down low, then there is a bunch of space above it that would be wasted, would that be a good spot for roosting bars? Or is that just too messy? I could do those on the other end of the house.
    -Lastly, the coop is elevated (as I mentioned) and has a floor so my options are to just pull up the whole floor and run the screen down into the ground. Or, leave the floor and just let them roam around the yard or build a run. I'm not sure what's best here with regards to cleanup, chickens' happiness, etc.

    Thanks for any help.


    Looking inside

    Looking inside and up

  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    What a great coop to work with! Most likely the chickens were let out every day and free ranged, as used to be more the custom.

    Egg boxes (nests) need to be lower than the roost, anyway, because they sleep in the highest spot they can. You can put a very steep little roof over the nests, preferably made of a scrap of something like metal roofing our vinyl countertop, so most of the poop falls off, and so they won't roost on top of the nest. Unless you plan on a large number of chickens, though, I'd probably be lazy and put the roost somewhere else. My nest boxes are flat on top and the chickens almost never go up there, I assume because their roost is a foot or more higher than the top of the nests, which are almost at floor level.

    Yes, depending on your climate, you can make parts of the walls hardware cloth or any fine, strong wire mesh. You want the holes 1/4" or less. Where I live, breeze is necessary most of the year, and they only need protection in our so-called winter from wind and rain, so a 3 sided design is great. Actually, there is a very successful coop design that has year round open areas and is used in snow country, just to let you know how much air they tolerate/thrive in:


    They really should be allowed outdoors, They need the sunshine and love it. You can make an "apron" around the coop and run to prevent digging under, if you want to remove the floor, and this would be simpler than burying wire mesh. Just fasten the apron to the lower edge of the coop or run. Many people would find some cheap linoleum and lay it on the floor for ease of cleaning. Run it up the edges of the walls where you can.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by