1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

My second try

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by swift4me, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. swift4me

    swift4me Songster

    Apr 17, 2010
    in the Pyrenees
    I posted this spring with pictures of my 200 year old stone henhouse and run I built for my first try with chickens. Everything was great for two months and I had no problems with the many foxes that live around the farm, but lost all of my birds, except my rooster who survived several battles, to a beech marten. I failed to cover the small openings between the roof and the stone walls as I didn't think of martens living this far south. Lesson learned. My rooster has been enjoying the company of my neighbor's 25+ hens, as the only rooster, and will come home to roost after my project is complete.

    Here is a picture of the original setup

    The biggest part of the project was to rebuild the roof, as the old one was leaking and had some rotten beams, although most of the 200 year old chestnut beams were still solid as a rock. I got all the old tiles and beams off and leveled the top of the stone walls with mortar and stones for the new beams, then added the rafters. I filled all the small gaps between the stone walls and the outside rafters with stones and mortar.

    Then the sheathing, with no gaps for weasels or martens

    Then the tiles. Next week I'll put on the flashing and edge tiles.

    Now I have to build the run. This time, I'm going to build the run with soldered hardware cloth, 1 cm squares, using studs bolted to the leveled tops of the stone walls just outside the coop. It will be smaller than the first run, but still is almost 16 square meters, plus the inside of the coop which is 15 square meters. That makes almost 290 square feet, and I'm figuring on the rooster plus 7 or 8 hens. They get to free roam during the days.

    I'll post up when I'm done.

    I hope this one keeps them safe.

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010

  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I love the stone house and your property is lovely. Good luck on your project! It sounds like it will be much better fortified this time.
  3. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    You have a very cool coop. Your 200 year old building is fabulous. It is great that you are able to replace roof on the building.
  4. krcote

    krcote Songster

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    Looks great! Is it super dark in there?
  5. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    im sorry you lost your hens. i remember seeing your photo of the coop. the new coop is looking pretty strong and sturdy! thanks for sharing. [​IMG]
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    Good for you for starting over again! That is a very unique hen house. Not too many of us can brag about a 200 year old stone hen house! Can't wait to see the completed project.
  7. mgw

    mgw Songster

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    Love you coop, looks strong for 200 yrs old.

  8. swift4me

    swift4me Songster

    Apr 17, 2010
    in the Pyrenees
    Same as the house we live in, (built in 1808), it is built only of local rock, and a mixture of mud and chalk. Big chestnut beams and floor planks, but perched on a hillside, and still holding up well. It has been a real education for a good ole American "plywood/sheetrock/2X4" guy to come here and work with stones, plaster and the like, but I enjoy it.

    The coop is still quite solid, and fixing the roof will help keep it that way. Once you lose the roof on one of these old structures, it's all over as the mud/chalk mixture loosens and then things start moving.

    It is fairly dark inside, but the cieling is now lighter than the old one. I'm trying to figure out a safe way to run electricity over to it.

    Thanks for looking

  9. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    That would have made a great cold storage room..I wonder if that was it's original purpose?

    Did your hens walk lopsided on level ground after having to stand in a sloped outer run..[​IMG]

    Lets see a picture of the house. That sounds really cool, having been built back in 1808. If only walls could talk..I bet there would be some very interesting story's to be told..
  10. swift4me

    swift4me Songster

    Apr 17, 2010
    in the Pyrenees
    I agree about the cold storage thing, but our basement is good for that too. This building was a pig shed as I've been told by neighbors. They had carved feed troughs out of 12" diameter chestnut logs. They are still there today, except for one that was rotten.

    Here is a picture of my dad when he visited last year.

    and him standing next to one of the two huge chestnuts uphill from the house... and next to the chicken coop.

    Here is a photo of the two houses. The one in the foreground is the old house. Animals were kept in the basement to provide heat for the house. The house behind this one was built in 1920. We live in the small one as it is easier to heat in winter, and has the "million stories" you might imagine.

    Here is a shot of the two houses in early spring from downhill in the prairie. If you can believe it.. we cut and bale the hay in this prairie. Not for the weak at heart.

    We get visits now and then out of the blue from someone who was born in the bigger house. Basque families typically had lots of kids to do the work. The farm could only suport one adult male though, and that led to the migration of many young Basque men to the American west in places like Chino, Bakersfield, Los Banos, Pinedale, Boise, Winnemucca, etc. There might even be a Basque American on BYC.

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by