Neighbors, Neighbors...should i listen to them for once??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mnm, May 24, 2008.

  1. mnm

    mnm In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2008
    So the original plan was to convert the playhouse we have into chicken lodging. It was a little bigger than it needed to be, but we figured the chickens would like that in case they had to stay inside the coop during the winter for long periods. Recently I found out that 2 of my neighbors are also planning on chickens. I was talking with them and when I mentioned that I would convert the playhouse they started telling me that I shouldn't do it, that it was a bad idea, the house would reek of ammonia forever and ever, and that it would ruin the little house. You'll never be able to use it again! They said. All the kids in the family have grown out of it by now, so we don't use it anyway. But should I build a smaller coop anyway?? They even offerd to have a coop raising party, and build two together. What do I do? [​IMG]
    mnm [​IMG]
  2. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    Maybe they have never heard of the idea and just think you are nuts because they have never heard of it. Introduce them to this forum so they can learn about more available creative options. Then see what they have to say if you are so concerned about their opinion.

    1)Why would you want to use it for children again once it has been converted to a chicken coop?

    2) If it has proper ventilation and is kept clean why would a structure with the name kiddie reak any more than a structure with the name chicken? Is their point that it is plastic? Well what about if you use one that is wooden or vinyl?

    In my humble opinion, either plastic, vinyl or wood could work fine if cleaned / disinfected regularly and properly ventilated. Bottom line, a structure is a structure. Unless it is a materials issue or a ventilation issue, their point is mute and based on ignorance or lack of creativity.

    Now if you want to get a FREE house built by them go ahead. If you really like your playhouse and it has ventilation and access to clean it properly and reguarly, then ignore them. Use your own brain and creativity and don't rely on wives tales or old fashion tradition. If it were me, I would not even have ever discussed my plans with a bunch of air heads. Their ignorance, lack of reason, and lack of ability to think out of the box will hold themselves back and you as well. I would be cordial but make my own decisions without asking their opinion or permission. You are a big girl now aren't you?

    And 3) a structure can be re converted to other uses later, with a gallon of clorox and a gallon of paint. IMO these women have competely illustrated their stupidity and airheadedness all around. Ignore them or educate the. The choice is yours. The bible told me to not cast my pearls amongst swine though so I would keep my pearls of wisdom to myself. By the way the bible also said that God cast demons into swine and we are not to eat of it or partake of it. [​IMG] ( You see I don't think highly of airheads) [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 24, 2008
  3. flakey chick

    flakey chick Songster

    May 3, 2007
    Is the playhouse such that you can easily clean it out without stooping? Keep it clean and it and it shouldn't stink. The problem with playhouse coops is that they are often child size and uncomfortable for adults to do the chicken chores. BTW, what material is it made from?

    It's great that you have a nice cooperative neighbor. I would definately help with building their coop even if you decide to convert the playhouse. It will be wonderful to have a neighbor who could chicken sit if you go on vacation. You might be able to go in together on purchases to save money.
  4. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * Never say no to free labor-- unless they try to take over the project. Sounds like your neighbor's are already tryin' to do just that. . . Tell them it's either the playhouse or a converted trampoline!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    There's always white washing, too. (Like lime paint)
  6. I think i would thank my neighbors nicely for their opinion and just go ahead with what you were doing, I have to agree with flakey chick tho, that you need enough room to stand up in the coop to clean it out.we built ours out of 4X8 partical board so I have enough room to stand up and fork the poopy hay into a wheelbarrow. If I couldn't stand up straight I don't know how I would clean it out. marrie
  7. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    If it is too short to reach... just build some legs for it like a platform so it is sitting up higher.

    It would be like sitting it on a table to make it higher.... just permanent.

    Basically you get some 4x4 pressure treated wood (deck posts) for legs and a sheet of exterior grade plywood to make a table for it to sit up higher on. You could even screw it to the platform for sturdiness.(deck screws)
    Last edited: May 24, 2008
  8. Dilly

    Dilly Cooped Up

    Apr 15, 2008
    Hi and congrats on getting into chickens. I see nothing wrong with you discussing your new project with your neighbors or them sharing with you that they too are doing the chicken thing. When they offerred their opinions on the playhouse it was just that an opinion. When they offerred to make this a joint happy building party, that was also being kind, generous and neighborly.

    Whether you choose to start from scratch or use your playhouse and convert from there, you could still do so with the neighbors help as well as offer yours if needed. If you choose to do this all yourself, then tell them that you are excited and they are more than welcome to come see the work in progress and final project.

    Dixie girl-- I think it is harsh to call these people who obviously were willing to physically help this person airheads or ignorant, especially when you were not party to the conversation. Maybe they are just kind generous people willing to do more than just offer suggestions. They offerred to make this a fun building party even. Now this is what we need more of, people actually getting involved with one another and helping. I do agree that it would be nice to offer a link to this site so they too can share in the excitement and fun of chickenhood. [​IMG]
  9. CathyB

    CathyB Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    I am converting an old shed into a coop. It is going to work great! With proper cleaning and sanitation the play house should not smell at all. If your children have outgrown it why not use it for a coop. It will save some work. Maybe print a couple of pictures out from this site of people who have playhouse coops and show the neighbors saying, "see, this is what I was talking about. Isn't it lovely!". [​IMG]
  10. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Ammonia builds up to noxious levels because the chicken keeper is lax. It has nothing to do with the housing. A "kiddie coop" will do nicely for chickens, I would think.

    To prevent ammonia from being a bother in a sited coop, learn the proper application of a few basic principles and items:

    - Reduce the number of birds kept - ammonia builds up from the breakdown of manure. Less is more in this case.
    - Ensure good ventilation and use bug screening generously. "Airy" is the right thinking.
    - Use deep litter. Freshen it weekly by adding a layer and stirring it up with a rake.
    - Add slaked lime to the litter once a month or when you detect even the slightest whiff of ammonia.
    - 2-3 times a year employ a stout shovel and broom to clean out the coop and start over.

    Your neighbors have given advice borne of poor practice - to them it is "normal" chicken lore. Many people share the same notions, but it isn't sound advice.

    The greatest bane of the poultrykeeper is Filth. All other problems pale where that is allowed to take hold. The Five Rules for Chickens never fail.

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