Newbie has ?? about converting 3 horse stall to coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sred98, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Ok...first post! [​IMG] Hi!

    I've been lurking on the forum for a while trying to find some idea of how to convert a 3 stall stable to a usable safe coop. One stall we are using for storage. The middle stall and the one on the right end I am wanting to convert. These are large roomy stalls with open slats between them, and each having it's own double door to the outside.

    The stalls are heavy plywood with the corrugated tin roof. The roof needs to be repaired, and I have the tin to do that. It is just a little leaky in places. But, where it was leaky, the dirt floor is pitted, and by pitted, I mean you can break a leg if you run in there in the dark! LOL! I'm in Oklahoma, so we have the thick clay soil. [​IMG]

    Here is what I am trying to figure out...I know I'll have to fill in the holes, obviously. I can do that, no problem. I am thinking I should put chicken wire on the ground, and up the walls to keep out predators. Is this best? Should I attach a screen door on the inside of the double doors? I was thinking it would be one more barrier to predators. Right now, no run. I am working on getting a large dog pen to attach to the doors, and they would essentially be free range during the day, while I am there working. Or would it be better to attach it to the back of the stable/coop and make a small chicken door for them to exit as they want? What about predators?

    The other big thing I am wondering about is the roosts and next boxes. I've heard you should use round roosts, then someone else says flat. I am planning on having full size birds, except for maybe a few silkies. We are wanting to raise for eggs, garden help [​IMG], and some meat. What would be the best roost for them? I am thinking of attaching the wooden roosts to the slats in the barn separating the two stalls. Would this work and which is better-round or flat?

    As far as the nest boxes, I've seen anything that could hold them up off the ground is ideal. I really love the idea of the kitty litter tubs I saw! Can these be directly on the ground? Should they be elevated? What do the chickens prefer? I was wondering if I should make a shelf about a foot off the ground and attach the boxes to this, or would I have to worry about them nesting under the shelf? Do they need to be stabilized somehow? Or just loose on the ground?

    The last thing is the litter. I could probably get linoleum, and use that as the base. or possibly some ceramic tile cast offs. Then do the deep litter with wood chips and loose hay. Would this be ok?

    I can use any and all suggestions! I am wanting to order some mixed chicks from McMurray's this spring, so I am needing to get this done!

    Oh, and right now, there is no electricity, but there will be soon. There is a water hose nearby, so that isn't a problem, either.

    I have limited experience with Chickens. I had some with my grandfather when I was about 12-14. I love them, but this is the first time one is not going to live in the house with me! At least, as far as DH knows! LOL! Also, if anyone knows of any good places to get chicks in the Tulsa area, I'd appreciate you letting me know!

    Thanks so much! This is a great forum and I can't wait to get to know everyone!

    Shelly
     
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    [​IMG] Hi Shelly, and welcome to BYC. Sounds like you have a great starter for your new found love....chickens! As for the flooring...If you have a dit floor...why not just throw the bedding over it? I have dirt/gravel in my coops floors. Works great. Chicken wire is not meant to keep predators out, only chickens in. As for the nest boxes...mine are home made...just 18 inch squares....about 18 inches from the floor, on legs. Nothing fancy, but they love them. I did make a ladder for easier access for them.As for the roosts...I used branches from the woods. Just make them fat enough, so the hens when roosting will lay on thier feet, and cover the toes. This keeps them from getting frostbite on those cold nights. If you can get hardware cloth...fencing, that would be great. Or even Chain link. Just look on FREECYCLE in your area. someone might just have what you need, and its FREE! I was ablt to get 500 ft of chain link, for 60.00 and 2 hens. LOVE to barter.
    Again, welcome to BYC, there is someone out there that will eventually have ALL the right answers to most questions.
     
  3. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    Yep - I throw the wood shavings on top of my dirt floor - works just fine, I have a sandy type soil so they dig around in it all day.
    Now sure how bit the holes are you have, you might want to just add some dirt to fill em up a little bit.

    I use round wooden fence posts for roosts - its just what I had handy, they're big rounds - probably could get two hands around them. you don't want skinny rounds, or skinny flats - they must be able to sit down and cover their feet from getting cold. Their feet need to be almost or completely flat when roosting.
    Where are you located?

    I would fix up on the outside of the barn/stall to protect from predators.... which ever you might have where you are. You would probably need some kind of welded wire or? on the outside if predators are a big problem.
    My coop is simply wood, on a cinder block base, with dirt floor. So far I've not had problems from predators, we do have coyotes around, I've heard them loud and clear.....

    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2008
  4. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Thanks for the replies! Ok...I was doing some more reading on the forum, and maybe if I fill in the holes with sand? Then the chips and DE? I LOVE the idea of using branches for the roosts! We are still clearing trees from the ice storm we had here, and getting things in order. I saw the page on deep litter (DLM?) and think that is the way to go. I was worried about the base, but if the dirt will be fine, then that is one less thing I have to worry about! Then compost for the garden, next spring! YAY!

    I have been checking freecycle and craigslist for fencing, but nothing so far. As far as the large predators, we have coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions. So a large sturdy fence around the outside? And maybe some corrugated tin as a wainscoting around the base? One of the double doors will have to be repaired, and I am thinking of reinforcing them with the corrugated metal, also.

    I am in the Tulsa area (just south of there) so we can get cold. We had the worst ice storm in our history about 1/2 way through December. We are still recovering. But, it doesn't usually get that bad. I am hoping to find someone local (meaning withing driving distance) to buy birds from, but I haven't found anything. I will probably end up mail-ordering them. Although the thought of them being shipped makes me nervous.

    Thanks again for the suggestions and the welcome! I am going to love it here, I'm sure!

    Shelly
     
  5. okiechick57

    okiechick57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello sred98 a fellow okie here.I am in Northeast OKC.....love the sound of your set up.........we are still recovering from the ice storm too....plenty of roost branches all over my land........ keep watching craigslist......I did most of my coop for free off of there and freecycle.org.....check them out too........ there is a gentlemen in this forum...... egh.... who is giving OEGB eggs away this march........maybe you can incubate? or ask him for people he may know for chickens? You WILL love this forum...glad to have you......[​IMG]
     
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    11,973
    12
    313
    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    Oh you'll find folks on BYC near you - for sure. (there is Okiechick - replied before I could [​IMG] )

    There are also lots of hatcheries so you can pick one close to you - and wait till it warms up some before you order chicks.
     
  7. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Hey! Thanks for the welcomes! Okiechick-I think I will pass on the incubating right now. I don't have an incubator and it kind of intimidates me! LOL! I know I can raise the babies with minimal trouble, but the eggs...??? I doubt it! And I've got 3 "helpers" (DD 13, DS 9, DS 7)who live with me, and I doubt I could keep them from peeking at the eggs constantly! LOL! And they would be devastated over even one out of thirty not hatching. [​IMG]

    I have been checking out ideas for fencing off Craigslist and Freecycle. Hopefully I can get this finished, soon. I'm getting ready to go work on it, right now. I have to patch the roof, right now.

    If you know of any good hatcheries around the Tulsa area, let me know!

    Thanks so much!

    Shelly
     
  8. Chickending

    Chickending Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2007
    Minnesota
    Hi,
    I converted two horse stalls in a Pole barn for chickens and it has worked really well. What we did because I am up north and need to protect against cold weather we used 2x4's and made a frame on the outside of the existing stall frame and we used plywood to make the walls and insulated the outside in between the 2x's. We also framed out a floor and used treated plywood and linoleum. All this was used and salvaged from construction. The only thing I had to buy was the treated plywood,insulation, and a few studs, I had to buy very little. We used the existing barn door going to the outside what I did was installed a screen door and covered it with Hardware cloth for protection then in the summer when its really hot I leave the door open so they get air. All last summer never had anything try to get in so they were safe. On the inside we made a door out of spare lumber and latch it. So we dont have to go through their run to get in. With the insulation on the walls and ceiling the temp is doing great in there. We were in the teens below zero here this weekend and it was in the 20's in the coop. So it works great, plus with the insulation in the summer is was always cooler in the coop too.

    Good luck with your chickens.
     
  9. Charlie Chicken

    Charlie Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 24, 2007
    Phippsburg, ME
    I had a three stall barn that was used for raising our young race horses and after we no longer needed it for horses we turned it into poultry housing. This is way overbuilt for chicken housing but it was already there so we used it. 10 x 10 stall with dirt floor.

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  10. dominiques

    dominiques Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 3, 2012
    Great pics! Thanks, I found them helpful as I'm converting a horse stall into a coop too! I also live in Maine. You are all so wonderful.
     

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