Old Truck to Coop Conversion - Help Me Design, Please!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KMJonzy, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. KMJonzy

    KMJonzy In the Brooder

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    Hi, all! I was all set to purchase a pre fab coop, but was just finding junk online, when my husband had an idea I'm getting more and more excited about... converting an old truck on our farm to be our coop! We'll use the box in the back of this truck to be the coop, and I just need to plan the layout and details before we haul it into the yard and start working.

    Truck-Coop_full body.JPG

    I'm not sure of the exact measurements (I'll go out and measure this afternoon when the kiddo is up from his nap), but here is a pic of the side view of the part we'll be converting to coop:

    Truck-Coop_side view.JPG

    And then a peek inside (as taken while standing by the body of the truck):

    Truck-Coop_bed.JPG

    Obviously needs some work, but I'm pretty excited about the project. I'll need to clean it out and seal the wood really well... here are my current questions/considerations I could use some ideas and help with:

    1. What type of roof? Peaked, sloped, rounded? And should I extend the sides up higher or leave them at this height for now?

    2. How should I plan the layout? Once I know where I want my roots and such, we can build some pull-out poop boards and then start cutting into the sides of the truck to make them accessible from outside the coop for cleaning. We have some old wooden nesting boxes we'll use in here, but I'm not sure what area to put them in.

    3. How to approach ventilation. Should I just incorporate ventilation at the roof/sides attachment? Or also make some smaller holes somewhere up high on the sides? I'm also considering cutting in a couple windows (with sliding wood to cover in winters and hardware cloth to protect when they are open) - do you recommend or not recommend doing so?

    4. What else?! Any other considerations I should be thinking about?!?!
     
  2. KMJonzy

    KMJonzy In the Brooder

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    I didn't mention this, but hopefully it goes without saying... we'll obviously have a ladder for chicken access and something for human access as well. :)
     
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    I would strongly consider extending the walls tall enough for you to comfortably walk in. That's a fairly sizeable space to have to lean into for cleaning, accessing a sick bird, etc. Roof should be peaked or sloped if snow is an issue, to let it sheet off easily.

    Double check the floor of the bed to make sure it's not only intact, but in good condition. I've read of people turning vehicles into coops and then having issues with predators clawing through a damaged floor.

    Having ventilation up high (roof, near roof line) is always a good choice to let moisture out. Some combination of ridge, soffit, gable vents would work (depends on how your roof is built of course). I would add windows as well, a coop that gets no natural light makes it harder for chickens to navigate at dusk.
     
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  4. KMJonzy

    KMJonzy In the Brooder

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    Thank you; these are great suggestions! I figured extending the walls might be necessary... it will be more work and materials, but in the long run I think I'll appreciate it. And VERY GOOD CALL on the floor! I may just go ahead and reinforce that, even if it appears okay... better safe than sorry!
     
  5. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Where do you live (just general idea)? Snow? Rain? Wind? High heat? :confused:

    You want eves deep enough so blowing wind and snow don't tend to enter the coop, if you get snow you want a roof strong enough to hold it or get the snow to slide off in a convenient place (ie not blocking the door).

    And... you need to be able to build it. ;)

    Being able to walk into the coop is most convenient especially in horrid weather.

    I like stacking stuff. So perches up high, poop shelf under perch, then under poop shelf nest boxes or feeder.

    You might enjoy looking through the coop pages on this site. Lots of photos and ideas of interior layout.

    It depends again on your climate. Ventilation is always important, but where you want it and how much you need depends on your local conditions. If you are super hot, maybe 3 feet of wire above the solid walls and then the roof?

    Like this coop of mine, solid wall only on the front, the rest of the walls are solid below and open above.
    20180417_104233.jpg 20170325_100136.jpg
     
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  6. GotCoop

    GotCoop Songster

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    Looks like a fun project. I think that will look great fixed up!
     
    KMJonzy likes this.
  7. OhZark Biddies

    OhZark Biddies Crowing

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    My Coop
    Biggest issue I see is the hens are gonna fight over which one gets to drive!
     
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  8. GotCoop

    GotCoop Songster

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    "Bock, Bock, I got shotgun..."

    Or maybe it will be males only at the controls in the "cockpit".
     
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  9. KMJonzy

    KMJonzy In the Brooder

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    We are in north-central Montana - the plains, not the mountains. So our biggest weather factors are the cold, wind, and snow, as well as a strong hail storm once or twice a year. Mother nature is not gentle to us in the winter. But the upside is, our summers are pretty mild! :)

    Good call about roof pitch - I had considered snow, but not the impact that night have on wind. Thanks! I feel pretty confident in our building abilities. Well, not mine as much as my husband's and FIL's, who have both committed to helping on this project. FIL has pretty extensive experience building structures himself. Hubby hasn't built structures, but is generally very handy and mechanically inclined. I'm just here to be bossy!

    I hadn't thought about stacking things - I love that idea! Thanks!!
     
  10. KMJonzy

    KMJonzy In the Brooder

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    Hahaha, too funny! :)
     

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