Playhouse Coop Conversion

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by quietlyscheming, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. quietlyscheming

    quietlyscheming Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 12, 2011
    Crosby, TX
    So I'm pretty new to all this but finally decided to just do it. I'm converting an old kids playhouse into a coop. I'm planning on keeping 4-6 hens solely for eggs. I plan on keeping their wings clipped.

    The playhouse

    It's honestly not going to need much modifying I think. The "schoolhouse" interior is 6ft wide x 4ft long (24sqft good for 6 chicken?). The covered exterior is 6ft wide x4ft long as well and the last of the "porch" is the same. The roof is 5ft tall at the lowest eve and 6ft tall in the roof peak. I plan on adding a fence to the area to close it off from the rest of the yard. I'm also removing the railing on the "porch" to keep them from jumping from them to the fence.


    each square is 1 square foot.

    Full Size yard layout

    My concerns/questions:

    1. Will my 5ft fence, on the north side, be tall enough?
    2. Will the chickens be able to jump to the roof of the coop?
    3. If they can get to the roof, can they clear the west fence?
    4. Do I need to pull up the plants against the east wall to keep them from nesting in them? They're very thick and tall (see picture).

    All comments and criticism welcome!
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  2. wava1vaughn

    wava1vaughn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2011
    Cairo Ga.
    Hi from Ga. Sounds like you have a plan. [​IMG]
  3. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    If they can get on the roof, they may go over the fence. My neighbor had that problem with his girls. They'd get on the roof, and up and over the fence, then run around all day, and fly back over the fence. The fence however was 4 ft high. If you are going to clip wings, make sure the area they are going to be in is secure, as it will be harder for them to get away from predators or a stray dog. You wont really have to pull up plants. They will like to get under them yes, but once they start laying, you can keep them locked up till after they are finished laying for the day, and then let them out, they will learn where to lay with in a few days, and then always go back. My flock free ranges all day, and do go back to the coop to lay. With the floor dimensions, 6 birds will be very happy. Use 2x4s for roost. NOT rounded dowels. Chicken like to lay their chests on their feet when they roost. Dowel will not allow that, thou they are nice to have in the run, cuz birds like to perch. If you want to keep the girls from going up and over, do a covered run. The top of the run doesn't need to be covered with a roof, sturdy cross beams and chicken wired firmly attached will keep chickens in, and hawks and other birds out.
    I like the covered porch. They will enjoy that for a rain/sun shelter during the day. You could also let the girls out to free range for a few hours a day too. Grow plants in the covered run that they will enjoy, both potted and ground planted. For 6 birds, you'd need 60 sq ft of protected run, unless you fully free range.

    Have you decided on the type of chicken yet? They are so much fun! I love my chickens. My most expensive chicken is a $44 RIR... Vet visit made her expensive. LOL. Love my birds.
  4. quietlyscheming

    quietlyscheming Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 12, 2011
    Crosby, TX
    Quote:Haha! I am capable of over planning sometimes. It's good to have a plan, if for no other reason, to watch to crumble around you. [​IMG]

    Quote:Covering the run isn't really a viable option since the run is near 800 sqft though I did consider it at first.
    I guess the main thing I need to know before I decide to rebuild my north fence is will the hens, even with clipped wings, be able to jump it? The same goes for getting to the roof, which is at 5ft at it's lowest eve.

    Quote:I really hope not since there's a lot of them. They're in 3 rows and very large leafy plants that span the entire 27ft wall of my house. If I have to move them I will I just need to know if I'll be hunting for eggs in them if I leave them.

    I haven't decided on the chics yet. My little girl, who is 4, is super excited about her "farm" in her "old little house". I've yet to even delve into breeds. Any recommendations for a high yield on eggs especially since I plan on only keeping 4-6?
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    What program did you use to create that diagram? I really like it....
  6. quietlyscheming

    quietlyscheming Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 12, 2011
    Crosby, TX
    Quote:I used Illustrator CS5. I'm something of a gaming nerd and I make a lot of maps for our roleplaying games. Most of the layout is repeating textures on vectored shapes. Though there are quite a few programs out there that don't have the learning curve of Illustrator.

    Just google RPG map program and you'll get a bunch. [​IMG]
  7. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    they may not fly over the fence at all, so you could be worrying about nothing at this point. I have a friend who keeps her chickens in the back yard-- NO run, and her fence around the yard is a really cute 4 foot fence. Her little backyard is also a bit smaller than yours. She said that on occassion one of her hens will fly over, but the rest of them don't and they are happy enough in the yard. If you did have a flyer- you could just clip her wings only. Looks like it should work without having to worry too much about them going over the fence. Seems like a big enough area they will be happy in it. Crossing fingers, though for you!!! [​IMG]

    BTW- I LOVE, LOVE your cute little playhouse!! That thing is just adorable!! After I'm done with my coop, I'm wanting to build my kids something just like it!
  8. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Well, with that size yard, I don't think you'll have a problem. I have part of my yard fenced off for the dogs, and its only 4ft high, and the chickens do not go over. I also have hostas, day lillies and grasses all around my house and they do not lay in them... They will however make a mess of the mulch, so I have a wood landscape timber wall to keep the mulch in. Pick birds that are less flighty...

    I have faverolles. They are good around little kids. Lay pretty reliably. I average 5 eggs a week per bird. They are a medium sized pinkish brown egg. If you want a higher volume, get Rhode Island, Orpingtins, Wyandottes... I have Wyandottes also, very pretty bird to top it off. Leghorns are good layers also... Really does depend on your climate.

    As for clipping, I wouldn't. Like I said, they do need to be able to escape a predator, and I think you'll be fine with all that room to run around... But if you do, clip one side, so they are off balance...
  9. umanduhbree

    umanduhbree Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 6, 2011
    Lacona, IA
    My barred rocks use their feet and beaks to climb over the fence when they wish to truly free range. I have a 4 foot fence around a 60x70 area and the chickens stay put. Well all excepts plucky who has climbed chain link fence, used the roof of our coop to fly over the fence, walked under the fence, and dug herself out. That's why she's just describes her. I think you would be a fine, to start and then once you see how your hens react, make adjustments around that.
  10. Impress

    Impress Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    Gray, TN
    If those plants are hostas, they won't survive long enough to have eggs laid in them. My rental home has a beautiful bed of hostas in the front and my free range cochin bantams kindly crop them down every year right when they start to look pretty.

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