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Please Advise - Soon

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LADYKK, Jul 26, 2010.


    LADYKK In the Brooder

    Jun 7, 2010
    We are new to raising chickens and we want to know how to have a nice safe environment for the chickens for winter. We have
    about 5 dog kennels that we would like to convert into chicken coops. They are on concrete patio block flooring. Half of each kennel already has a roof. What kind of bedding would be best to use on this type flooring?
    Money is tight, so please advise the very best and cheapest way we can convert these kennels to coops. We live in northeast TN.
    We need to get started on this project very soon. Even though it has been around 97 here the last few days, winter will be here before we know it. We got lots and lots of snow last year.
    We can have a fenced in area for our dog to patrol the chickens to keep unwanted critters out. He is already doing this in the kennels we have them in that are on the ground now. He does a great job - has shown no sign of trying to harm the chickens
    As newbies there are so many questions. I am so thankful for all the information available here. If you have experience, you know what is best! Please share your opinions. Thank you so very much.
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    How many birds?

    Large fowl or bantam? What breeds?

    How much space is in the kennels?

    We have three small to medium coops and runs now, and two of the runs are covered in tinted polycarbonate sheeting (like greenhouses). I highly recommend this for protection from sun, rain and snow. I do have some old info on the building of our first (small) coop here - - http://theworldofjenotopia.com/cmsjoomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=63&Itemid=27

    largest coop is a converted kids' playhouse, and I like it the best for ventilation and use of space.
  3. Rozzie

    Rozzie Songster

    Jul 14, 2010
    If you could post pictures of what you have, then people could probably help more.
  4. Are you using the dog kennels into actual coops or are you going to use them as the RUNS? Making those kennels into a coop doesn't make much sense - are you making 5 seperate areas/runs/coops or are they all attached to make a single large area? I'd say build wooden dog house like coops with hinged roofs and put inside the kennels - 4X4 dog house like coops will allow 3-4 large fowl layers to be comfortable enough. Cover the one side of the kennel that is more prone to cold winds in winter - tarp or PVC or similar siding to be a wind break for added protection.

    Also if you're just starting out - start small. Get a few chickens this year and just convert 1 or two of the kennels into chicken areas. then next year work on the other 3 if you want to expand that much.

    substrate on concrete - preferably sand but mulch/wood chips or dirt would be fine as well. - stay away from straw, hay, and shavings though - will make it more work and trouble than its worth as a run substrate - when it gets wet it'll mold and everytime it rains you'll need to change it out if you were to try going that way.

    straw, hay and shaving do good as a coop substrate - where its completely dry and protected from rain and snow however and do well with removing top layer, mixing, and adding new fresh top layer ever week or two - but again not as the main substrate in a run/outside area.

    Pictures would be best - and a more detailed description of what you're trying to do - i'm still confused on if you're trying to make each kennel a structural coop or adding a coop to each kennel and having the kennel be the social area/run

    LADYKK In the Brooder

    Jun 7, 2010
    I am sorry I did not give more details. We would have two areas for the chickens - both areas will be 12' x 18'. The back of both of these sections is privacy fencing. Each section of each area is 12' x 6'. The entire side of one side is privacy fencing. The back section will be 12' x 6' and will be covered by metal roofing. The area directly in front of it is uncovered patio paver block. The front section is gravel. The two areas will be side by side. If needed, we have plenty of dog houses to put in there for the chickens to get in. We had been breeding dogs for sale, but due to the sad, sad state of the economy in
    our area, puppies are not selling well and we had to let more than half of our dogs go. We will be able to cover the outside fencing of the other areas with
    tarpaulins to reduce wind. We can also run heating lamps in to the covered area when needed.
    We have a mixture of types of chickens - we mainly want egg layers. We have more Barred Rock than any kind. We also have a few Rhode Island Reds
    and a few White Leghorns.
    Do you think the back section that is under roof should be totally enclosed if possible? (Of course there would be a gate for hubby to get in to feed and
    water and clean.)
    We haven't had our adult hens very long and so far they are not laying very good at all. I suppose the hot weather is a big factor - or at least that is what I am telling myself.
    Thanks again for your advice.

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