Recycling kids playhouse into coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickwitch, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. chickwitch

    chickwitch Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Columbus Ohio!
    Hello all!
    We have a Little Tykes playhouse, one of the plastic ones, that the kids don't use anymore. I'd like to hear your opinions on recycling it to use as a coop. I don't have any chickens yet. I live in Central Ohio. Winters are pretty darn cold, summers are hot and humid. Pros and cons welcome. I took a couple of pics so you can see what I'm talking about. Thanks in advance!

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  2. Domestic_goddess

    Domestic_goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Utah
    Interesting concept, not sure about it though. Also it depends on how many chickens you wanna put in it, cause it not very big and you probably can't even stand up in it.
     
  3. chickwitch

    chickwitch Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Columbus Ohio!
    Quote:I'm thinking 3 chickens max. It's bigger than it looks. About 6 sq. ft. of floor space, and 5 feet of headroom, but would be more after some modifications. I would elevate it, and cut out the doorsill so I could stand up. Also remove the little sink and cabinets to make more room.
     
  4. One Acre Wonder Farm

    One Acre Wonder Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2009
    Vermont
    I'm sure others will have better, more specific feed back for you, but the first things that spring to mind for me are ventilation and insulation. Plastic does not breathe well so you would have to cut(?) areas for ventilation. It may also be drafty? And I'm thinking it would be hard to keep warm in the winter and tricky to keep it from becoming an oven in the summer.

    Has anyone out there tried using one of these as a coop? I know someone who keeps one of these in the chicken run and the chooks hang out in it and perch in the windows during the day, its cute, but as a toy, not a coop.

    The plastic would however be easy to hose out and disinfect.
     
  5. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    You could raise it up then add external nest boxes where the window are so you could collect from the outside. My daughter has one of these and it would make a nice little hen house.
    It would be no different then turning a dog house into a small coop.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  6. farmgirljen

    farmgirljen Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2008
    Corvallis Oregon
    I think you could sell it on craigslist and get enough $ out of it to buy a coop. Seriously- I am a childcare provider, and playhouses like yours go quick for almost new price- they hold their value very well!
     
  7. chickwitch

    chickwitch Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Columbus Ohio!
    Quote:I was thinking the same thing about the nest boxes. I would also put hardware cloth over the windows. It has a skylight in the roof that would be perfect for ventilation.
     
  8. RachelJoy

    RachelJoy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2009
    We are in the process of doing the same thing. Our playhouse is a little different, in that all of the windows have shutters that open and close.

    So far the only retrofitting has been to drill holes through the shutters and the door so that a dowel can be slid in to lock them shut. There's plenty of ventilation for now, as there are spaces around the windows, where the walls meet, and where the roof meets the walls. Next step is attaching some sort of chicken wire to the bottom so that predators can't dig in, and also hardware cloth over the windows so we can keep the shutters open in summer. We'll probably build nest boxes that hang out the windows (like an air conditioner), both to make egg collection easier and to not use up too much space.

    Our house is approx. 3' x 4', and we'll be keeping 5 hens in it. So far they hang out in it during the day, with the door open so they can range in the yard. We shut them up in the playhouse (now called "The Little Tikes Henhouse") when we let the dog out in the yard, and also in the evening (then bring them back inside the house overnight, as it's still pretty cold here).

    We're first timers and just figuring things out as we go. Not sure if this will work for winter or not - possibly will if we find a way to seal it up so it's not so drafty.

    Good luck!

    Rachel
     
  9. chickwitch

    chickwitch Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Columbus Ohio!
    Thanks Rachel![​IMG]
     
  10. StrawberryHouseMouse

    StrawberryHouseMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    Cleveland, Tennessee
    I'm thinking it would be hard to change anything on it since its made out of plastic and if I'm correct in thinking its hollow on the inside. So that means you can't hammer anything into it and expect it to hold. Same goes with screwing anything. That means you cant put in nest boxes, add a roost, or put wire up over the windows. I think you should just sell it and buy wood to make your own.
     

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