Thinking of converting this into a coop...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jenn-, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. jenn-

    jenn- Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A few of my challenges I am trying to figure out the best way to handle: First, it needs to get shorter. I think I can just chop the wood supports after removing all the extra stuff. Then I have to tackle to floor. One board is missing and a couple are weak. Would you all suggest just covering the floor with osb and calling it a day? What do you all recommend for floor covering? I see some use vinyl flooring and others say no. Some say just paint it, but what kind do you use? After that, there are some gaps in the wood on the sides under where the windows are. Would you suggest filling them and if so, how? My biggest concern of leaving them is that they would be at draft level. We are in the deep south though so air flow has its advantages. So any tips or other issues you foresee? Obviously I have some closing in to do as well, but I think I have some ideas for that.

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  2. SavannahsBrood

    SavannahsBrood Out Of The Brooder

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    I like the idea, but you may find lowering a bit hard to do and keeping it from falling too hard and breaking up. I see wood under it that might work good for the floor inside. I personally would paint the floor or spread a thin 1" layer of concrete on floor, that size floor would take 1 80 lb bag. As for the seams between the side boards you could do like they did in the old days and cover the seams with let's say 1×2 using brad nails. Just my thoughts off the top of my head. Hope it gives you some ideas. The concrete is then covered with shavings. The concrete will make it easier to wash down and clean without rotting the wood.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  3. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Of course you can make a great coop from what you have. There is some work involved. I would use plywood instead of osb. A little more pricey, but advantage when it would get wet. For floor treatment , there are many options, like vinyl , paint, wood shavings,or even sand. Read up on it here on this forum. Some will work for your situation better than others. It is a little high now, but I would utilize area under coop as run. You did mention that you were thinking of lowering it. In the south you don't get very cold, so little drafts would be OK. You do need plenty of ventilation so chickens don't cook in the summer. Provide windows for natural light. You do need to consider predator proofing the whole thing to keep out whatever, including snakes. WISHING YOU BEST Ask questions as you reach specific obstacles.
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  4. jenn-

    jenn- Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the suggestion. I really hope we can figure out a way to get it lower. Right now I can't easily reach into it. We have access to a forklift so I'm hoping that can help us lower it with a bit more control. I totally thought the same thing about the boards on the ground being replacements. My plan was to use them to fix the floor but they are 6" shorter even though it doesn't look it. I'll have to suggest the 1"x2" boards to my DH.
     
  5. jenn-

    jenn- Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ideally it will be approximately 3' up still with run space underneath. They will have a large run where the monkey bars currently live. I'm all about the predator proofing. I have a dog that might be a little too interested in the chickens for her own good. She'd probably lose a fight with a full sized bird though as she's only a 9lb Jack Russell Terrier with large dog complex. Not to mention snakes! Ugh, the one thing that has kept me from committing to chickens is my fear of snakes. They are a real threat in the backyard as we bump up to woods behind us. I'm still looking for our black racer to show himself this spring. We have an understanding, he keeps the rodents and bad snakes away, and I let him live. Not that we both don't go running/slithering away when we run into each other. This play house has 2 large windows and the area that the slide currently comes out. I'm thinking of another window there on a door that swings open for cleaning. I'm still trying to figure out nesting boxes and a door for the run side, but I'm hoping this can work.
     
  6. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Just got a brain storm , LOL Make a platform at 3 feet high and build up the sides to make coop taller. This way you don't mess with the structural part and all remains strong. Remove existing floor and make interior modifications to provide roost space and egg boxes. I think if coop stays elevated at 3 feet, less likely to attract predators. I know snakes climb trees. That one goes back to Adam and Eve. Here is a pix of my coop. A repurposed playhouse with a 3 feet riser made from plywood.
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    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
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  7. jenn-

    jenn- Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a great idea! I'll have to run it by my handy man.
     
  8. adeleroy8

    adeleroy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wish I had one!
     
  9. jenn-

    jenn- Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it makes you feel better, I'm still trying to convince the handyman to let me get chickens. He last argument was about start up cost. My FIL has offered to give me the chickens that were farm bound so they will only be about a month or so from laying before I could get them. Then there was coop cost. That's when I saw this outside and realized it would make a great coop. My kids are to the size that they will only swing on it (hence never fixing the floor), and even then they shake the heck out of it.

    I'm pretty sure we have scrap wood around here that could be turned into a run so my biggest expense will be in the predator protection.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  10. bdjh

    bdjh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jenn - I think that play structure will make a great coop, and it doesn't have to cost you much at all to get it ready. The key is not over-thinking it.

    Get some hardware cloth or chicken wire (depending on your predator situation.....lots of predators = hardware cloth......few or very small predators = chicken wire)......and close in a safe area for them, where you'll be able to lock them up at night.

    Cover the bad floor with a piece of plywood with a scrap piece of linoleum glued down onto it. Then throw some straw (or whatever bedding material you can get cheaply down there) down on the floor.

    Add a couple of nesting boxes in their 'safe' area, where you'll also put their food and water. Chickens will happily drink out of a big bowl on the ground, and later, you can spring for a waterer with a little more capacity. Same thing for food.

    as for the rest, I'd leave it and let the chickens use it for how it was intended....as a play structure. Just build them a ramp or two to get around, and place a bunch of roosting bars (2x4's) under the coop so they can hang out in the shade. I'd probably replace the existing slide and ladder with ramps. Instead of having the ramps extend far out away from the coop, to save space, you can always have them run up along the sides of the coop. For fun, you could always leave the slide, and simply screw traction bars into it, so they can use it as a ramp instead.......even cheaper!

    If the gaps under the windows are simply those little gaps between the vertical boards, I wouldn't bother closing them......when you say "deep south", I'm going to guess that it never gets cold enough for a draft to become a danger.

    I personally wouldn't worry about lowering it.

    You can't get away from start-up costs, but I bet that if you're thrifty, you could have that structure ready for chickens for $50 - $150. That's a WHOLE lot better than building a coop from scratch, which is going to be $500 - $2,000, depending on how big/fancy you want to get. If you want to recoup that cost, you get 6 chickens, which will give you 30 - 40 eggs a week......sell a dozen a week to your friends (who will LOVE your healthy free range eggs) for $3/doz, and your coop is paid off within 9 months or so.
     

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