Turning a 4x8 crate into a coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Fletcher, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. Fletcher

    Fletcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2007
    central OH
    My dh brought home a 4x8 crate and wants me to use it for our first chicken coop. I'm drawing an absolute blank on how to do it. We're planning 6 or 7 hens and I'm not sure that 4x8 is big enough.

    Can anyone jump start my brain with ideas? I've looked at scores of coops & tractors on line and in my book, but I seem to have a mental block for this.

    I appreciate the help & I'll check back later in case you need more information. Thanks so much!
     
  2. slyfoxpeeps

    slyfoxpeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lewisburg, WV
    That's how we started. Undo the top, either it has nails or screws, then add hinges (2) to the back being cloeset to the run,and a lock to where you will open to get in, cut a door where it that will be the access for the bird to get into the run. DH put a piece of wood inside the box to use when I needed the top propped open to work in it. OR you can put your access door on the side if the box is to tall to gain entance from the top. The top door is a little hard to clean. But the bird can get out of a side door so.... But it does work!

    edited to say these also make great breeder boxes!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  3. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    How tall is the crate?

    Is the crate solid or is it a frame with slats?

    My son and I are in the process of building a chicken house out of 4 very large pump crates that DH brought home. The crates that he brought home are not solid. They are 7-1/2 foot wide by 18-1/2 foot long by 8 feet tall. So we are using the wood to frame our coop and then we will use what is left to make the roof. I’m pretty sure that we will have enough 1x 8s to make the roof fairly solid and then we will cover it with some tin. We will then have to buy siding.

    This is the floor that we built using the bottom of one of the crates that we took apart and you can see parts of some of the crates leaning against the tree behind it.

    We then used the sides of one of the crates to make two of our wall. The two short ends we had to build ourselves.

    [​IMG]

    This is what we have gotten done so far.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Fletcher

    Fletcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2007
    central OH
    Well, slyfox, I'm starting to see faint light. The crate he brought home is only 3 sided, but we have extra wood that we could probably use to make a hinged top. How many nest boxes should I put in and if it's 4 feet tall, is that high enough for a roost? Should I raise the feeder & water off of the floor somehow?

    Betty, WOW - you got alot of lumber! Your coop looks like my dream size (dh isn't building that one this year)! What did you use to cover the floor?

    Thanks for getting me started!
     
  5. mlheran

    mlheran Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think 4'x8' is definitely do-able. My coop is 8' by a little less than four, and four feet tall on one side; it houses five standards and three bantams just fine -but they have an attached run and free-range from sun-up to when they go inside naturally at sun-down.

    I haven't finished my coop page (final step is painting the coop!), but here are a few pics that may give you some ideas. [​IMG]

    Before the run was built...
    [​IMG]

    The back has 4' of doors and the feeder is built into one of the doors (the window has since been trimmed out with a plexiglass sheet)...
    [​IMG]

    The first clean-out; the board leaning against the shavings bag fits between the doors to hold the shavings at about 6" deep. The board is removed and then the shavings can be raked out directly into a wheelbarrow...
    [​IMG]

    The roosts (removeable); they all try to cram on the top one so I probably could have just made one, LOL. You can see the shavings board back in place...
    [​IMG]

    Here's an awkward shot (through their chicken door) towards the nestboxes. There are three nestboxes with a 2"x3" perch in front; the waterer was replaced with an automatic one...
    [​IMG]

    I find it a great size -especially since it's raised it's far easier on my back for maintenance. [​IMG] When I started I knew I wanted a raised coop, and from there it was just a matter of working with the materials I had laying around (though I did have to buy several 2"x3"s and one sheet of 4'x9' plywood for the roof). Go for it, I say -and best of luck!
     
  6. slyfoxpeeps

    slyfoxpeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lewisburg, WV
    mlheran is fancier than mine! Very nice! I put a roost at one side, and just put an old draw from a chest of draw about (5in deep and 1 ft by 2ft.) on the other side and the girl take turn is that to lay eggs.
     
  7. Fletcher

    Fletcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2007
    central OH
    Thanks, ladies. I think I can start to see something forming in my mind. I'll start some sketches for dh to "improve" on. I asked for a chicken coop and he built a bonus room above our garage. It wasn't quite what I had in mind!!

    mlheran - I love your pics! The removable board at the door is genius! Ease of cleaning is definitely on my mind.
     
  8. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Quote:I started bugging DH last fall to find me some scrap lumber to build a chicken house out of but they have been working such long hours he hadn't had time to look for any. So when they came rolling into the plant with these huge pump crates he called dibs on them. He had to borrow a big trailer from the company he works for to get them home.

    I got a piece of really cheap linoleum from a lumberyard. I had read here on the forum that a lot of people use linoleum on their floor because it protects the wood and makes for an easier clean up....sounded good to me.

    Edited to add: I think I neglected to say that we bought 4 pieces of plywood and covered the floor with that then covered it with the linoleum.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  9. Im Chicken Boy

    Im Chicken Boy New Egg

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    depending on their breed,size, and other things, it will be plenty of room. i made this for my 3 hens, it may only have to. its made out of 2x4s ply wood and chicken wire ( some places) put rat wire over windows. i know a lot about chickens and im 13 and people at school ( friends ) call me chicken boy. so try to make fun but i dont mind. i have a dominique, kuku maran, and an easter egger. i have had many types of chickens, but the top number i can have is 3( my brother also keeps 3, its a rule we cant have more) *bantam ( very small breed) needs square 1-2 feet * * light breed needs square 2-3 feet* and last , heavy breeds need 3-4 square feet. ( IM PRETTY SURE THIS IS FOR COOP BUT YOU COULD USE THIS FOR PEN AND COOP UNTIL YOU GET INTO HIGHER NUMBERS OF CHICKENS FOR PEN) say u had 6 light breed hens (middle sized hens), well 4 times 8 = 32 square feet i think so 2-3 x 6 ( aim for three!) so 3x6= 18 so then 36 - 18 = 18 so u could put 12 light breed hens in a 4 feet by 8 feet ( SO BY CHOOSING 6 HENS, YOU MADE A GOOD CHOICE) JUST REMEMBER FOOD, ROOSTING SPACE, NESTING SPACE, WATER, AND OVERALL SPACE. 1 nesting box is good for 5 hens, u should have 2, go to amazon and look, there plywood looking and have triangle sides with handle on top. there hard to explain. there about 10, go fancy or plain, either way you need two nesting boxes. put hay in them, but straws best i guess. keep a FAKE egg in it though one hen learns something , the others will learn by doing trust me they cant count. they lay in darkest place and other things naturally. pretty much there standing there then BOOM they need to lay an egg theyu dont know so they go to dark spot, lay it, already egg there? even better,they favor that spot oftenly. also the collect eggs ( clutch) when there broody and set on them. you cant make them broody but ive had a few go broody when they saw a egg in a box and set on it but if its set on it, it wont stay long usually if it dfoes when they dont hatch at around 21 days like they should, itll give up. DONT WORRY. also if it stay on fake eggs long time because its broody u can put chicks in nest when it gets up to eat or something and it should think they just hatched AND its the mother. if u just put chicks in there randomly and its not broody, it might not raise them and it might even harm or kill them. sorry this is so long and you probably know most of this but i know im telling you this stuff late but i hope ive helped you.
     
  10. Nic&Chickies

    Nic&Chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 23, 2010
    New Britain, CT
    Whoa, Im Chicken Boy, take a breath!
    [​IMG] from Connecticut. I'm glad to see another new member on here, trying to help so soon. It was a little hard to read through your 3 posts on here though; you wrote such a lot of stuff that I think that you must be so exited to share your knowledge, and want to get it all out quickly. However, my thread goes back a couple of years, and I see that this one is even older. I have since figured out how to do what I wondered about; in fact, those chicks grew, and were successfully integrated into the flock & combined coop.
    Maybe you should write a post in the New Member Introductions area, so others can "meet" and get to know you on here. I also suggest checking for new, unanswered posts to help out (and/or checking when a thread was started, to make sure it's current.)
    [​IMG]
     

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