Turning old playhouse into chicken coop

runnermom

Chirping
Mar 21, 2017
55
26
61
New to chickens....my 6 girls are 16 weeks. Bought a prefab coop and it's a piece of garbage. A friend of mine gave me an old wooden playhouse to fix up into a coop. Looking for ideas, must haves, etc. I'm thankful for any ideas!
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penny1960

Yippity do Da Yippity ay
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Dec 29, 2015
56,331
243,465
1,697
Mossyrock, WA
sure combine with the piece of garbage prefab stick a metal roof on hardware cloth over the windows maybe cut some plexiglass mounted on hinges for windows hardware cloth is very important part...
 

Noaskye

Chirping
Apr 11, 2017
66
49
51
Southern MD
You don't have to do a whole lot. I think they make great coops. They can sometimes be drafty so you want to seal any holes and then use hardware cloth to cover windows, avoid chicken wire. We had some old linoleum that someone gave u s that we covered the floor with and used some roof underlayment under it. This helped insulate ours a little and got rid of some drafts. I've attached a pic of inside & out. 0509171103_Film3.jpg 0509171103_Film3.jpg 0509171103_Film3.jpg
 

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TalkALittle

Songster
5 Years
Dec 15, 2014
1,661
725
191
Massachusetts
What are the dimensions? I'm guessing an adult can't stand up in there.

Performing chicken duties in a stooped position isn't fun at all so I would suggest raising the whole structure up about 2 feet so you can push a wheelbarrow up to the side, easily reach in, and just rake dirty bedding right into it.

I'd also would blow out that front wall and make the doorway twice as wide and install some double doors. You'll be able to swing one or both wide open for access to clean or if you want to give the coop a good airing out or if you ever need to reach every nook and cranny in order to spray for mites or such.

Cover the existing windows with hardware cloth (NOT chicken wire) and consider retrofitting some repurposed window sashes in the opening. Hinge them at the top so they swing out. They will allow fresh air to flow through the coop but keep rain from blowing in.

Check your local for sale ads for small quantities of roofing material. Often people have leftovers from larger jobs that they will sell for cheap.

It looks like the eaves are closed up so I would probably cut 3-4 circular holes in each gable about 3-4" in diameter and cover them with hardware cloth. It will give another venting option and that nice overhang will keep the weather out.

You'll want to cut a chicken sized hole in one side. I'd place it 8-10" above the floor so bedding material doesn't fall out. Guillotine doors are pretty easy to make and, with a rope fed through some eye hooks, can easily be opened and closed from outside a run. And you'll need a ramp for them to get down to the outside.

If you decide to also build a run, I'd suggest having at least a portion of it covered. Whether you have it come off the side or off the gable end is your choice and will may be determined by how you want the coop to sit on your property and whether you want a particular side to be facing prevailing winds, have sun exposure, or have the coop structure serve as a wind block for the run. Regardless of your decision, do take into consideration the pitch of the run roof and snow load (if applicable) as well as rain run-off. If you get snow in any quantity, it might be best to have the run extend off the gable end and integrate the roofline with that of the coop so that it sheds snow.

Install a couple 2x4s for roosts inside and mount a wooden crate or two on the wall for nest boxes and you're in business. You can always add external nest boxes later if you choose.
 
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