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Updating old coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cici_p, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. cici_p

    cici_p Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So. . .have been inspired to get chickens based on the old coop in our backyard. It is an old-timer design. Dirt floor. Door that doesn't securley close (and is made out of two by fours and chicken wire). Some old boards somewhat bowed out. . .Ventilation at the top provided by chicken wire screening. Don't even get me started on the actual run, although I am counting on my dogs to keep the predators away during the day when the chickens are out. . .Question is, can a chicken house like this be updated and made safe? What would we need to do about the dirt floors? Is the design of having chicken wire ventilation between the roof and the boards going to keep our brood safe? How to I make a tight door for an already made door way?
    Any ideas or experience?
     
  2. Their Other Mother

    Their Other Mother Chillin' With My Peeps

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    show us some pictures and you'll get lots of advice!
     
  3. cici_p

    cici_p Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 27, 2009
    hhmmm, ok, will work on this tomorrow
     
  4. cici_p

    cici_p Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 27, 2009
    Ok here are pics:

    from a distance looking into the pen:
    [​IMG]

    Front of the coop
    [​IMG]

    Bottom of the door. Notice how nothing is flush so it doesn't shut:
    [​IMG]

    Ventilation system at the top:
    [​IMG]

    Pic of the top gap from the inside (it is currently blocked by chicken wire)
    [​IMG]

    Pic of the dirt flooring, notice nothing going below ground to keep out the critters
    [​IMG]

    Bowed out boards. There are a few of these:
    [​IMG]

    What do you guys think? Is it workable or should we scrap it and start over??

    Here are my concerns, in order of importance:
    Getting a solid door on it that actually closes
    Making sure racoons can't break in through the top gaps where the chicken wire is
    Making sure nothing can dig under the coop to get in
    Addressing the bows
    Making a secure run to keep out chicken hawks

    Could use some advice on the best way to go about this.
    Thanks!!
     
  5. supermom

    supermom Out Of The Brooder

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    Personally, I'd keep it and fix it up. The basic structure is okay... chickens aren't picky! Fixing the door issue would be my first concern. I'd put plywood on the door instead of the chicken wire... at least on the bottom two thirds... might just leave the wire on the top third for ventilation. Then, just rehang the door so it closes securely. As far as the bowed boards, you can replace them. Finally, I'd dig a trench around the structure, and bury a strip of chicken wire about 12 inches deep to keep out the coons.. If you don't like the dirt floor, go get some pallets and put them on the floor. You could chuck a piece of plywood on top of the pallets and nail it down. then cover the floor with shavings that are easy to rake up.
    Finishing touches: Put some sort of cover on the roof to keep out the rain... that roof doesn't look so hot, put up a perch and install a few nest boxes... Ta da, you're ready to go! Good luck![​IMG]
     
  6. cici_p

    cici_p Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you think the chicken wire up at the top of the house is a concern? It seems like racoons could break in through there. what should I do to re-inforce it without losing the ventilation?
     
  7. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    That is definitely workable, I actually really like it. Like supermom said, I'd fix the door. The floor can actually stay dirt, just put chickenwire along the outside buried so nothing can dig. The ventalation shouldn't be a problem, just make sure it is well secured...maybe if you aren't comfortable with it, then double up the chicken wire and put up some wood (1"x2") as framing around it to better secure the chicken wire.
    All in all, with a coat of paint or stain it will look really great when you're done, and comfy for the birds too
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    That's a nice little coop. I would just fix it up.

    I would replace the chicken wire on the coop with 1/2" hardware cloth. That will keep out the raccoons. To attach it, you can either use washers and screws or a strip of wood along the edge to hold it down, that's screwed into the wood. With older wood, I would definitely drill a small pilot hole first, to prevent the wood from splitting.

    For the door, I think I would frame or at least partially reframe, the doorway. It's hard to see exactly what you're working with there. What I'm thinking is that you need a 2x4 attached along the edge where the door latches, that would give you a straight edge for the door to butt up against and fill that gap. Can you do something like that?

    For the run, chicken wire or netting keeps out hawks. If you have dogs protecting the coop during the day, they may keep animals away that normally require stronger run fencing. You could also add some welded wire, over the chicken wire, if you're worried.
     
  9. cici_p

    cici_p Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone!
    This is all really helpful and makes me less overwhelmed about getting started! Re-frame the doorway--wow, what an ingenious idea! (Seems so obvious now, but I hadn't even thought about it on my own). The door is definately my first priority. I will get to work on the coop next weekend. This weekend it was snowing, so built an incubator instead. . .
     
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Building an incubator sounds like more fun, especially in bad weather! [​IMG]
     

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