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Dog House Conversion into a Chicken Coop

07 May

'I will peck you'

so the hen was broody and needed a place to lay at ground level to hatch some eggs..then the chicks can move around. The also need to be away from other adult chickens while they grow up.

had an old dog house 4×4 that I got off of a secondhand site..I think I got it for $20. Fairly sturdy and most importantly..dry.

last year I had taken out the back when one of the chickens got sick..it did not make it and the chicken hospital sat for the winter. I had originally taken off the back wall and put in some mesh for increased airflow..it was summer at the time and very hot so I wanted as much airflow as possible.

I removed the back mesh and put a hinge on the bottom and covered the remaining top portion with some smaller widths of pine. then a secured it with a simple set of wood knobs/pieces of wood to hold it in place…gravity mostly holds it in place but this makes sure it does not open up.

it was still quite cold and I am worried about varmints getting in so I covered over most of the gaps near the roof. Over the next week or 2 I am going to uncover a couple of the sealed vents and put mesh in to increase airflow at night.

The dog house is quite big and so is the entry so I sealed it somewhat with a small piece of wood to make it easier to make a swinging door and smaller so the chickens would find it acceptable. Then the  entryway is covered over with a mesh door on  a hinge.

In the fall I picked up some bins for wood..but turned on its side it is open only to the front door of the coop..right now I am keeping the swinging door closed but the outside fence will need to be secured when the chicks come. I am planning on running simple chicken wire around the structure and securing it to either side of the walls of the dog house/coop. RIght now chicks could easily get out and critters could get in. In order to secure the base of the mesh basket I am going to put pallets down and attach them to the thick wire in the above picture..if something wants to dig in they will have to go a couple of feet..I just don’t want to have to dig in and run mesh for a structure we are planning on moving..

Inside we put down an old cupboard for some extra shade and to mimic her nest box..then we put down a bed of pine shavings and some hay…we were all set for the move..we waitied until dark then..

..we put on our headlamps and did the move. The other chickens were wondering what was up.  We plucked mama hen off her eggs, put her in her new coop then moved over the actual nest including the hay..and eggs.

cozy...

Within seconds of getting the eggs in place in the new coop she was back on top of them. Now the other hen can lay in peace..and this one can nest in peace!..We know there are going to be bad eggs in the batch due to 2 hens laying in 1 spot over the 6 days we had them together but it was unavoidable due to user error. Next batch will be different..but we hope that some of this batch make it!

Overall the mini-coop cost $20..the cost of the dog house. It was not complicated but for 2-3 birds a structure like this would more than suffice. All of the other materials I scrounged or had! Sure it ain’t pretty but it should do the trick..it will be a struture we use 2-3 times a year I hope so we can move it around if need be.

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3 Comments

Posted by on May 7, 2011 in Animals, Construction, Fowl

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Dog House Conversion into a Chicken Coop

  1. Phoebe

    May 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    That’s a great little coop. One thing you might want to add is a low cardboard box with sand and a little wood stove ash. Setting hens tend to get mites and they like to take a dust bath now and then to get rid of them. They will get off the nest about once a week and drink, eat, poop and take a dust bath.
    It is my experience that the hen and chicks get along fine with the rest of the flock, just make sure that wherever she takes them for the night she is locked up tight for safety from ‘coons.

     
  2. Robin

    May 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    That is so nifty. I’m rubbish at coming up with ideas like that. Can’t beat the price either!

     

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