Last May we moved an old weathered cabin to our farm where it went through a transformation. It had “good bones” but needed a lot of repair and cosmetic improvements after years of neglect.
We started with a new roof, structural reinforcements, new flooring, siding repair and replacement, new custom 6-pane windows with screens along with lots and lots of scraping and painting. We also converted 1/3 of the building into a chicken coop.
The chicken coop portion required adding a partial interior wall, adding an interior door to the chicken “room” along with various other amenities such as a poop deck, custom feeder and supplement feeders, nesting boxes and a sliding exterior chicken door that we can open/close from the outside.
Small touches such as the period lightning rods, vintage concrete stairs, custom cedar window boxes along with the railroad tie landscaping finish off the completed look.
Our Blue Coop Before & After
Five Tips for Designing a Chicken Coop
Five important things to keep in mind when designing or remodeling a building to use as a chicken coop.
- Air Movement – It’s important to allow for air movement in the coop during the hot summer months. The ability to open doors and windows helps keep your girls cool.
- Shade – Chickens love sunbathing almost as much as dust-bathing but its important to allow for a shady area where they can escape when its especially hot.
- Protection – Make sure your coop is safe from predators that can climb, dig and squeeze their way into the building.
- Electricity – It’s pretty convenient to have electricity in your coop for a light when doing chores at night or trying to keep water from freezing in the cold months. Also, you can supplement sunlight to keep your girls laying by adding a light on a timer.
- Convenience – Consider purchasing roll-back laying boxes for convenient egg collecting. We decided on the Kuhl 10-Hole Rear Roll-out system and are very happy.
The old cabin looked pretty rough when it arrived at our farm. Several broken windows!
One of the first steps was a new roof. We were able to purchase leftover roofing supplies on Craigslist.
We had to replace all of the siding on the south side of the building.
Scraping and painting the coop took much longer than expected.
A progress photo of the inside of the coop. You can see the new interior wall and door frame along with the new interior door. The custom feeder had been started but we later added a stand and poles to tell the feed supply level.
All of that work was worth it because I know that our girls love it.
Have you fixed up an old house or building? Was it more work than you expected?