Retrofit a Playhouse to a Chicken Coop Pt. 1: The Plan

Retrofit a Playhouse to a Chicken Coop Pt. 1: The Plan

Aug 7, 2010 |  by  |  On the Homestead, Raising Livestock  |  Share

playhouse02 300x199 Retrofit a Playhouse to a Chicken Coop Pt. 1: The PlanA backyard playhouse is cute, right? Surrounded by green grass with songbirds chirping overhead, the quaint wooden structure has a whimsical appeal. But tuck that same toy house back in the woods surrounded by towering evergreens with cobwebs clinging to every corner and suddenly it begins to lose it’s charm and look like something from the Blair Witch Project, at least to a 3 and 5 year old. Truth is, my kids have never taken a liking to the thing so I’ve decided to re-purpose the play house into something more practical – like a chicken coop. This means I’ll need to break out some of my handyman skills, which I haven’t had the chance to showcase for a long while.

Here’s what I plan to do:

Chicken Coop Plan
  • Retrofit a nesting box into the rear window – I spent some time looking at a number of different nesting box layouts and settled on the following set of images for inspiration. My plan is to build 3-4 nesting boxes, which will accommodate anywhere between 12-20 hens (4-5 per nest).
  • Add a few roosts inside, including one that’s 18″ away from the front window (so they don’t dribble their poo down the wall). The pics below are my inspiration here. I’ll use fallen pine branches for the roosts.
  • Cover windows and roof vents with 1/2″ hardware cloth and replace boards that have large knot holes. I’m choosing this rather than standard chicken wire because I’d like smaller openings in the wire to prevent critters from trying to reach through.
  • Build new door with latch and lock. The existing door didn’t extend the full length of the entry so I’ll just build another.
  • Remove railing from front porch. This will just get in the way so it has to go.
  • Install chicken coop door. An automatic one would be cool, but that kind is too expensive for me right now.

I haven’t yet decided about the pen/run. I’d like to have multiple runs that are each used for about 7-10 days and that are allowed to regrow and repopulate with various insects and plant life when they are not in use. I still have to put some more thought into that portion though. I’d love to hear from anyone out there who has a multi-run setup. Any suggestions are more than welcome! I think I’ll start on this within a week’s time so stick around for the finished product.



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