Keeping chickens is so much a part of a self-reliant lifestyle, that most cities now have ordinances to allow chickens in small quantities as a nod to sustainability. And a few hens are not hard to accommodate.
This old outhouse has been with me now for almost 30 years. But I no longer had a use for it as originally intended. Re-purposing was in order! With just a few modifications it has become an adequate chicken house.
- I covered the open hole seat area with a new sheet of plywood
- Cut a hole in the side about 10”x10” for the chickens to go in and out
- Tacked the fence wire around the hole with 2×4 to frame the opening
- Since the door had long ago fallen off, I replaced it with a full view used storm door from a used center for $8
- I installed two dowel rods for roosting areas
- I attached an old wooden crate for a nest box onto the wall
The chicken pen is away from the barn, so I ran an electric drop cord to it for supplemental lighting and to power the water font heater. That is working just fine and I am using a timer that I got for my Christmas lights to control the lighting.
Their chicken pen is a metal pergola I got on clearance at the end of the season a couple of years ago and covered with chicken wire, including the bottom—predator control! I used cable ties to secure the wire. In the summer they have outside roosts. Added bonus, last summer the squash crawled up and over it providing shade for the chickens and a vertical trellis for the squash!
This was a last minute, just before winter hit, project. Adjustments I hope to make this spring include:
- Add tin under the roosts in order to funnel the manure into plastic gutters run along the bottom of the tin for ease of cleaning and to catch the manure for the compost pile
- Construct roll away nest boxes with outside access so that I don’t have to enter the 4’x4′ building—and the little devils don’t eat their eggs
- Add a secure clip to the light hanger
- Tin the outside of the building
- Hinge the seat area and line the rectangular box under it with tin to keep their feed in
- I might do some stencils on the glass door
Except for the obvious form of the building the function has been completely altered!
Related: Chicken Doctoring
Some great ideas on reusing different materials for your chicken coop.
One reusable item we made was a work table from an old front door from a house being torn down.I am talking a really old door, the ones that were made from rough sawed lumber.We made the base from some boards that came from the exterior walls
Another work table we made from an old metal sewing machine frame. we covered the top with cedar boards we cut from the farm. We use this work table in the garden area, really saves the old back.
Great ideas J100!
I have repurposed an old hollow core door (dropped a cup in where the handle was for pens) as a desk with two drawer metal file cabinets on either end to hold it up.
I keep all of my lumber scraps for something! Even crafty little birdhouses are fun to make and paint during our long winters. :)