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So you want chickens but don’t feel as though you have a proper coop for them? Well, there’s more than one way to “pluck that chicken”! You’ve got more than one option, so why not consider converting a horse stall into a chicken coop?
Actually, you can covert any covered enclosure that can be closed up at night, whether it be an old outbuilding or the back of a garage…maybe even an unused garden shed!
Here’s what’s important to remember about what chickens need:
- A way to roost at night.
- Nesting boxes.
- Kept safe from predators, especially at night.
- Dry floor with straw or shavings.
- Access to food and water.
- Protection from wind and weather.
Using a horse stall makes it pretty easy to accomplish these things! The first thing you need to do is to thoroughly clean your horse stall, being careful to remove all feces from floor and walls. You might even want to power wash, if needed.
Once your stall is clean, give a little thought to the floor. Depending upon whether this coop is a temporary idea or a permanent solution, you may want to consider mats. We already have mats in place and it sure makes it easier to clean!
I should share with you that I have 3 chicken coops, but in the winter time, I prefer to bring my chickens into the barn. This lessens my work load tremendously, because I only have to clean the stall rather than 3 coops.
In the fall, I cull my older flock to reduce my winter feed bill. This also allows for a smaller coop area.
You can go all out with building your horse stall to meet your chickens expectation, but I chose the easy way.
My chickens absolutely LOVE to hang out in the hay barn! They lay eggs and have all of their “chicken meetings” in there as well! Why not just emulate the same environment in a horse stall?
This is a pretty simple process, I just brought in about 10 straw bales and 2-2×4’s. I stacked them in the corner that faces the outside of the barn, to create some insulation factor.
I tucked the 2×4’s in between the bales to serve as a roost. Clean shavings were spread on the floor.
Using milk crates, I created some quick nesting boxes. I lined the bottom with folded feed bags to keep the shavings in.
It’s important to stagger your roosts so that no one gets poo on their backs!
I open the top door in the morning for ventilation and to give them a chance to go outside, then close it up at night.
The very first night, the “girls” moved right in and started laying! Success! Hopefully, you’ll find a potential coop on your homestead that you hadn’t considered yet!!