Coop of the month: How to repurpose office furniture into a chicken coop
A West Virginian farmer has some handy ideas for repurposing old office furniture into a chicken coop.
Owner: Heather Nicholson
Where: West Virginia, USA
What: repurposed furniture
Result: broody coop and brooder for growing chicks
Heather’s blog: http://scratchcradle.wordpress.com
Heather Nicholson may have grown up in the city, but she’d always loved reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books (Little House on the Prairie). In college she got into organic food and she learnt how to garden, compost, bake and cook. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that she finally began keeping poultry on her 1.2ha (3 acre) farm that she shared with her husband and their dog in the small mountain town of Staunton.
The three of them have now moved to a bigger farm (5.6ha, 14 acres) in West Virginia and Heather is busy working on her favourite hobby: breeding poultry, in particular a breed known as Basque (not available in NZ)
Most of what Heather uses in her coops is recycled and two in particular used old furniture she bought for a few dollars at her local second-hand store.
ROSIE’S BROODY COOP
Was: an old desk
Cost of desk: US$9
Cost of hardware: US$10
“I first deconstructed the desk, removing all but its base, casters, two sides, and the horizontal pieces which supported the desk top. I covered the desk top in tar paper and shingles left over from another project and reattached the panel at an angle, supported by a leftover piece of wood.
“Next, I cut a panel for the back, made two doors out of other leftover trim wood, and secured them with larger pieces of wood cut from the desk’s shelves. Everything was covered with various pieces of scrap hardware cloth and mosquito netting, and then the doors were attached with purchased hardware. I also added a latch to close the coop and a small roost inside for the little chicks.
“It’s far too small to contain them when they get to be teenagers, but at this stage it suits them just fine and will continue to work for maybe another month by which time the real grow-out coop. It’s really just a secure place to sleep, and water and food are provided outside in their run.”
Was: a side table
Cost of table: US$10
“I replaced the door panels with hardware cloth and window screen to block mosquitos and added a latch to lock it at night. The upper shelf holds extra food and water, and a tarp covering the run blocks the rain and sun as needed.”