A Recycled Chicken Coop – Part 2

Yesterday I rambled a bit about how we picked the old building to remodel into our chicken coop. We also started building the run but the ground froze before we could get all the posts set. Ah the joys of a Wisconsin winter! Since we couldn’t work on the run any more, we moved on to the building itself. I’m a list/classify kinda gal so I like to think of the work in phases.

Recycled Chicken Coop Phase 1: Destroy

Recycled Chicken Coop Phase 2: Rebuild

Recycled Chicken Coop Phase 3: Details

So we jumped right in with Phase 1. We slipped on some face masks and gloves, grabbed the snow shovel and started cleaning up the raccoon poop and broken pots. We also removed the two old broken windows. The third window was in good shape so we left it. (And by “we” I mainly mean Josh. I forget where I was, but I’m sure it was very important to miss such a fun time.) I arrived on the scene just in time to take a photo. (Hmm, maybe I was out buying a camera since this is now in the ANC time period: After New Camera.)

Cleaning an old farm building to recycle into a chicken coop on our homestead

Once we got it all relatively nice and clean, we made a huge mess by ripping the cardboard wall coverings down. It was pretty yucky because the board had gotten wet and was a little soggy and gooey.

Removing the board walls from an old farming building to recycle it into a chicken coop for our homestead
Next we pulled down all the old siding on two walls of the building. Most of it was rotten and in pretty rough shape. We even removed the door because of the raccoon pet door (AKA: huge hole) in the bottom.

An old farm building that is falling apart

Before

The old farm building after the siding is removed so it can become the homestead chicken coop

After

Even the baby of the family helps remodel the old farm building into a chicken coop for the homestead

Everybody helped!

The siding removed from two walls of the old farm building that is being recycled into a homestead chicken coop

Both sides done

And with that, Phase 1: Destroy! was completed.

Now we move on to Phase 2: Rebuild. We scored two big storm windows off Craigslist for $10 each so Josh built frames for them. Here we are testing the first one to make sure it fits. Being newbies at this sort of thing, it’s always hit or miss. Sometimes we amaze ourselves and sometimes, well, it ain’t pretty. So we held our breath and fit it into place.

Testing the new windows on the old farm building that is being remodeled into a chicken coop for the homesteadSuccess! Sometimes we can read a tape measure! (And in case you are wondering, yes it is on backwards. My dad pointed that out as soon as I showed him this photo. I’d like to say that we knew that but, um, we didn’t. We thought it wouldn’t matter but for drainage purposes you shouldn’t just turn them inside out. Live and learn, right?)

So we removed the test window and then covered the two bare sides with tar paper that is normally used for roofing. Now, I’m not sure if that is exactly what we should have used (again, newbies!) but I got it from someone on Freecycle for FREE so that’s what we went with. (I also got a few bundles of shingles with the paper. We need to re-shingle another building here on the homestead. Gotta love Freecycle! If you don’t know about it, check it out here.)

Black roofing paper wrapped around an old farm building remodeled into a homestead chicken coop

After cutting out the windows and door areas from the black paper, we went shopping on the homestead again, this time for siding. Now, our lives would have been easier if we just went to a real store and bought something new. But in the interest of money-saving and world-saving, we wanted to use whatever we could from the farm. We had two buildings to work with. First was the old chicken coop and the second was an old building behind the barn. A previous owner had already removed the siding from one wall of building so we figured we could too.

An old farm building on our homestead

The result of previous siding shopping trips

Siding has been removed from an old farm building on the homestead to use on our chicken coop

What we removed

I don’t know how we would have done it without our little nail puller. Even though it took us a long time, it was worth it. Not only did I save some money, but I am glad that these buildings were able to still be useful. Both the old chicken coop and the building in the photos were part of the original homestead over 100 years ago. They have the remains of plaster and molding in them. You can see where stairs and woodstoves once sat. It’s easy to imagine a child climbing the stairs to their bed in the loft or a woman cooking over the big stove in the center of the room. Since their glory days, they have been used as houses for chickens, hogs and lambs. That kind of rough life has taken it’s toll on the buildings.

The inside of the old original farmhouse

The old farmhouse where the stairs once led up to the loft

It makes me sad that they have gotten so rundown so I’m glad that we can make them useful again, even if it is only in a very small way.

The next two weekends were spent taking down siding from the old buildings, cutting them for the new coop and putting them up.

Putting up old siding on our new recycled chicken coop

The makeshift workstation for our table saw and mitar saw

Our workstation - professional looking isn't it?

We had to work around the snowstorms but we finally got it done! Once we permanently installed the windows, it looked like a REAL building! Imagine that. We were pretty proud of ourselves since we really had no clue what we were doing.

The recycled chicken coop with reused siding and windows

Our "new" siding and windows

That concludes Phase 2: Rebuild! (If only it were that simple and quick in real life.) And since you’re probably on photo overload, I’d better conclude this post for today. But I’ll be back tomorrow with Phase 3: Details. See you then!

Other posts that might be of interest:

  1. A Recycled Chicken Coop – Part 3
  2. A Recycled Chicken Coop – Part 1
  3. Goodbye Color-Coded Garden Plan
  4. Walk With Me: Chick and Cat Morning Chores
  5. Rule #6: Don’t Forget to Look Back
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7 Responses to A Recycled Chicken Coop – Part 2

  1. Pingback: Recycled Chicken Coop Part 3

  2. Sarah says:

    wow!!! so cool!!!

  3. the Goodwife says:

    It’s beautiful! And I applaud you for keeping the spirit of your old place alive. Too many of them are just being bulldozed down!

    • Mandy says:

      Thanks! We’re trying to do what we can. It’s sad that some things will need to be torn down but we’re keeping what we can and using as much as possible on those we can’t.

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