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Crib to Chicken Coop

For those of you that have ever raised chickens, you are well aware of just how fast chicks grow.  It seems that in a matter of just a few short weeks those fuzzy little balls of “cheeps” are a squawking, ground scratching, bug loving chicken.

The last batch of chicks we bought were Black Copper Marans.  These beautiful black hens produce a lovely dark chocolate egg.  These girls quickly outgrew their mini-coop and I knew it was time to figure out their permanent residence.

Chicken coops and tractors can be ridiculously expensive (see more about this HERE).  I knew building one myself would be less expensive, but I lack extensive carpentry skills.  I figured that starting with some type of basic framework for a chicken tractor would be easier for me than to start from scratch.  I saw a picture online of someone who turned a crib into a chicken coop and the Crib to Coop Repurposing project was born.

I began my hunt for cribs at thrift stores and searching Craigslist, but most were priced higher than I wanted to spend.  I was then blessed with two donated cribs from two very generous women (thank you!!).

The basics I wanted to stick to throughout this project were to stay simple and inexpensive.  I looked around the homestead and utilized what materials we had available.  Paint was my most expensive cost.  This project was moderately challenging and overall cost roughly $100.  I am very pleased with the cost of this project.  It took me about 3 full days to complete.

I began by removing all plastic parts off of the crib and stabilizing the framework.

  crib1 

(By the way, when you build a crib, do it from outside the framework, or else you will be trapped on the inside. Lesson learned!) 

Next, I strategically placed cattle wire on 3 sides to prevent predators from entering.  Since I was planning on making this a tractor (mobile coop) I didn’t go all the way to the ground with the cattle wire.  I didn’t want to inhibit moving the coop around or damage the grass in the process.  Instead, I left very sharp edges (insert evil laugh here) a hair off the ground so that all predators will encounter an unexpected surprise if they try and sneak under.

  workingcrib 

I wanted to provide extra support for the frame so that when I am rolling it around the homestead, it is very sturdy.  I painted four boards (which I cut to exactly the same length as the crib without messing up or cutting a finger off-major accomplishment) and secured them to the crib. 

 crib3 
I removed the wheels that came with the crib and wood glued in a more sturdy set.  I let this sit overnight to ensure a strong bond. 

We have plenty of scrap metal roofing that was taken off our shop when the roof was replaced.  I decided to utilize these leftovers as the roof.  I placed a support bar across the top of the two vertical sides (thank you for the idea hubby) and nailed the roof to the support bar.  I also added some decoration to make it a bit more cute.  Black Copper Marans lay a dark chocolate colored egg, so I decided to use this fact as inspiration. choceggs  

I then screwed in several natural roosts and got the hubs to help me put in a nesting box and access door.  I didn’t want to push my luck and operate the jig saw!  I added a bit more decoration and voila, the crib is now officially a chicken coop! 
 
 finalcrib 
What do you think?
 
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smokintoes
11/11/2014 6:16:29 PM

Very clever use of a crib! What did your husband use for the nesting box?


sarah prewett
6/27/2013 3:51:03 AM

Pretty cool. But, how do you access the inside to hang a waterer or a feed dispenser ?


della richmond
6/26/2013 4:27:04 PM

Henny cribble doo!