You sometimes have to say goodbye to an old chicken coop in the poultry industry.
You don’t have to resign yourself to watching the coop fall to tatters where it stands, though.
If you want to learn what to do with old chicken houses, keep reading, and we’ll look at some of the best ideas for backyard chicken keepers.
If you need to repurpose an old coop on a chicken farm, no one said it can’t still be for chickens!
However, it’s a technique best-suited to experienced chicken farmers who know how to fashion a safe and effective brooder for their chicks.
You’ll also need some plastic tarps, thick plastic wrap, and a heat lamp along with the old chicken house.
It’s also good to move your coop somewhere inside, like a garage or shed, rather than out in the open.
This will help you have better control over the environment inside the brooder.
The two primary keys here are simple.
First, when you add the plastic wrap around the outside of the old coop, make sure it’s still ventilated, so the chickens have plenty of fresh air.
Additionally, make sure you carefully set your heat lamp.
The last thing you want is chicks either too hot or too cold in the poultry house you’ve turned into a brooder.
Poultry houses aren’t big enough to house a lot of larger tools.
However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t helpful in adding a few extra square feet of storage.
If you keep a garden and a chicken farm, store your spare gardening tools in a repurposed chicken house.
One of the easiest options when trying to repurpose a chicken coop.
After all, the only thing you need to do is tidy it up.
If you want to go the extra mile, remove the amenities for animals like broiler chickens and add more organizational touches like hooks or pegboards to hold your tools and supplies.
Add some paint for a fresh new look.
Of course, you aren’t limited to just storing garden tools in your old chicken coop.
Another great option for backyard chicken keepers is using an old chicken coop for firewood storage.
This offers a few advantages.
It makes a dedicated space for something that can take up a lot of space if left unorganized in your yard.
In addition, if you leave wood out and uncovered, it’s likely to degrade or not work due to exposure to the elements.
When you’re trying to build a fire, the last thing you want is to realize all the fuel you have on hand is saturated thoroughly from rainfall the night before.
Storing your firewood in your old chicken coop is a great way to protect it from the elements and keep it handy for use whenever you need it.
Largely, dogs already love to spend time outside.
Still, you want to make sure they’re comfortable when they need a moment of rest.
One popular answer to this is offering your dog a dog house.
Not only does it offer a place to sit, but the enclosed nature of the design offers plenty of shade.
Since a chicken house already offers additional ventilation, it helps control the temperature and prevent overheating.
To turn it into a dog house, the significant change you’ll need to make to your old chicken house is widening the entrance.
This will depend on your dog’s size and become more critical the larger your breed is.
For the best results, make the opening wider than your dog so they can quickly enter and exit.
You will have plenty of room in your repurpose chicken coop to add a few supplies for your dog, like a bed and water or maybe even a few toys!
Sometimes, you want your cats to enjoy fresh air too.
The only problem is, if you just let your cats out, there’s a risk they won’t return as quickly and easily as calling a dog back inside.
To help their pets enjoy some fresh air safely, many cat owners turn to “catios.”
Just like a patio helps you stay comfortable while you sit outside, the same is true for catios.
To help keep your pets contained, these areas are often screened in.
To achieve this, use your old chicken house to create your cat patio!
Since cats love places to jump up and rest, they might even appreciate all the areas to nest!
To ensure your cats have everything they need while they’re spending time in the sun, don’t forget to add a litter box and some water.
Housing for Other Species
Just because you aren’t housing your chickens in a chicken house anymore doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a use for storing animals.
Aside from the two options we’ve just considered, another option is to repurpose your old chicken coop to hold other animals than chickens.
This renovation will give you a new space for animals like rabbits or even ducks.
After all, being a chicken farmer doesn’t mean you aren’t an animal lover in general, so it’s possible to put this space to good use and add another source of income!
You’ll want to make sure you properly renovate the space to make it safe for the new species you’re bringing in.
For instance, chicken pens are built with some expectation for the inhabitants to easily navigate obstacles.
On the other hand, a rabbit can’t jump as high as a chicken’s short flight, so the nesting areas may need to be adjusted to fit your new animals.
Related: Do chickens kill rabbits?
Cold Framing Gardens
A cold frame can help you control the climate specifically surrounding your garden.
It’s a simple tool that relies on the warmth of the sun and a bit of insulation to help keep your garden at the temperature you need it to be.
If you have a spare chicken coop around, it’s possible to transform it into a cold frame in no time!
All you have to do is wrap your old chicken house in plastic wrap.
Then, position it over your garden to help keep your garden warm even if you live in a more chilled climate.
Fun Space for Kids
When you want to step away from chickens entirely with a decades-old chicken house, another idea is to turn it into a playhouse for kids.
This will require fully cleaning out your chicken coop to start.
The last thing you want is a playhouse full of nesting boxes and chicken smell.
By removing the chicken-related items like texting boxes and perches, you’re left with what looks like a small house.
With fresh paint and some toys to play house or whatever your child’s favorite game of pretending is, you’ve found a fun way to repurpose a chicken coop.
A Space for Grownups
You aren’t limited to repurposing a chicken coop for just children.
Turn a chicken coop into your personal space as well.
For this, follow many of the same steps to turn your chicken coop into a playhouse.
You’ll need to remove hardware like nesting boxes and break out the vinegar to remove the pesky chicken smell.
After you’ve done this, you’re ready to start decorating!
Start with a splash of fresh paint for a refreshed look, and decorate the inside with whatever you’d like.
This can make an excellent space for a small craft space.
This approach for chicken lovers shows how much you like chickens to your friends.
Extend a Coop
If you find your new coop isn’t big enough to comfortably give your chickens the space they need, your old pen can still come in handy.
Chickens love the chance to roam a bit, and a single coop isn’t always enough for a chicken farmer.
Related: How big of a coop do you need for 10 chickens?
To offer a bit more space, attach the old coop and the new one to create a larger space.
Remember, if your old coop is being retired because it isn’t up to standards or compatible with your new coop, you may need to commit to some renovations before using it as a coop extension.
If you need help determining how tall a chicken coop should be, check out our guide at the link.
There are a lot of reasons you might need to quarantine an animal.
For example, maybe you have a new animal your still introducing to the rest of the chicken flock, or you run into a chicken who falls ill and needs some time to recover on its own.
In these cases, having an old chicken coop around is helpful too!
One option is to use this space as temporary housing for animals during their quarantine period.
A big benefit of this is you don’t need to worry about converting poultry houses because you’re using those houses for the same thing.
In the place of this renovation, you’ll just need to make sure your chicken coop is in serviceable enough shape to serve as an animal’s temporary home.