The neighbors weren’t sure what Nathan Hawkins was up to when he used his tractor and skid steer to drag, push and pull a cube truck box aged with moss and mold that had been abandoned behind the barn of his property. But they understood his vision after he remodeled it with reclaimed materials and bright red metal siding to create an attractive coop for 50 chickens.
“It was a labor of love for the chickens as well as showing my husband’s deep love for salvaging used items,” explains Hawkins’ wife, Leah.
The 8 1/2-ft. wide by 18 1/2-ft. long box had plenty of room for a chicken coop and a small room to store chicken feed and bedding.
Hawkins used a grinder and reciprocating saw to cut through the metal walls to cut in three windows and a door, all of them reclaimed. After removing the rollup door and framing the end with used lumber. He also cut a small door for the chickens and added a nesting box that can be accessed from outside to gather eggs. He used 2 by 6 lumber scraps from a nearby factory to make trusses to create a roof that matched his barn’s roof.
Hawkins cut out boards from a section of old stairs for roosts and converted an old feed bin into a light. The ceiling of the cube box already had foam insulation, so the coop has been cozy, even in the winter. Hawkins usually opens the windows a little for ventilation.
“The chicken coop is elevated on a platform, so in the summer the chickens can go underneath for shade,” Hawkins says, adding they have free range in a large, fenced area that includes a pond.
“The best part is there are no rats,” he says, as there had been with his old coop.
His final touch was adding a Canadian flag on a short flagpole that he made from a curtain rod.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Nathan Hawkins, Stevensville, Ontario, Canada (Nathanhawkins1@hotmail.com).