Farm Project: Chicken Coop Repairs

It's been seven months since we bought our farm and the long road to restoring all the outbuildings has begun! The first big project to tackle was saving our arch-style chicken coop that was built in 1944. Clues from various pieces of junk that had accumulated in this structure lead me to believe that it hasn't been used to house chickens since the 1960's.

Some before pictures....

Over 12" of junk and coon feces littered the floor...

South facing side of the coop.

You can see the old chicken roosts on the right. 

The backside of the coop was completely overgrown in vines, tall weeds and trees. 

Projects always seem to take longer than expected - what began as a weekend long job turned into a solid month of work. I spent my weekends and evenings removing junk, ripping plaster off the walls and ceiling, and replacing random boards that had rotted over time. The building's center had also bowed out, forcing the back wall 6" off the concrete slab.

This very serious structural issue needed to be addressed before any more repairs could be made. We replaced the bottom portion of the wall, jacked up the roof four car jacks and 2x4's, then slowly pulled the wall in using come-alongs.  The process took a few days since we had to pull the wall over inch by inch, undoing 70+ years of the building shifting on its own. 

Rear wall hanging off slab with rotted sill plate (bottom board of a wall). 

Wall jacked up while installing new sill plate.

Jacked up wall using 2x4's for support.

New sill plate installed and wall pulled in, fastened to slab. 

Once the wall was pulled back onto the slab, we fastened the entire wall to the floor using 8" concrete screws. After replacing a few pieces of wooden siding and blocking out a window space, the coop was ready for birds. Our Madison chickens successfully overwintered in the building and are currently providing us with an increasing number of eggs each day! It's great to see the coop having a useful purpose on the farm again. Applying a few coats of paint this summer will have this beautiful building looking as good as new!

The After!

Wall is flush with slab.

Date with footprints and initials "C.W."

Interior all cleaned up!

Chickens enjoying their improved coop!

Special thanks to my father and father-in-law for helping me complete this project. Without their help, support and borrowed tools, it would have taken much longer to cross this one off my list!

Wishing you all the best.