A school bus as a chicken coop Comments needed

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I am using a house trailer as a chicken coop and the roof caved in and now I need a new coop. Has anyone ever used a school bus for a chicken coop? Seats removed. I believe it will be nice and warm in winter with all the windows to give them plenty of light and warmth from the sun which will be needed since I am located in north east PA. Thinking of raising it off the ground so they have more room under and I can locate any eggs they hide when they are outside. All comments are welcome.

-- Mary (marwel@microserve.net), February 01, 2002


There was an article in FarmShow I just got today where the guy does just that! He lives in Hillsboro,Ohio. He can be reached by email at: organic@dragonbbs.com . His name is Mark Dobbs

-- Katie S (cashcrop90@yahoo.com), February 01, 2002.

I've been thinking about buying an old school bus myself. Does anybody know where to get an affordable used one? I live in Wisconsin. I've heard beekeepers also use school buses for keeping bees in Northeastern WI.

-- Katie S (cashcrop90@yahoo.com), February 01, 2002.

Hi Mary. I do not see where using a school bus would be a problem as long as it does not get too hot in the summer keep some or all of the windows opened with screening over them to keep animals out. Also, keep some windows cracked open during winter to prevent moisture buildup. You should do o.k. with the bus. I have seen chickens kept in worse things than a bus. My first coop was an old thrown away privacy fence I tacked together, it is almost seven years old and I still use it when I have to. George

-- george nh (rcoopwalpole@aol.com), February 01, 2002.

school bus as a hunting blind/camp ,, as an extracting house for honey,, take the extractor to the hives, storage shed,, why not a coop

-- Stan (sopal@net-port.com), February 01, 2002.

Ex uses an old bus as a storage shed behind his auto repair shop, the town can't tax the 'shed' because it's portable. It costs him about $50 to keep it registered (but not insured as it's an inoperable vehicle)-it would cost $500 in taxes to have the same sq ft shed.

-- Kathy (catfish201@hotmail.com), February 01, 2002.

A while back in one of my sheep magazines was a story of an enterprising teenager who converted a schoolbus to a lambing facility. He removed all the seats, built in pens, converted the wheelwells into chutes to scrape manure and bedding to a wheelbarrow below. The emergency exit had a ramp built to it for loading and unloading the sheep.He kept the interior lights and fan working on a 12 volt battery. I thought it was very ingenious to say the least. They had little money for a barn, but got the bus for next to nothing.

-- Kate henderson (kate@sheepyvalley.com), February 01, 2002.

Now won't THAT be attractive! Why not just use the couple hundred bucks that you'd spend on an old bus and build something that won't be an eyesore.

-- -- (can't stand tacky@junkbuses.com), February 01, 2002.

I am curious, how would a bus be to clean? And I know you clever people have a way to put perches in? It also sound like it would be miserable in the summer. Are you in an area with high humidity? And do you think you would have to re enforce the window screening or are the windows far enough off the ground to discourage predators? I know that rats and mice could go right in. Very interesting, hope it works out. LQ

-- Little Quacker (carouselxing@juno.com), February 01, 2002.

I'm in the process of looking for a travel trailer for the same purpose. It will also be easy to move my flock, since I plan on moving soon (I hope!) The travel trailer won't need the upkeep like something with an engine in it.

I checked with the DOT about licensing when I move. They suggested getting a one day permit ~ $5 ~ instead of a regular plate.

There's quite a few of these trailers for sale here; they're used by the deer hunters. Just have to find a large one that's in good shape. Saw one that was in great shape, but too small ~ and in too good of shape for a chook coop!!

-- ~Rogo (rogo2222@hotmail.com), February 02, 2002.

I've emailed Mark asking him to come over to this forum and address this. Since he has first hand experience with such a thing.

-- Katie S (cashcrop90@yahoo.com), February 02, 2002.

I know a guy that is keeping his tools (he is a mechanic) in one old bus, he had problems with mice, and raccoons moved under the hood, also his neighbors complained, because the bus "rust out" fairly quick, and it was a terrible "eye sore" needless to say he is building a shed now, and he is getting wood free from the dumster. I am also concer during summer, those vehicle could reach easily 100 degree inside... I don't know but it dosen't seems like a good idea. Only like a temporary coop maybe. Ralph.

-- Ralph Roces (rroces1@yahoo.com), February 02, 2002.

As far as cleaning them out, remove one of the wheels and wheel wells, of course prop the bus up outside, and put a cover over the hole. Cleaning time, slide cover off and shovel to a cart or wheelbarrow below. My neighbor painted his bus camafaloge (sp.?) greens and planted vines around it to give shade to his chickens and make it less of an eyesore. Actually from the road it is barely noticeable and looks like a long shed. Imagination at work.

-- Kate henderson (kate@sheepyvalley.com), February 02, 2002.

I am converting one right now. It is a full sized bus, I bought it for $250, it runs nice and came with a full tank of gas (they forgot to drain it). I read the idea in a book by Ken S. who is on this forum a lot. I like it because I can move it to new grass as often as I like for my laying flock, I plan to use it in conjunction with portable electric poultry netting and a solar/battery powered fence charger. As far as the asthetics of an old school bus? I believe if the rest of your farm is neat and tidy it won't be an eyesore rather a good conversation piece and my wife who is a self described neat freak agrees!

-- Cal (calvin@dwave.net), February 04, 2002.

Mary, I would advise against using a bus, even it were free of charge, for chickens or rabbits because of the enormous amount of ammonia they produce. Ammonia DEVOURS almost any metal, as I found some years ago when I garaged a classic Austin Healy Sprite (Bugeye) at the opposite end of a well ventilated barn in which my daughter raised meat rabbits. You would simply not believe what it did to the car and my tools in one Oregon winter, less than six months. Imagine what would happen to the bus!

-- Griff in OR (griff@hangnail.com), February 06, 2002.

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