My Shed Coop

By Desirai, Feb 26, 2012 | Updated: Apr 18, 2012 | | |
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  1. Desirai
    Cost so far, as of March 7th:

    $124.50 for shed, incl delivery
    $68.39 for brooder supplies
    $93.07 for extra building supplies and chicken run lumber
    $20.00 for gas


    Update, March 14th:

    Oh lordy.. now we're starting to get into the big bucks.


    $32.60 for some more pieces of lumber.
    $164.75 for stinkin' chicken wire and a gate door.


    Update, March 29th:
    $72.00 for more chicken wire.


    April something:
    Returned some unused supplies and got $85 back.
    Used $85 to buy some more lumber and various chicken supplies.


    $75 for one more roll of wire, some different sized nails and staples.

    Total cost overall as of April 18th:
    About $740 from start to finish, including chick food, chickens, misc. containers, feeders, waterers, gas money, paying for assistance, feeding helpers, etc etc!




    I am brand new to chickens and have never had them before in my life.
    I decided last summer that I wanted chickens when my neighbor got some!

    So this is going to outline my journey to my chickens from start to finish! I will keep updating this page until it is complete! (Is it ever REALLY complete?)


    First some background information on myself. I'm 23 and living with my grandparents while I work full time to get back on my feet. I live in rural Alabama, about 3 hours west of Atlanta and 1 hour north of Birmingham. I used to live in Atlanta before I lost my job, and they gave graciously allowed me to move in with them AND bring my pets.. 2 cockatiels, 3 cats, and soon, chickens!
    They have given me a limit of 10 or less chickens (FYI: I live outside the city and I believe we are allowed 40 chickens as long as they are "contained in a permanent enclosure")

    My chickens are going to be pets and the eggs are a bonus. My chickens will not be eaten!

    So, I am not a handyman and I don't have any handymen in my life. My father is disabled, my grandfather is old and I won't allow him to help, my brother is younger than I and has about as much experience as I do.

    Therefore.. I am clueless. To begin with, I was researching premade coops. Way too expensive and way too small. So I began researching how to build my own coop instead! I spent days and weeks on BYC reading every coop page I could find about how people built their coops and from what and what I needed. I filled up a notepad with drawings and ideas!

    And that's when it began................


    February 2012. I received my income tax check and I immediately took a chunk and put it into savings. I had been planning this for months and I knew I was going to use some of it to build my coop.
    I had no idea what I needed as far as supplies went, so I volunteered one of my best friends to come with me to a hardware store to for check lumber, hardwire, tools, etc.
    I told an employee at the store what I was trying to do, and she says, "Have you thought of buying a shed and just transforming it into a coop?"
    Yes! But I don't want to spend $1000+ on a shed and then have to buy materials to transform it into a coop.
    "Well, we have some sheds on clearance."

    So my friend and I go to look to see what she has. They have all been SOLD.. except for one. An 8ft x 6ft Heartland Kwik Shed. This particular size and style has been discontinued, therefore the $700 shed was on sale for $200. But she told me, "My manager told me that we need to have it out of the store by March. I'll sell it to you for $50."

    SOLD!!!!!!!!!

    I jumped on that deal immediately.

    The supply kit wouldn't fit in my grandpa's truck, so we had to have it delivered.

    Two days and $123.50 later, I have a brand new unopened shed in my backyard.
    Here's my backyard. (The horse, barn and pasture belongs to my aunt and uncle.)

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    I'm pretty impatient, so even though I had no idea what I was doing, I had to open it.

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    Here's where I'm going to put it...

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    So I begin building!!!!!! Alone and cluelessly.

    I didn't get any pictures of this part but.. I totally nailed the floor beams backwards to each other. I don't know how to explain it, but long store short, one side was 2 inches shorter than the other.
    I solicited the help from my best friend and he helped me pry apart the pieces and then expertly put them together they way they were supposed to be. YIPPEE!

    Took about an hour to fix what I had done and put it back together correctly, and voila! We have a floor!

    An hour later and voila, we have a wall and a half!!!!!

    [​IMG]

    At this point we stopped because it was starting to get really cold, and we didn't have the power drill :(

    Today I'm going to get some cinder blocks to put the floor up on so that it will be level.


    Update, March 4th!

    I forgot to take action shots yesterday cause I was so excited to be working on it again after the recent series of tornadoes. We were lucky and didn't get touched by any tornadoes, just some severe weather. We lost some trees and lawn ornaments but no serious damage.

    So, even though it was really chilly and windy yesterday, I finally managed to get together my team of handymen (and women!) to put a few hours work into it.

    What we accomplished yesterday in about 3 hours:

    Got both left and right walls up (forgot to cut the chicken door into the left wall, luckily we didn't hammer it into place so we can take it down again to cut the door.)

    Got the roof gables put together.

    Got the floor up on blocks and leveled the floor.

    Fixed some messups on the floor, it wasn't flush on one side so we had to take apart the front left corner. Luckily wasn't very difficult!

    I didn't take any pictures yesterday but I took some this morning. You can also see in the pictures where the sun will be at 6:30 am on a March morning! :)


    The chicken door will be in this wall.

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    This is where the sun is shining on the right wall!

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    Here's a picture of the roof gables. We cut ventilation into it, which caused a little bit of wood splintering :(

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    And here is just a nice picture :)

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    Update, March 4th part 2!!!!

    My wonderful team of handymen came over again today at about 3pm. It was very windy this morning and my 2 walls got blown over. Very saddening. But it took no time to get them back in place!

    What we accomplished in about 4 hours~
    Built the back and front wall, minus doors
    Added the chicken door! and new ventilation
    Attached all 4 walls to the floor and attached the gables to the top.

    What remains is to install the door, the roof and then screw the walls firmly in place, then caulk and add the outer trim and decor. Later I'm going to buy paint and possibly insulate the inside, but that will come later!

    After we get this built we are going to get the supplies for the inside shelving, roosts, and other chicken items, as well as get the outside fencing materials!! :)

    Here are some pictures from today. My camera battery died before we got the roof on, so I'll take some of those tomorrow after it charges.

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    One of my handymen holding the wall while my dad nails in the other side

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    Cutting the ventilation

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    Update, March 5th!

    Here are some more pictures. I took these this morning since my camera battery died yesterday afternoon!

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    Update, March 7th!

    This was the hardest part so far, especially because it was windy and there was just 2 of us today. I tried to solicit help but everyone was just busy.

    It took us about 5 hours, but we got the roof on and the roof felt on. We also went to Marvins to pick up more supplies, including the timber for the chicken run.

    The only thing left to do is to attach the doors, shingle the roof, and nail on the trimmings.

    Then we are going to start on the chicken run! :)

    [​IMG]


    Update, March 10th!

    Yesterday at about 9am my best friend came over and we mounted the doors! This leaves the shed mostly complete.
    All that remains on the shed is to put on the shingles, install the chicken door, the nests, the perches, and trim. Paint will be for another time.

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    Aaaaaand.... we got up all the fence posts for the fence!! We have some left over "just in case." I believe it's about 10ft x 8ft, give or take.
    We had to adjust it because the front 3 posts (in the picture) kinda uncovered our underground spring and the ground sunk in... so we may be adjusting in more because I'm worried it will swallow the posts.

    [​IMG]

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    Update, March 29th!

    I haven't updated in almost 2 weeks but that doesn't mean we haven't been working on it.
    We had to reset 4 of the posts because they sunk due to our underground spring. Also we added some extra posts for stabilizing.
    We got some of the top support put up and we got the first layer of chicken wire around all 4 walls. Woo hoo!

    [​IMG]

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  1. Desirai
  2. tomdeggeater
    Desirai, How's the chicks? Getting feathers yet? Tom
  3. Strikefalcon
    looking great. When will you be getting your chicks?
  4. tomdeggeater
    That's good! I think after this weekend it will get more summer-like (at least around newish england). You keep them in a brooder for about 4-6 weeks, right?
  5. Desirai
    I got my peeps already :) 12 cochin chicks!
  6. tomdeggeater
    So you're almost ready to get the peeps? Or did you get them already? Depending on the breed, then you have to feed them for 6 months before they start laying. That's what I've read somewhere (maybe here).
  7. Desirai
    for those who are interested I've updated again. Sorry it took so long :)
  8. Desirai
    Hahahaha indeed. I think I'm gonna get them a little swimming pool. my neighbor uses a toddler's pool and fills it maybe half an inch deep, and her chickens get into it and just stand in it.
  9. tomdeggeater
    I wouldn't worry about caulking small gaps; they will have feathers, yanno? It'll help with ventilation a teeny bit.
    I imagine you can find a used 5 gallon bucket somewhere to carry water for 10 ft. Unless you want to cool the chickens off. But I recall an old phrase: "Madder than a wet hen".
  10. Desirai
    question..when I caulk potential drafty spaces, do I caulk it inside or outside? For example, the corners where the walls meet have small gaps where the roof meets. Would I go inside the building and caulk it, or stand outside to caulk it?
  11. Desirai
    Hmm. Yeah, the water hose is about 10 feet too short but I could probably spray it in at an angle. Haha.
  12. tomdeggeater
    After you hang the fence wire then comes the roosts, nest boxes, feeder, waterer, vinyl for the floor (easy cleaning). You may be able to get scrap ends at the carpet store, or do you know a contractor?
    Is the shed too far to run a water hose?
  13. Desirai
    Now I'm getting into the $$$$$.... I don't regret it though! One step at a time.
  14. Desirai
    piglett- So lucky!! I want babies NOW!!!!!!!! But I have to wait.... :( I'm getting more impatient by the day
  15. piglett
    wow that looks like a nice sized yard for them to run in : )
    i have 8 in the brooder & will have 4 more next week as soon as they hatch out
  16. Desirai
    We got the fence posts up and the doors on!
  17. chloezoebob101
    wow! it looks REALLY good!
  18. tomdeggeater
    Might wanna cover the holes with the hardware cloth, too. To keep out crows, jays, catbirds and other omnivores. You put wire mesh under the floor joists?
  19. Desirai
    Yeah I'm going to get the lightest color roofing I can find. Also drill smaller vent holes in the very tops of the walls like I see a lot of coops on this site do. Holes big enough to let the heat out but hidden away :)
  20. tomdeggeater
    To keep the heat down in the coop, you could use white siding for the walls & shingles for the roof. Or just paint the walls white or light gray and use roll roofing. I believe it comes in light colors.
    On REAL hot days you could run a cord and put a box fan in a window, if they are large enough. Tom from CT
  21. Desirai
    I updated my progress as well as put the $$$$ at the top of the page, just in case anyone was interested!
  22. Strikefalcon
    Looking good!!!
  23. wilbilt
    Too bad you are not closer to the west side. My 22 YO daughter is living in the Butler/Gilbertown area and knows how to swing a hammer.
  24. judyki2004
    Go girl! I'm sure you will end up with an awwsome coop! I already love how it started to look!
  25. Desirai
    I added new pictures!!! :)
  26. YesICU
    Good to know! God is a God of 2nd chances!
  27. Desirai
    Yes it really did. It makes him proud to be able to help me do anything really. My dad was not in my life much of my childhood. Clock can't be turned back, but he's sober now. So we are going forward
  28. YesICU
    I bet it made your dad feel good to be able to help!
  29. Desirai
    Duke, I know that, we're going to cut the vents out of the back wall.
    The reason we can't get the saw out there is because we don't have access to a plug. We have to do the cutting near the house, which is a good acre away!
  30. Dukeofhawg
    Also, you don't have to take the whole wall down to cut out the door. Someone around there has to have a jigsaw. Just measure, draw your lines and follow with the jigsaw.
  31. Dukeofhawg
    Desirai, You will need a lot more vents for your flock. Those two little holes will not be enough.
  32. Desirai
    I added new pictures!
  33. Desirai
    I don't think I will insulate. I'm just going to make sure that they have ways to escape the heat.
  34. Strikefalcon
    Desirai I would not insulate for heat, I'm up in Duluth mn. and I only close the run door if it gets below 0* F. It is alot of work and money to insulate and I think it is more important to work on getting ventilation cut for cooling in the summer. Remember it is function not form that counts. Good luck and keep us informed
  35. piglett
    i found mine on craigslist
    my 12 will be ready to pick up on monday
    brooder is just about done
    i built one & after seeing how much time i have in the thing i would have been WAY ahead if i had just went to wally world & just got the biggest tote they had.
    but i now own a brooder which i'm sure i'll use more than once.
    i needed a breed that was good in the cold & great at forageing
    so the choice was simple orpingtons
    but where your at it it's really hot in the summer
    been through there many times driving truck ....wow it can get hot!!!
    i'm sure some cochins will turn up or you could go the egg & ebay route
    good luck
  36. Desirai
    piglett: I'm going to do the same because we also have coyotes here. I'm gonna make sure their run is reinforced.
    as for breeds, I want cochins.. but having a tough time finding them.
  37. piglett
    i plan on putting 2 inch by 4 inch wire fencing on the inside of my new coop
    we have many coyotes & foxes in the area & i don't want them busting on in to the coop.
    i will then cover the wire with cheep plywood so the coop is ez to clean.
    i will also put good heavy wire over the windows to keep things with big teath out.
    good luck what breed of chicks are you going to get ?
  38. tomdeggeater
    I'd prefer doing a plunge cut with the circular saw; its more dramatic.
    Exciting, too, if the cord gets in the way!
  39. joepegasus
    SCORE! On the shed. I'm in McCormick, SC so have all the issues you do. I put up my coop off our pump house. You can see the coop when it was first done at link below but made many changes since then (Like smaller feeder, full insulation, direct water feeder and shelves): but got a few suggestions for you. 1) Insulate it. 2) Fence it in good. It looks like you are near a wood. We already lost a big RIR roo and a comet hen to coyotes in the blink of an eye. We allow free run ... not too much now. 3) Get as much electric and water to it as possible. You'll need it for the girls as well as when you finally get an electric saw / drill and need a quick repair. The electric is also essential for the automatic door opener you'll get once you're tired of going back and forth.
    http://www.mydrawingboard.com/galleries/pegasus/chickens/index.htm
  40. judyki2004
    What a good deal/investment!!! adding some window openings with wire will be a piece of cake, only draw where you want them, a drill & gigsaw are all the tools you'll need probably yiou have a friend who have them and maybe even can help you out on this, looking forward to see it finished!
  41. Desirai
    It's alright, no worries! :)
    Thanks, I'll be posting pics as it comes along! :)
  42. deecelto
    That's good; I'm glad to hear that. Once I posted, I felt like I should not have made that
    suggestion, but I can tell that you are smarter than the average bear. Anyway, good luck
    with the rest of the building. I can't wait to see it all finished and filled with chickies.
  43. Desirai
    thanks Deecelto!! I did poke around on CL, but just like you said, I'm very cautious about CL ads. I don't think it will come to that though. My mom's friend has a circular saw, he said he would be willing to come cut out the windows/ventilations for me. Fingers crossed!
  44. deecelto
    Desirai, right off the bat, I just wanna' say: You go girl!!! I'm down in northern Florida; and I so wish I could help you, but I think you are gonna' do just fine. Lately, I have had all kinds of good luck by going on Craigslist.org. There's even a barter heading. You might could find somebody near to your area that will trade some saw work for something you might have to barter or some work you could help them with. Just please be very,very careful and make sure others are home when the person arrives.
  45. Desirai
    It's okay, thanks for posting! Hopefully I'll be able to solicit some help from someone in my neighborhood. :)
  46. tomdeggeater
    Oops. ct yankee is for another site> homestead.org, my bad.........
  47. tomdeggeater
    Nobody to help out who has tools? I don't know what to say. I'm way up here in CT. Home Depot rents power tools. If you don't know how to use them, they are dangerous. Maybe you could check the classifieds or a local weekly paper for handyman ads. Shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes to cut two window holes. See what they charge by the hour, might include travel time... Other than that, I'm at a loss for further ideas... Good Luck :<D Tom (CT. Yankee)
  48. Desirai
    I do not have any kind of saw, :(
  49. tomdeggeater
    Desirai, Do you have a circular saw, reciprocating saw or jig saw? That's what you need to cut out the rectangle for the windows. You might be able to drill a series of 1/8" holes along a line, enough to get a hand saw in...
    Tom
  50. Desirai
    Tom: Instructions did come with it, but no pictures (other than diagrams in the instructions.)
    I am going to cut windows and ventilation into it, yes :)
    However I have no idea how to do that so I'm going to solicit help from someone.
    And no, I'm more worried about my chickens baking inside it opposed to freezing!

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