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Already have a shed that is very sturdy

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Missylucy, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Missylucy

    Missylucy In the Brooder

    Dec 16, 2013
    So the shed is huge. Without going out in the snow to measure it, I would say 12' by 15'
    Right now I keep lawn furniture, lawn mower and stuff in there. But it doesn't fill the whole shed.
    do you think that I could section off a part and make it into my coop.
    I want to keep about 3 chickens and 3 ducks
    Any suggestions?

  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Songster

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    Yes, of course you can! You could build an inner frame with a human-sized door in it, to make the partition, and cover the frame with chicken wire. If the floor is wooden, you might want to consider covering it with a sheet of linoleum, with a little bit of the linoleum extending up the walls.

    Make sure that there is adequate ventilation. You don't have to add ventilation only in the chicken area, and since you'll also have a non-chicken area this means you'll be able to find a good way to ventilate without having a draft on the chickens during the winter. You might also want to add a ventilation hole that can be opened and closed for extra summer ventilation within the chicken area; it gets hot in a shed during the summer.

    A window would be a very good idea, and this might give you a small challenge, depending on the size of available windows and the spacing of the studs. Basement windows, placed vertically, work well. You can open them during hot weather and close them in the winter. Adding a closeable flap at floor level would make cleaning easier, and you wouldn't need to haul out old bedding.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Of course you can. That’s pretty much what I did but I only have chickens not ducks.

    What kind of floor do you have in it? As wet and messy as ducks are, if you water in there, you might have a problem unless the floor is dirt, but I’ve never had ducks in a coop so I really can’t say from experience. You might want to keep the water outside with ducks.

    Something to be aware of is that chickens make a lot of dust. That comes from their dander, the bedding gets broken down into dust particles, and their poop dries. Chickens scratch a lot and turn all that into dust that gets on everything. With that other stuff stored in there, make your walls pretty solid to keep that dust off your furniture or plan on some serious cleaning before you use it. Another option is to cover that furniture and such with a drop cloth.

    You may not have as much space to spare in there as you now think once you section some off for a coop, but be a bit generous in laying out the coop space-wise. That’s as much for your benefit as the animals. I’d think of something big enough that I could walk in and still have room to move with the roosts, nests, and all that there. I’d want the human door inside the shed so you can get in and out without standing outside in the rain, trying to unlock a door with your hands full of stuff, but that door will take up room for its swing. For space reasons you may want to have that human door on the outside but don’t put it where rainwater drips on you when it is running off the roof.

    Now I’m going to say something that kind of contradicts what I said earlier. In your set-up, sectioning off a section of a shed, you have an opportunity to provide good ventilation for your coop and reduce the problem of rainwater blowing in. This depend on if that shed is well ventilated or pretty air-tight. If it’s air-tight, don’t do this. But if it is well-ventilated, I’d open the top of that interior wall up and cover it with hardware cloth. I’d still want ventilation up high on at least one outside wall under any overhang. Also have a way to get good ventilation down low in the summer that could maybe be closed off in the winter. In really cold weather you don’t want the ventilation to cause a breeze that is hitting them while they are roosting but in summer a breeze feels really good. Heat kills a lot more chickens than cold. It has something to do with them having a permanent down coat.

    Another thing that will take up room is that you will probably want to store feed and other supplies outside the coop but in the shed. I use a metal garbage can to keep the rats and mice out. Think about where you will place that when you are figuring out your doors. You’ll probably wind up with some other stuff too as far as supplies for the chickens, maybe oyster shell or something to help you clean the coop. You always wind up needing more room than you think you’ll need.

    If you have electricity out there, I’d put a light overhead in the coop so you can see in there in the dark. Put the light switch outside the door so you can turn the light on before you walk in there. I’d also have an outlet where you can plug in some electrical appliance in the coop section. Even if it is inside, use an outside fixture with a cover so you can keep it closed and keep the dust out.

    I think you have a great opportunity there to have a really nice coop. It will require cutting holes in it for ventilation, probably a window, and a pop door, but a substantial building is there with a very important roof. That makes it easier. Good luck.
  4. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    I am envious. Planning and building the coop was fun and I think you will enjoy it too.

    There are a lot of info, options and opinions. You would need to see what fits your situation, weather conditions, placement location, utilities, predators, neighbors, local ordinance, etc.

    You should finish building before getting the birds so you will not be rushed. After building and moving the birds in, observe and be ready to modify. I lost count how many times I made changes to my coop, including building a second coop because the first was too small.
  5. tish_matt

    tish_matt In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2011
    Build bigger then you need.We have a 20x12 we sectioned off for our 15 chickens. All of our lawn equipment and bikes and yard stuff fit in the shed also, so its a win win.



    1 person likes this.
  6. Missylucy

    Missylucy In the Brooder

    Dec 16, 2013
    Your suggestions are all great. Thank you
  7. hosspak

    hosspak Songster

    Sep 2, 2013
    Lake Elsinore, CA.
    Hi, Missy. Questions! Is the shed wooden or sheet metal? Is the lawn mower gas or electric? If the shed is sheet metal, it will be difficult to cut out windows and doors for the chickens and ducks. Gas lawn mower.... fumes would not be good for the flock either. If your shed is only 12 x 15, you might get a 6x15 coop area, that's not a lot of space if they are to be kept inside during the snowy season. Ducks can get a little territorial towards the chickens in a tight space. If possible I would consider adding on to the shed with a coop and large covered run if your budget allows.

  8. Missylucy

    Missylucy In the Brooder

    Dec 16, 2013
    The shed is wooden, but the mower is gas. I am thinking that it is not a good idea to house them in the shed so I am back to building a coop.
    I have had some good advice about the chickens and I might have to only have ducks. The chickens are very dusty and could be a problem with my allergies. I have been told that ducks are not
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I don't find ducks as dusty as chickens but their not dust free and i fully agree do not store anything with noxious fumes in with livestock..
  10. hosspak

    hosspak Songster

    Sep 2, 2013
    Lake Elsinore, CA.
    Ducks will require more room as well as a small pond. I would still build something connected to the shed. I would still do the chickens and keep a bottle of Benadryl handy. I hose down my run every week to keep the dust down and with your snow you might not have much of a problem with dust. Get busy and build that coop and run so you can be ready for those birds in January or February.

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