1. homechick

    homechick Songster

    Mar 26, 2007
    Mineola, Tx
    I want a good looking chicken coop and I don't trust myself to carry out this task. I would really like to convert a shed even though it's bigger than I need. I figure I can have a goat or two later or use it to store rakes or something.
    Unfortunately the cheapest shed I can find is $550 and that's without a floor, shingles, or paint and I'd also have to put in vents! Is that excesive for chickens? Everybody says I'm silly for spending all this money on chickens but I want them to have what they need AND I want to be happy with it every day that I look at it. I know only you would understand!
    Do yall know somewhere I can get a tiny shed for less than $500?

    Thanks everyone!
  2. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    I don't think you are silly at all! Especially when you'll be able to use part of the shed for storage and whatnot!

    Hubby works for a farmer (they actually do construction, LOL!), and that farmer had an old coop he isn't using any more. He sold it to us for $50. We need to clean it up a bunch, paint it, and do something about the height of the run (it's only 4.5ft tall... and I'm 5ft and need to get in without stooping!!!) But for $50 hey! It has all the wire, the cute house attached (complete with elec hookup!!). Maybe ask around and see if you can find someone's old one to fix up? And there are a ton of ideas on this website (you wouldn't believe what people have used to make really nice coops) for next to nothing.

    But hey, I like the shed idea!! And it WILL be really nice. Plus.. you never know (as everyone keeps saying) when you'll want to add a few more to your flock, so better to start out with TOO much space, rather than not enough!
  3. chickens^^

    chickens^^ In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2007
    West Virginia
    You could just make one yourself by using old wood. Buy some fencing at Tractor Supply for a run. To make the coop look pretty then paint a cool design or scenery pic on the side you will be looking at the most.. or just paint the whole coop to make it look like a scenery picture.
  4. kiaya611

    kiaya611 Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    Lebanon, OR
    After spending the last month "modifying" an old wood shed and spending much more money than I anticipated, I don't think you are silly at all. I am not sure how much I spent in the end...some of the materials I got by driving by construction sites and asking if i could have the lumber that they were going to throw away and some I bought (more than I had wanted, but that had to do with my particular situation).

    The great thing about a chicken coop is you can make it so many different ways. It only needs to have a few essentials...after that, it is all up to you as to how far you want to go with it. How many chickens do you have? That will determine the necessary size and then you just need nesting boxes, a roost, food and water. The shelter need to be dry and out of the elements, have ventiation and have some sort of light whether it be natural or man-made. That's about it in a nutshell.

    Here is what I did for my 42 chickens. I went much further than I had to, but I stare at the bldg everyday out my kitchen window and it is near the house, so I wanted it to look nice.


    This has a dirt floor because it was already there and I would have had to dig down to put in a concrete or even wood floor, I just left it dirt and covered it with straw. I works fine...and the chickens love it because they don't even have to leave their house to get a dust bath [​IMG]

    Anyway, I don't think in the long run $550 is much at all. It might seem like allot as an initial outlay, but it will serve you well through time.

    That's my thoughts...hope it helps.

    Best wishes,
  5. Wes in Tx

    Wes in Tx Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    HC if just put a wood floor system under a coop that had a dirt floor and 2 pieces of 5/8 plywood and 8 treated 2x4s cost me about $80. $550 for a complete coop isn't that bad. My first one I built after retiring from the service 7 years ago cost me $260 and it was only 6x4 but I used T-11 siding and all new wood. Now I have learned to scrounge around to find what I need and only buy what I have to. I rent my house so everthing has to be moveable, so I tend to build smaller but lots of them LOL.

    With all the new houses being built do some dumpster diving and I bet you could find everything you need to build a nice coop for free.
  6. girlsnboys

    girlsnboys In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2007
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Don't just look at it in terms of the dollar cost. Your time is money too. If you aren't sure you are up to the task of building something yourself, you will save yourself time and frustration going the prefab shed route. You also know what you want to look at and what you don't want to look at. If the prefab shed will give you the look you want and you can afford to purchase it, then do it. I just added 6 new chicks to my current 3 hens and can no longer house them in the chicken tractor I have. I don't have a lot of building skills so I converted an 8x8' Rubbermaid shed that I already had. It took me one weekend, it was easy, I didn't get frustrated, my DH is satisfied with the appearance when he looks outside and my girls are happy. You aren't just spending the money on your chickens, but on an improvement on your property. Do what you want and don't pay attention to those who don't understand. Love to see pics when it is up. [​IMG]
  7. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    How many chickens are we talking about? If you only have a few (like 3 or 4), buying a deluxe pre-made dog house and making some modest modifications could be a good option. They usually cost about $100 plus maybe $70 for the modifications.

  8. homechick

    homechick Songster

    Mar 26, 2007
    Mineola, Tx
    That's a good idea.. the doghouse. I only have 5 chicks and it may double (if i let it).. but 10 is still a smal number. Right?
    Nice converted coop Kiaya! it's very large!
  9. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Songster

    Apr 7, 2007
    Raleigh NC
    If you have a local craigslist, I would check there. In my area, people are always selling sheds for cheap.
  10. kiaya611

    kiaya611 Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    Lebanon, OR
    Thanks HC,

    It turned out to be 6.5' X32'. It will hold my 42 nicely. There are lots of calulations that have been done on how many sq ft that you need based on how many chickens you are going to have and the breeds you are going to have (Bantams, Standards, Heavys). In "Storey's Guide TO Raising Chickens", mimimun space requiremnets are layed out as:

    Birds Age Open House Confined Housing

    Heavy 21 weeks and up 4.0 sqft/bird 10 sqft/bird
    Standard " 3.0 sqft/bird 7.5 sqft/bird
    Bantam " 2.0 sqft/bird 5.0 sqft/bird

    So for instance with these calculations, if you have a 10'X 10' bldg, you could have in an Open House (Coop where your chickens get to go outside regularly) 25 Heavy or 33 Standard or 50 Bantams and in a Confined House (Coop where your chickens don't go outside) 10 Heavy or 13 Standard or 20 Bantam.

    I have seen these numbers vary to some degree from different sources, but this gives you an idea.

    In my case I have 8 different breeds, some Heavy and some Standard. The 208 sqft is quite adequate and considering I also have an outdoor pen of 32' X 10'-16', my chickens are very comfortable.

    Anyway, with all of that said, there are many options out there from free (collecting unwanted materials) to quite expensive (custom everything).

    Unless this is going to be a business, it has been my experience that you cannot count your time as "money". That is donated as you would a hobby and your "payback is in experience and enjoyment in the project itself and what comes from the project...in this case raising chickens.

    I hope this is helpful and not further confusing as some of the information was to me when i read so many things and talked to so many people. Everyone has their own experience that has worked for them and opinion based on that. What I particularly like in this forum is that it seems everyone wants to help and has a great deal to share. I have only been a member a short time, but I have found it to be very helpful.

    Best wishes,

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