Converting a shed into a coop, suggestions are more than welcome!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by needsnewbrain, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. needsnewbrain

    needsnewbrain Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2011
    Hi thar,

    So, I've been given this space to keep my (future) chickens. It's a shed that, when we moved in, was where all the firewood was kept for heating the house. It looks to me like it once housed a horse or two? I've gone over the place at chicken-eye-view as best I can and am in progress patching holes I've found, removing pointless nails, and putting wiring over windows and the vents up by the roof to prevent anything getting in and hurting my flock or stealing my eggs!

    Aside from that, I want to build a permanent run outside, and the man wants to use pallets (on end, partially buried about 6", these are the heavy ones that stone comes on, they seem weather well even under dirt, from experience) to build the wall up to just above waist height, and then use chicken wire to close the gaps and get the run to full height. I don't think that's going to stop anything we're actually concerned about out here in southeastern PA (not rural like where I grew up in VA, but not really suburban either... somewhere in between). I've seen raccoons around, and at least one dead possum on the side of the road. While I haven't run into any myself, I know there's black snakes around, too. What do you think? I'd love to hear that he's right, and the combination of pallets and chicken wire (which we already have) will keep us from having to get the heavier duty galvanized wire, I just have my doubts!

    In one of the pictures you can see my mock-up of how I'm going to build the nesting boxes, though I haven't put up the vertical parts yet. For nesting boxes, do the hens care whether it's got a closed top or open top? I've seen them both ways, and I have a feeling it's pretty individual for the critters.

    Edit: the photos are here:
  2. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis
    Snakes? Chicken wire isn't gonna cut it. I would use it since you have it, but consider also putting a strip of hardwire cloth on the bottom, from the ground up to about 12 to 18" high. That should deter most small varmits from running through the fence.
    You might want to also lay some chicken wire on the ground on the outside of the run's fence to prevent critters from burrowing under the fence into the run. Critters will go right up to a fence and start digging. They won't even think about backing up before they start digging, so lay some fence on the ground and bring it out at least 12" or more.
    As for the nest boxes, I prefer closed top boxes, but make sure the top is slanted so noone can sit on top of the box & peck at the one inside.
    Hope this helps you.

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