Coop as part of larger building?

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


Dec 31, 2011
This is my first post here, and I'm trying to figure out a design for a new coop. All the designs I see for chicken coops show freestanding coops. I'm wondering if there's any overwhelming reason not to incorporate a coop under the same roof as some other things, in our case a garden shed and a bicycle/wheelbarrow/lawnmower/wood-shed.

We currently have 9 hens, 1 rooster, and 3 ducks. They sleep in a lousy 4'x8' coop, which I'd like to replace this year. It's made of unpainted OSB, the nesting boxes are filthy and almost impossible to clean, etc. The birds are only in the coop to roost at night, occasionally lay eggs, and maybe get a snack or two.

I would like to build a 6' square coop, which I think would be a better size for our flock. I'm considering incorporating it into a larger (12'x12' or 12'x16') structure, with one roof covering the coop and a potting shed on the south side (facing the house) while on the other side of the ridge beam we would have an open-sided woodshed, which would be a place to park bicycles as well. We have a small house with no existing outbuildings, no basement, and almost no attic, so we could really use some storage space, but I don't want too much because I know it will just get cluttered.

I think that ventilation would be OK, even with just two sides fully open, but I'm wondering what other reasons there might be to make the coop a separate structure, or not. I anticipate keeping about a dozen hens on average, and I think that 36 square feet is about right for that, considering that they have nearly infinite range outdoors and are only kept in by the weather a couple of days in the winter, if that.

Sure, a chicken coop or pens can built onto a barn, a shed, or inside a large barn. We use 1/2 our barn for chicken pens and the other half for storage and for brooding. It has two lofts as well. That said, chickens create dust and it tend to get on just about everything. So, if you're looking for a pristine side, it might be a bit difficult.


I have been allowing them in my garage with many other items. No issues. It's been 4 months and still nothing has been out of place. I get poop on my work bench, but that's it.

I covered my ride on mower with plastic to avoid getting poop all over it. We moved everything out of the way and blocked it off. I know they COULD get into it if they wanted to, but they don't. There are 18 chickens and two ducks. I have a separate coop attached to the garage where most of them sleep. The perches I put up are usually for daytime. I let three sleep out in the garage during the night, but everyone else puts themselves to sleep.

edit to add: There is a lot of dust going on though
Less since I put straw down instead of wood chips.
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Thanks for the replies, and the pictures.

Nothing is pristine around here. We do try to keep things from getting squalid, though. I think we would probably keep the coop cleaner if we moved it closer to the house (which this new one would be) but I may be dreaming. The good thing is that we'd have the coop and garden shed only about 20' from the house, easy to run a hose and/or electricity out. I'm also thinking that if for some reason we stopped keeping chickens, it could be cleaned out and used for more storage, a tiny office, or something like that.
I think the ideal coop would be attached to a garage, but most people don't have the option to set up that way. The ease for access to feed storage, proximity of incubators, brooders, power, water source etc would be great. I have no space near my garage though and plenty on the rest of my block. You have me dreaming now, about not having to lug feed bags for miles from the car.....
I built mine into my existing barn. No more dust than a usual barn. The extra room is great. You are right there where you keep the tools. I made the mistake of painting the nest boxes white...the boxes are clean but the walkway...not so much


Some areas are pretty strict about requiring permits for building structures of a certain size. I would like to have built our coop directly off of (attached to) our detatched garage, but that would have required a permit here.
We're rural, but have troublemakers around. So we built ours freestanding. Your idea sounds good...many share storage/coop space.
We'll need a building permit for the woodshed, anyway, and I don't think having a coop incorporated into the structure will make it any more hassle, just a more complicated set of drawings. I think that the rules here are that you need a permit for any sort of permanent structure, regardless of square footage, but a moveable chicken coop might not count as permanent.
I converted an old shop like building into part chicken coop part storage area, the building is about 20'x20', the origional Idea was to give the girls 8'x20' of it (one side).

You need to be careful what you store in with the chickens. anything with moving parts especially. The ladies produce a fine dust that gets everywhere... well, to make a long story short.. the ladies have 90% of the area now, all except for a food/supply storage area

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