Designing New Coop from Existing Shed - Help Wanted


In the Brooder
Mar 20, 2018
SE Pennsylvania
Hi all,

We moved into our house a few years ago. The old owners had part of she shed converted into a chicken coop. It was pretty poorly done IMO. Lots of gaps in the roof eves, only 2 small roosting areas, and a really small run. So I've decided to re-vamp it.

I have 8 baby chicks that are about 2 weeks old. I live in PA, so the weather is still much too cold for them to be outside, they are currently living in the basement. They are all dual purpose birds, so they'll be kinda big. The available coop area is 10 feet wide by 6 feet long by 8 feet tall. I would really appreciate any comments or thoughts on what I should do.

I got some lenoleum flooring to put down. I am going to try the deep litter method. Should I put anything on the walls? Right now it's just plywood and 2x4s. I've read horrror stories about insulation and rodents, so I'm not going that route. But I wasn't sure if I need to seal or paint anything.

I also need to add hardware cloth to all of the eves at the top of the shed. I had to tear down a squirrel nest from inside the coop area the other day. Should I add anuother type of protection to keep critters out? I'm planning on burying hardware cloth all along the outside of my run. We have hawks, owls, foxes, raccoon, possums, and other country critters. I haven't ever hears any cyottes though.

I've posted some photos of what I've got to work with and what I'm possobly thinking. How many roosts is too many? Should they be at different heights? How high should I make them off the ground? If I make them out of 2x4s, should the birds be able to rest on the 2" side or the 4" side? I'm planning on putting the nesting boxes under one of the roost poop boards, but how high should the boxes be off the ground? Thanks in advance!


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I'm shamelessly pulling this info below from @aart signature line, but it's a trio of really good articles all grouped together, and it will address a number of your questions. I'd dive in to these articles, and then folks can help with the specifics of your setup that aren't addressed in those links.

Great discussion on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.
Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.
Coop Stack-up - how high should stuff be.
That's a great shed to work with. You will end up with a functional coop with character. 10x6 in the winter months will be a blessing. Draw the shed up on paper showing doors, windows, run, orientation. Things you can't change
That's a great structure with lots of potential. Looks like you already have some great advice from Chad above.

Where your window is located it reminded me of my coop, which is only 6x8 for chickens & the other 6x8 for feed, equipment & supplies. After having a few coops over the years, I put together better ideas for the chickens & for me to maintain, then my wonderful hubby put it all together. It includes: a high chicken door to/from the run (no critters get in, chickens jump up to it on outside free standing roof/ no legs), sand trays under roosts (kitty litter scoop daily removes moisture/droppings & gives more chicken walking space), hanging feeders under sand trays, temporary chick raising area under a sand tray, 8 nest box area, oyster shell, grit & water under window, & cleanable vinyl on every flat surface (scraps), am trying & liking the 4 roll-away nests on bottom row to avoid broken eggs. The run is 2" chicken wire wrapped top & sides around a $99 pole carport (no roof cover used, we get heavy snow loads & it falls thru 2" pretty well).

It's messy weather here still so some straw tossed around, but with vinyl I can wipe down stuff easier as needed. Maybe there's something here you can use. Have fun with your new chickens. Best wishes.
2018 coop run.jpg
6x8 walk in coop with sand trays.jpg
Draw the shed up on paper showing doors, windows, run, orientation. Things you can't change
Always good to try out options on paper first.

That's a great little building!
Could use the space to the left for a covered run, would be great for winter...
...or could expand coop down the road.

How's the roof? Looks like part of the drip edge was damaged?
Are the shingles in good shape?
Might want to fix that drip edge before putting Hardware Cloth on soffits.
See My Coop page for how I attached HC to soffit area.
You'll probably want to mesh and apron all around the coop,
to keep chickens and predator/pest from getting underneath.

Here's some info on an anti-dig apron.
Good examples of apron installation, tho I'd not recommend 1/2" HC...go with 14ga 1x2 or 1x1, will hold up much longer and is easier to lay flat.

Oh, and, Welcome to BYC!

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