Eglu, Repurposed Shed, or build my own?

Which would you do

  • Eglu

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Repurpose shed

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Build your own wooden coop

    Votes: 4 80.0%

  • Total voters
    5

TMarie

Songster
Feb 28, 2013
108
64
166
I haven't gotten my chickens yet but I'm trying to get their coop set up underneath my deck. I won't have any more than 6 hens.

The eglu looks easy but so pricey! So I considered using our rubbermaid shed that we used to store our lawnmower in.(pic attached) That way it'd be easy to clean plastic and minimal cost (for customizing).

But I do have a friend that will help me build a coop from wood if I find a good design.

Any reason why the shed would be a bad idea? What alterations would it need?
 

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ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,692
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1,077
St. Louis, MO
Building your own is always the best way to go.
A repurposed shed is an option but a Rubbermaid type would need more difficult alterations than a wood or metal shed.
The main thing it would need is big windows for ventilation. Then it would be difficult to attach hardware cloth securely enough to the openings to keep predators out. It is predator proof as it sits but your birds would likely suffer from respiratory problems and possibly frostbite from buildup of humidity, ammonia and pathogens.
For building your own, there are thousands of coop ideas in the following link. Many have complete plans and bills of materials.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/category/chicken-coops.12/
 
Last edited:

thecreekhouse

Songster
Feb 26, 2015
306
347
161
East Tennessee
I haven't gotten my chickens yet but I'm trying to get their coop set up underneath my deck. I won't have any more than 6 hens.

The eglu looks easy but so pricey! So I considered using our rubbermaid shed that we used to store our lawnmower in.(pic attached) That way it'd be easy to clean plastic and minimal cost (for customizing).

But I do have a friend that will help me build a coop from wood if I find a good design.

Any reason why the shed would be a bad idea? What alterations would it need?

I used to use a Rubbermaid shed for a coop and it worked great. First you mount as many nestboxes as you need (usually one per 3 hens) inside the coop. I used plastic, easy mounting nestboxes from Miller Manufacturing. Just search for them on Amazon. Then you need to install a chicken door so they can go in and out without you having to leave the main doors to the coop/shed open. This was easy to install in a plastic shed because it was easy to cut thru plastic to create the right size opening for the chicken door. Make sure you get a style of chicken door that locks so you can secure your chickens at night and at other times you need them contained.

Then you need to add one or two roosting bars. I did this by finding porch/deck railings at Lowe’s that were the right size. I then drilled holes in the sides of my shed/coop and holes in the roosting bars and just zip tied the roosts to the holes I had drilled into the side of the coop. Make sure your roosting bars aren’t underneath one another and that they aren’t so high that your hens can’t hop up to them at bedtime. Then - and this is very important- I added ventilation holes of around 1-2 inches in diameter every 1-2 feet all around the exterior of my shed as close to the roof as possible. Again, plastic is so easy to cut that I just used an electric screwdriver to start the ventilation holes and a Dremel to enlarge them to the 1-2 inch diameter size. I cut a few lengths of hardware cloth and stapled them over the ventilation holes. I used a construction-style super stapler, not just an office-style stapler. Cutting and stapling the hardware cloth to go over all the ventilation holes I had created just below the roof was the only really tedious part of the job.

I used bedding in my nestboxes but none on the floor of the coop. I just hosed down the floor of the coop/shed every weekend. Super easy.

I am beyond NOT handy so the fact that I did all of this myself should tell you how easy it was to convert a plastic shed to a coop. What do you plan to use for a run?
 
Last edited:

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,491
11,445
712
Nevada County, CA
That is my first thought: predator proofing. I'm sure you could use the shed, but I don't know how secure it would be once you add windows and ventilation. And don't forget about chicken math! It'd be difficult to add on if - who am I kidding - WHEN you get more chickens.

However, you have it on hand, and it'd be easy to clean. And mites would have a harder time taking hold.

I built my humble little coop by myself on the cheap with mostly recycled materials. It is very predator proof (still working on the run). I would have preferred starting with a wood shed. But I knew I wanted a walk-in coop. I am sooooo glad I don't have to stoop and that I can reach into every nook and cranny without contorting.

If I were to do it again, I would build with better plans and a friend's help.
 

TMarie

Songster
Feb 28, 2013
108
64
166
Thank you all so much for your input and thorough reasoning for each opinion. I'm so grateful to have a group like this so I can avoid trial and error as much as possible!
 

TMarie

Songster
Feb 28, 2013
108
64
166
I used to use a Rubbermaid shed for a coop and it worked great. First you mount as many nestboxes as you need (usually one per 3 hens) inside the coop. I used plastic, easy mounting nestboxes from Miller Manufacturing. Just search for them on Amazon. Then you need to install a chicken door so they can go in and out without you having to leave the main doors to the coop/shed open. This was easy to install in a plastic shed because it was easy to cut thru plastic to create the right size opening for the chicken door. Make sure you get a style of chicken door that locks so you can secure your chickens at night and at other times you need them contained.

Then you need to add one or two roosting bars. I did this by finding porch/deck railings at Lowe’s that were the right size. I then drilled holes in the sides of my shed/coop and holes in the roosting bars and just zip tied the roosts to the holes I had drilled into the side of the coop. Make sure your roosting bars aren’t underneath one another and that they aren’t so high that your hens can’t hop up to them at bedtime. Then - and this is very important- I added ventilation holes of around 1-2 inches in diameter every 1-2 feet all around the exterior of my shed as close to the roof as possible. Again, plastic is so easy to cut that I just used an electric screwdriver to start the ventilation holes and a Dremel to enlarge them to the 1-2 inch diameter size. I cut a few lengths of hardware cloth and stapled them over the ventilation holes. I used a construction-style super stapler, not just an office-style stapler. Cutting and stapling the hardware cloth to go over all the ventilation holes I had created just below the roof was the only really tedious part of the job.

I used bedding in my nestboxes but none on the floor of the coop. I just hosed down the floor of the coop/shed every weekend. Super easy.

I am beyond NOT handy so the fact that I did all of this myself should tell you how easy it was to convert a plastic shed to a coop. What do you plan to use for a run?


Thank you so much for such a thorough description!!!! These are exactly the details I need when making my decision.
The coop and run will be under my deck. My plan was to create a coop that is attached to a small, secure, predator-proof run made of half inch hardware cloth so that they could come out of their coop as early as they want and their food and water wouldn't have to be inside the coop but is secure from rodents. Then when I wake up, I'll open the door from their small run to a much larger run (the rest of the space under the deck, about 85 square feet). My goal is actually for them to free range in our large, fenced in yard, but that will be a trial and error since we live in a subdivision.
I'm open to all opinions on this as well.
 

SW31

Songster
Jan 24, 2018
234
261
143
SW France, not far from Toulouse
I have an Omlet cube attached to their walk-in run. Yes, it’s pricy but look out for their special offers. I recently bought a second cube after they discounted the price. It will be attached to another side of the walk-in run.
The cube is very easy to clean, and like the walk-in run, very, very secure and I don’t have, so far, any mite issues. Ventilation is good and the coop stays nice and warm in winter.
We regularly use the pressure washer on it. In winter I add old clean dry bedding to the poop tray, to keep their feet warm, and top it off with newspaper. I regularly simply roll up the pooped newspaper and replace it with clean newspapers. I clean the roosting bars with paper, or, if very pooped, take away to pressure wash or hose down.
 

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