Including a coop in our shed design.. questions/thoughts?


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 9, 2012
South Eastern Mass
Hello Everyone!

Well we've just heard the news we should be fine and dandy having a few hens in the backyard. Hub and I are working on building our shed that we plan to use a portion of for coop space. Here are our thoughts and I would really love some feedback. It's been ages since I've had chickens, so I would love for you all to give me any ideas or suggestions.

We will be building a shed that is 8x12.. 12 foot in length and 8 foot in depth. My thought process as we are using reclaimed materials, is to take one side of the shed.. front to back (so 8') and give them about 2' of width.. I am worried that might be too small, but seeing as how I only plan to have 4 standard size hens maximum, and the general rule of thumb seems about 2sqft per hen, that would be enough right?? A total of 2'x8'? We plan to fully enclose their run, haven't quite decided how much outdoor space they will need. Suggestions on that please?

In general I have the idea of where I want their nesting boxes to be, and am thinking I will build inside access to it for collecting eggs. Also an inside access door for cleaning the coop, outside sliding door for access to their run. Not sure how high I want to build the run, wasn't thinking full height for a person, so any ideas on how to make it easier for me to access and clean? Maybe a lift top??

Seems I am terrible at explaining what's going on in my head for design.. lol.. But I definitely know where I will put their roost, their nesting boxes, their feed and water area, and their outside access area. What I am curious on is whether or not my interior space for the coop is enough, how much exterior space should I plan on for them, and what would you all suggest on height for the run if I don't want to build a stand up height run... Ooh and what materials do you all suggest for the base of the run??

Has anyone on here ever combined a shed and coop before? We have such limited yard space that it will definitely have to be a combined building. I've seen cute small structures, but it would to me be a waste of our limited yard... If I can put it all together and have it function.. I think it would not only fit better, but look nicer.

Thanks so much!!

hi Nancie, I'm going to be a new chicken mom, and this is exactly what I've done with my shed. I have a 12 x30 shed, (hubby wasn't to happy that I wanted part of it for chickens!)..I am getting 10 chickens, my chicken space will be 4 x 12. I put in 5 boxes (probably to many), to save space, the boxes themselves will be on the 'shed' part , I also have double doors on the side the chicks will be in, one front window, put in a couple of other windows as well as one in the door..Here are some pics below of what we've done , and I think I'm done with the inside.

Everyone says more is better, theyare right, I haven't even gotten my chickens yet, and now thinking I should have gone 'bigger'. My outside run will be to the left of the shed (chicken side obviously) I'm doing it 12 x 20 with a pitched roof for rain/snow run off.

WOW that looks great!!! Our shed will not be as big which is why I am really sweating the design of it. I've been looking on here and in general online and have come up with a lot of features I want to incorporate, but overall am still not totally certain of where I want my access for cleaning etc. All or almost all of our materials are recycled repurposed. We have plywood and 2x4's.. and a ton of wood pallets to work with. I'll have to purchase the hardware clothe for the run area.. and things like plexiglass for some windows I plan to build into the coop. I am thinking about everything from roof design (I want a simple drop pitch to the back.. 8' to 7'..but Hub wants more of a gambrel style (I am thinking hello..that's time consuming.. lol). We have gorgeous french doors we were given (exterior grade) that don't work for our house so will get put onto the shed. I have an overall feel for it..and discussed it with hub last night. He wanted to put all cleaning access etc on the interior of the shed versus having a door straight into the coop area. I'm not for this..but only because our shed will be so small that I think it will be a pain to try and clean the coop from the inside of the shed area which will on my guess be about 8x8?? or 8x10. With things like lawnmower, tools, bikes and seasonal storage all trying to be packed in there neatly etc.. I want/need all the coop space to be accessible from outside.

So many thoughts in my Wish I could convey them more easily with words..and better yet put them to pictures somehow. I guess we'll just take lots of pics as we go along.

Thanks so much for sharing your photos.. your coop is lovely!
thanks ! It's still a work in progress, and I haven't done the outside yet. I know what you mean about 'space', even tho this is a large shed, I have all my garden stuff in there as well. My husband has another shed just like above for 'his' stuff:)

A couple tips, IF you need windows, I got them REALLY cheap (15.00) at Lowes, I used basement flush windows, the glass is removable with a screen. Not the ones in the above pics, but larger , those in the pic I got screwed (same darn windows! but smaller at home depot for 30$ apiece!!) I had already put them in when I saw the ones at lowes..

I got so many great tips/ideas here that really helped on space and such. My 10 chicks that I haven't even got yet are going to be living in a freaking million dollar area LOL...

I am doing a pitched roof for the run, I want to cover some of it for shade and rain/snow protection. I' m going to wire it in for now, use a tarp or something for the summer, but plan to get some corrugated roof panels before winter. They are about 20 bucks a piece also at lowes, 4 x 8 size.

Will update as we progress as well.

We converted our potting shed with attached lean-to into two coops in one. It was simple to do and very cozy in the winter.
The large front part is where we keep our laying hens and the lean-to at the back is where we are brooding our chicks and turkeys.
It's nice because it is also easy to add onto for future projects.
I love all these pics.. Thank you so much!!! For those who have converted and or combined shed/coops.. Any particular tips you'd share? Especially those combining? Best means of organizing two areas into one building?

loving all the pics.. I am hoping we start our construction for the building today!!

i have a loft on one side of my shed, it provides ALOT of storage space..All my garden stuff is in there, I hung all my garden tools with nails on the walls, also bought some cheap shelves to store stuff.
The Dust will be terrible if you do not close the shed off completely from the coop. Everything in the shed will be covered in chicken dust. gloria Jean
I 2nd the dust issue, seal any cracks on shared walls and put up plastic on the non-chicken side of the wall, don't want the chickens pecking it and eating plastic. No matter how tight your boards are that dust will find its way through if you don't take action. After some time everything will be coated in a layer of brownish white dust, and dust is the nice is "chicken dust" it smells like chickens and sometimes slightly like chicken poop. You might not notice the dry dust smelling like chicken poo but when you wash it off something you rehydrate that smell to some extent.

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