New here! Need advice on turning a shed into a chicken coop, please!!


9 Years
Oct 11, 2010
Hello! I'm Jenny and I'm new here, and new to chickens as well. I'm getting my first chicks at the end of this month!

We've just moved from the big city (Manhattan) to our own little piece of country heaven in southern NY in the past couple weeks. I'm wanting to convert an existing shed into a chicken coop. The shed's overall dimensions are approximately 11x13, but there is a 2.5' deep area along the back that is sectioned off with hinged panels--they lead to three separate compartments with doggie doors that go to 3 chain-link kennels behind the shed. I want to configure it in such a way that I have egg access from the back, and also access to a run that I plan to add outside the left side of the shed. Here is a link to pictures of it's current state as of yesterday... for chicken coop/

I know I will have to cover the insulation with plywood or something. How would it be best to configure the rest of it? Any ideas? As far as the back kennel area, the upright posts are set in a 12' x 20' concrete pad, so that's pretty permanent, but I can remove the chain link panels. I want to do a run to the side so it will be on grass not concrete, but I'm thinking the exit from the coop will be over that concrete if possible.

Thanks for helping a newbie!!


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
The grass will just turn to dirt in no time; might want to rethink that. I wouldn't take the chain link down. just cover over it with hardware cloth or something more predator proof, at least along the bottom couple of feet. Lay some more on the ground going out about two feet and you have predator proof.

Lots you could do with the interior. Whatever you do you will probably want to change. Kinda like chicken math -- ideas keep popping up.

Particle board is cheaper than plywood but plywood holds up better. You can use thin stuff since it's interior and just a covering. Check while in the building supply store to see if they have anything else that is cheaper and will work. Paint is optional.

I'd throw something inexpensive in there for nests -- cardboard boxes, any container you have lying around. You'll change your mind about nests, too. Do invest in a 2x4 and lay it flat side up for a roost.


9 Years
Jul 8, 2010
Constantia, NY
I would leave the setup as is. They will eventually kill the grass. I would put sand on the cement - it will be easy to clean & maintain. You can always add on a run from the current run to a grassy one, but you will have a safe place to put them in when you are not around. You could also raise different breeds with the separate runs. Just make separate coops within the building.

Just use your imagination and you'll do great! Take a look at all the wonderful coops here on BYC.

Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

10 Years
Apr 30, 2009
Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
My coop is an old tin shed and my birds love it. I have a pretty simple perch design ( 2x4s stair stepping up on 'stilts') and my nest boxes were built separately out of plywood and we just cut a hole in the wall and mounted them with brackets so they are entirely external. The lids are latched shut and open with a long piece of piano hinge so I can look in one whole row of nests at one time. The one thing I wish I had thought of was a way to prop the lids open. I would like the added convenience for egg collecting and hen moving (dumb nest-swapping broodies!) and they would like it if I could crack the lid for ventilation in summer (again, dumb broodies in the upstairs boxes in midsummer!)
Anyway, it sounds like you are off to a great start!
Oh, and were I you I would think about leaving one of your separate compartments in as a storage closet for food, oyster shells, cleaning implements (like a snow shovel) and chick supplies that are not in use at the moment. Its nice to have it all together and you will be glad you did it.

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