Newbie - Shed to Coop Remodel

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GallaghePreach, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. GallaghePreach

    GallaghePreach Hatching

    Mar 13, 2015
    Southside, Alabama
    Greetings from a newbie to the world of chickens.

    As a new person to the world of backyard chickens, I ask for your patience in my understanding. My family and I just purchased a home with 1.5 acres of land. We will be using a large portion of the land for gardening, fruit trees, etc., but I have always wanted to raise chickens for eggs and possibly for meat.

    So, with no knowledge of chickens or coops, I am studying up on the material, but I have a coop question. In part of our yard we have a shed that is not being used at this time. The shed is large 15 wide by 20 long and was used by the previous owner for raising rabbits. I thought about sectioning off a half of the shed and using it as nesting boxes with a door or two opening to the yard and using it as a run. A section of the yard for the run will also be fenced in.

    As you can see from the photos, the sides of the shed are such wire fences allowing air to pass through while still protecting from the elements.

    Any ideas to help?

    Thanks in advance,





  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! It's great to have a nice building as a start. You will need to add hardware cloth over the woven wire fencing, and secure the base to prevent digging. If the opening faces south, that's even better. Electricity and nearby water would be very nice too. Lots of possibilities here! Mary
  3. Monguire

    Monguire Songster

    May 18, 2014
    Manassas, VA
    Agreed...what a WONDERFUL blank canvas you have to work with there. I wish we'd been so lucky when we embarked on this adventure!

    Only suggestion at this point beyond Folly's excellent tips would be to add your location into your profile to get assistance best suited to your climate.

  4. GallaghePreach

    GallaghePreach Hatching

    Mar 13, 2015
    Southside, Alabama

    Thank you for your help. What material would you suggest to secure the base?

    I forgot to mention the shed already has electricity and water running to it.


  5. GallaghePreach

    GallaghePreach Hatching

    Mar 13, 2015
    Southside, Alabama
    Thanks Monguire. I will be completing my profile shortly.

    Thank you again,

  6. jjdward

    jjdward How bout them DAWGS!

    May 4, 2009
    Buchanan, Georgia
    First let me say welcome to BYC from Georgia!! Second, in case you didn't already know, you hit a goldmine! Already having a structure that size is awesome and the fact it already has water and power it just icing on the cake! You have already heard most of the advice you will need. As far as securing the base, I have used tent stakes before with pretty good results. When you put in your run, make sure it is covered. I am about to build a new coop and plan to use regular chicken wire with a shade tarp. Another thing I plan on doing is adding one or two strands of electric fence wire around the bottom to discourage predators. I'm not sure if you have much experience with electric fence before but one tip I'll give is make sure you have a really good ground. I learned the hard way that if you don't, it won't really do any good. For the purpose of keeping predators out one of the smaller units will work fine, just read the grounding instructions. Normally they suggest three 8 foot ground rods spaced 10 feet apart. I'm sure you have already figured this out, but BYC is a life saver and is priceless resource for a newbie. Good luck and keep us posted!
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    That is a great building!!

    Is the floor just dirt?
    Is there a concrete foundation to prevent predators from digging under outer walls?

    My best advice?
    Take your time and think long term,
    do lots of reading here to learn the best way to set up a coop for your goals,
    and get it all built before getting chickens.

    Plant your fruit trees first...they take the longest to come to fruition(pun intended)

    You could section that off for both layers and meaties, plus have a couple sections for isolating sick/trouble birds, and brooding new chicks, plus an area to store feeds and supplies.

    Check out My Coop page, I built a coop inside an existing building.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  8. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    That's going to make a great coop. I would not use the entire shed. If this is your only outbuilding on the property, you need someplace to store stuff. Lawnmowers, yard tools, chicken feed, a brooder, bikes.... Put up a wall where the overhang and the door part meet. You can enclose it in wire only because it will be secure from the storage side. That will help with airflow too. That should give you somewhere around 150 sq feet of "coop". You can almost skip the run part if you are thinking 12-15 chickens. .Build your nesting boxes to the inside. I'm guessing that the tarp is up more to provide shade because you live in LA. I'd stay with an open wire side (follow the prior owner's lead, the heat must of gotten unbearable if closed up). Are there misters or are those just water lines? Leave the bunny fence up but run a second layer of hardware cloth. If there are no breaches in the old wire, that will tell you that it kept predators out (same animals that like rabbits, like chickens). Chicken wire might be enough with the other wire but that's your call. The openings as it is are too large for chicks. They will slip out and disappear. I would remove the tarp and replace it with something that will allow airflow. You want something you can roll up and down. You want to roll it up in the winter for the sun and at night in the summer but you want it down during the day to block the sun in the summer. Livestock shade fabric, bamboo window shades, even old window blinds. If you have a window covering installer or manufacturer in town, dig through their dumpster. Oh the treasures you can find in there.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: