Renovating an old garden shed into a coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by scopechick, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. scopechick

    scopechick In the Brooder

    Hi All

    Hub and I have just moved into a new place on 2 acres so it is definitely time to get chickens! I want to renovate an old gambled-roof garden shed for the coop and have a couple questions.

    First, because of the gambled roof, the height of the inside roof is quite high. I have seen some coops with high roosts so am thinking that I will do that but there is a high shelf there that I think I should likely take down. If the shelf is there would the chickens nest up there?

    Second, the floor of the shed seems to be thin ply rotted - should I take the floor right out and then replace with wood then bedding or leave it and just fill with deep litter? It sits right on the ground so there isn't really a danger of falling through it.

    Third, there are shelf boxes built along one side of the shed, half open at the front to get stuff into it. If I just cut some entry areas on the front piece and put in litter, would that work as nesting boxes? I guess I am asking if there are any special things a nesting box needs to have. How many boxes per chicken do I need?

    Fourth, the shed is pretty shaded and the enclosed run (for times when we are at work or away - we have a lot of eagles here so there needs to be some secured areas for the birds) will also be pretty shaded. If I free range them on the rest of the property when we are around, will lots of shade be ok otherwise? Shade will be nice in summer although we don't get blistering hot here on the wet coast and the shed really can't be moved.

    Finally, the walls of the shed are half insulated and half bare. I need to put ply or OSB on the walls especially where the pink insulation is so the flock can't peck at that stuff but am wondering if OSB is ok (due to the glue etc used in it) and what kind of paint to use to seal it off.

    Thanks for commenting on my newb will come as we do the renos

  2. yogifink

    yogifink Songster

    May 16, 2013
    Pinebluff, nc
    My Coop
    Pictures of the before would help to answer some of those questions, I'll do my best using my imagination.

    How high is this high shelf? Depending on the chickens you get, they may or may not want to or be able to roost on a high shelf and or utilize the 'high inside roof'.

    Concerning the floor, is the plywood just sitting on the dirt or is there a foundation and floor joists? If the plywood is in direct contact with dirt, I would personally pull it out, lay down a moisture barrier (some plastic), a layer of hardware cloth tacked into the shed somewhere, a layer of dirt or sand and then layer in the bedding of your choice - in that order. If the plywood is on joists, I would either rip it out and replace or remove bad parts and patch with new. Holes in the floor of the coop will provide predators an opportunity to sneak in a night, not to mention the chicks could hurt their legs slipping through.

    Nesting boxes can be anything that the hen feels safe in. They have to be easy to get into, and are usually inside the coop, from your description it makes it seem like these boxes are on the outside. 1 box for every 2-3 hens and should be about 12x12 inches.

    My girls love the shade and prefer to stay out of the direct sun...but its hot here. I think shade would be fine, and I would be more concerned about keep stuff dry.

    OSB would be fine, but if there is moisture it wont hold up. Consider using outdoor rated paneling, its a lot less expensive than plywood. For painting options, I would think any-ol' paint would do as long as it does not flake or chip off. If you going to be buying something, go with a water base as opposed to petroleum.

    Good Luck!

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