Rubbermaid big max shed as coop

Turanga Leela

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2019
12
4
26
Hello all, I'm a newbie. I posted earlier today about putting a run under my pool deck, and also ideas for a coop. The feedback I received was that I should consider a different plan altogether. So...

I have a 7'x7' Rubbermaid storage shed, next to the deck I want to put a run under. I could, in theory, cut a pop door for the hens, add more ventilation to the shed, and use it as a chicken coop for my 6 chicks-soon-to-be-chickens. Here is a photo of the shed. It's about 40' from my house. It is in full sun, so not ideal, but there is plenty of shade under the deck next to it. It will be sheltered from wind from 2 sides, but exposed on the other 2. I know this shed is currently poorly ventilated, so I'll need to remedy that. Thoughts?
20190922_164135.jpg
 

cavemanrich

Addict
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
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Melrose Park Illinois
All looks good to me. YES,,,,, you will need to add considerable ventilation to that shed,,,,,,, but it make a VERY GOOD COOP.
I do not see any reason to not use the under/deck as your run. You will need to secure the open sides with,,,, You have few options. All depends on your predator proofing required.
Hardware cloth, welded 2 x 4 wire, chain-link fence, or chicken wire.
A chicken pop door that you can control open or closed into run. Suggest closing for the night.
Make the interior of shed chicken friendly with roost bars/perches and nesting boxes. I also suggest some windows into coop/shed so chickens have natural daylight.
Ask anything else you are not sure of.:thumbsup
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and :welcome
 

Turanga Leela

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2019
12
4
26
All looks good to me. YES,,,,, you will need to add considerable ventilation to that shed,,,,,,, but it make a VERY GOOD COOP.
I do not see any reason to not use the under/deck as your run. You will need to secure the open sides with,,,, You have few options. All depends on your predator proofing required.
Hardware cloth, welded 2 x 4 wire, chain-link fence, or chicken wire.
A chicken pop door that you can control open or closed into run. Suggest closing for the night.
Make the interior of shed chicken friendly with roost bars/perches and nesting boxes. I also suggest some windows into coop/shed so chickens have natural daylight.
Ask anything else you are not sure of.:thumbsup
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and :welcome

Thank you for your feedback!

I have decided, for now, to use the Snap lock large coop, rather than convert my shed. Some people have suggested the Snap lock coop may not be ideal, but I'm going to try it. If it doesn't work out, I'll use it for a (very expensive) quarantine coop.

For the run under the deck, I'm going to use hardware cloth and bury it 10" down, and make it L out by 4" (if that makes sense). I am not going to cover the top with wire, since the decking is there. I suppose a rogue mouse could squeeze in somehow, but I feel it is unlikely. I've been in my house 7 years and have never seen any animal in my yard. The yard is surrounded by a 5' high welded wire fence, so I am not super worried about predators (yet).

I know the coop is small, but I plan on letting the chickens free range.
20190922_153800.png
In inclement weather they'll have their under deck run of 300 sq ft. It has shade, some afternoon sun on one side, is mostly sand but has some grass.

Any and all advice is appreciated! My hardware cloth arrives this weekend and I want to get started asap!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,019
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My Coop
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In inclement weather they'll have their under deck run of 300 sq ft. It has shade, some afternoon sun on one side, is mostly sand but has some grass.
Doesn't rain water run thru the decking?
The grass won't last long...and you'll need some bedding in the run to control the stink.

Oh, and...Welcome to BYC! @Turanga Leela
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
upload_2019-9-26_9-12-22.png
 

Turanga Leela

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2019
12
4
26
Doesn't rain water run thru the decking?
The grass won't last long...and you'll need some bedding in the run to control the stink.

Oh, and...Welcome to BYC! @Turanga Leela
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
View attachment 1918298

Thank you ! I will update my profile. I'm in New Hampshire.

About half of the deck has a metal roof attached underneath it, with a gutter to direct runoff, so it'll be dry in that area. The rest of it, yes it will rain between the deck boards, but snow doesn't get through. It is also wind protected. So I thought that between their coop and the roof-covered area they'd be ok!

Can you suggest what to put down under the deck? I'm worried about wood chips just staying wet all the time because about half the area under the deck is in full shade (so only half would dry out from the afternoon sun). My soil is about 4" of topsoil , and then 100% sand underneath everywhere. So maybe just sand in the run?

I'm feeling really overwhelmed with all the options for this project. Everyone has a different opinion, and many methods seem to work well for people based on their preferences, flock size, run location, etc... I'm not sure what will work best for me, as I've never had chickens before.

Thank you for taking the time to offer input!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,019
138,098
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Can you suggest what to put down under the deck?
Not chickens?
Tho it seems like an easy already built shelter, there are many cons.

Access being the first, I wouldn't want to have to crawl under there to fetch a bird or a stash of eggs. You should always be able easily access wherever your chickens can go.

Second, the shade might great for a summer lounging spot, but not full time or the rest of the year, as you already point out.

Third is odors, without being able to tend to the run, sitting on the deck might be unpleasant at best, untenable at worst. Sand is good for drainage, but not good for chicken bedding, except in the desert. It eventually becomes saturated with pulverized poops (you can never get all the poops sifted out) and when the slightest bit damp will reek.


As for run bedding in general, my runs have semi-deep litter(cold composting), never clean anything out, just add smaller dry materials on occasion, add larger wood chippings as needed. Aged ramial wood chippings are best IMO.
full
 

Turanga Leela

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2019
12
4
26
Not chickens?
Tho it seems like an easy already built shelter, there are many cons.

Access being the first, I wouldn't want to have to crawl under there to fetch a bird or a stash of eggs. You should always be able easily access wherever your chickens can go.

Second, the shade might great for a summer lounging spot, but not full time or the rest of the year, as you already point out.

Third is odors, without being able to tend to the run, sitting on the deck might be unpleasant at best, untenable at worst. Sand is good for drainage, but not good for chicken bedding, except in the desert. It eventually becomes saturated with pulverized poops (you can never get all the poops sifted out) and when the slightest bit damp will reek.


As for run bedding in general, my runs have semi-deep litter(cold composting), never clean anything out, just add smaller dry materials on occasion, add larger wood chippings as needed. Aged ramial wood chippings are best IMO.
full

Thank you for your response. A lot to think about.

I've already dug a 12" trench around the entire deck to bury the hardware cloth... I'm pretty committed to this plan. I can close off half the area so the run is a smaller portion of the under deck area (say, 16' x 8'), so less to keep clean. Again, half would be in a sunny area. To be clear, I plan to let them free range in the fenced in back yard, the run is for inclement weather. So ideally, most of the waste will be spread out in the yard, or concentrated in poop boards in the coop. I know cleaning will be a pain, but I can always build a different run in the spring if this fails. My only expense to build this run is $100 of hardware cloth.
 

trumpeting_angel

Free Ranging
Feb 6, 2019
1,611
5,996
577
Vermont
Welcome from a Vermonter!

I can’t remember the square footage, but I rejected that Snap-Lock coop for my 4 girls due to size and ventilation. When I looked inside, it seemed the interior was poorly designed. A lot of the square footage was in nest boxes, and the only space for them to hang out was under the roosts, where all the poop collects. I am not always the first one up, so I know the poop won’t necessarily be cleaned at dawn.

You can’t stand up in parts of our run. It’s a temporary arrangement, but I’m definitely not doing it that way again.

So many decisions, I know! Drove me about nuts, not to mention the marital stress!
 

CatWhisperer

Crowing
8 Years
Jun 16, 2013
1,503
5,062
401
northwest Arkansas
I have that snap lock coop, got it used on Craigslist. I am keeping 6 serama cockerels in it now. It would be pretty tight quarters for 6 LF hens. And they are stuck in that tiny space till someone gets out of bed every day to let them out. The nest boxes would be a fine size for bantams but too small for large girls. My Orpington would never fit but an Easter egger probably would. It is well ventilated but again a LF hen may not have enough headroom on the 2x2 roosts that fit in it.
 

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