Shed-to-coop... help?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Myfriendconnie, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. Myfriendconnie

    Myfriendconnie New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Oct 22, 2010
    We're about to move and are planning on having chickens at our new house. There is already a shed on the property which we are planning to convert to a chicken coop. The shed has linolium floors and electricity already, and as far as I remember it has windows also, but we'll probably be needing to add some insulation and ventilation.

    Also, there is already a fenced section around the shed, but the fences are only around 4' high. I was talking to a friend who has chickens, and she said we should have a completely enclosed run (roof, etc. of hardware cloth/chicken wire) unless we wanted our chickens to wander off and not come back.

    So, what is the best way do add insulation and ventilation to the shed and a roof to the run? The fence would need to be higher to allow us to walk inside it, and we aren't really building-savvy. The shed is probably around 10' x 12' (maybe larger) and will be housing 20 hens: 5 Austerlorps, 5 Andalusians, 5 Ameraucanas, and 5 Silkies. How much roofed run area should we have, and how do you get the "roof" on?
     
  2. tjweaver84

    tjweaver84 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    22
    Jun 13, 2010
    Winterville, NC
    The building should be big enough for all the chickens. For the run if you assume 10 sq ft of run per bird that's 200 sq ft. So I would probably go with a run of 10' or 12' by 20' (depending on the length of the wall the run is on). If you use some 4x4s for the walls of the run you could just frame out a roof with 2x4s and bolt it to the wall supports. I would also use hardware cloth for the walls of the run or at least the bottom 2 feet of the run if cost is an issue and then bigger wire for the higher parts
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    116
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I just wanted to welcome you to BYC. Also, comment on the comment of your neighbor/friend. My chickens don't have a pen, wander where they chose on 80 acres and always come back to their coop at night. All that's needed to be sure that your chickens learn that their coop is home is a proper introduction to it, i.e., locked up in it for at least a week before turning them out. I'm not saying you shouldn't build a pen, if that's what you chose to do; just clearing up a bit of misinformation you've been given. [​IMG]

    We have converted a shed into a coop for my younger birds. It's insulated. I hope to be able to post pics of it soon.

    Again, [​IMG]
     
  4. Myfriendconnie

    Myfriendconnie New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Oct 22, 2010
    I'm not really worried about them getting lost, I'm worried about something eating them. Primarily hawks since they will be locked in the coop each night.

    The area is heavily treed though... would that cut down on the possibility of hawk attacks?
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    116
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I free range from an early age. My chickens learn quickly what to use for cover from aerial predators - trees, large bushes, natural alcoves and even an old large satellite dish. So I'd say yes, having lots of trees does help. However, I lost a hen yesterday when she was in an area of lots of cover, but most of the trees are bare with winter coming on.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  6. mmtillman

    mmtillman Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,007
    71
    231
    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    I'm converting a metal building (6x8) to a coop by adding windows and a pop door. It will be replacing a coop/run/tractor that is just too small for my 7 girls.

    My DH and I are going to partition off a 30x30 area in the back yard for a (fairly) secure run. I'm putting chicken wire up 24 inches on the heavy duty chain link that is already in place (that surrounds the existing yard). I know everyone says that chicken wire (the 1" stuff) isn't strong enough to keep out predators, but my concern with invaders would be in the dark hours, and the girls will be securely locked in their coop (using hardware wire on those windows) at dark.

    My main daytime concerns are for the neighbors' dogs that run around free and easy. They won't come in the yard over the fence, and they are too big to dig under it. They can't tear up the chain link, and the chicken wire on the inside will keep my girls from sticking their heads out into danger.

    Then I plan to use bird netting over the 30x30 yard (hawks are a very real problem). It has a little tree on one side, and we are using 6' dog pen fencing for the remaining parts of the fence, so part of the yard will have a 4 ft. ceiling and part of it will have 6'. I'm less concerned with them leaving than I am their being attacked by the redtails that are around all winter.

    They are free ranging in my yard for a couple of hours morning and evening, so they are learning to keep an eye on the sky. It is a hoot to watch them when a hawk flys over. One of them will squawk and they will stream into their small coop and run. Today, one of them got left behind in the flower garden, and my Campine came flying and squawking back after her. Either Scout (the Campine) is the dominant pullet, or she is a roo. The jury is still out, but I think she is a pullet. They are fairly savy, but I don't really want to take a chance with hawks when I'm not around.

    With the larger coop, I won't feel guilty shutting them in a bit early if we will be gone after dark, and I've not seen any raccoons around during the daylight hours (or coyotes, or possums). I know my setup is vulnerable during the night, but I'll check it out carefully before letting them out each day.
     
  8. Kat's Silly Chickens

    Kat's Silly Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    562
    0
    121
    Sep 12, 2010
    South Central Texas
    We converted a 6'X13' section of our old horse shelter/trailer shed by putting up interior wood walls and chicken wire (covered with heavy wire fence) at the roof edge for ventilation. And have a 6'X12' run attached to barn completely enclosed with chicken wire with heavy wire fence part way up the sides to keep predators out. We only have 4 chickens in it, but they love it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by