Storage shed turned coop...future build thread

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chelsey, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Chelsey

    Chelsey In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2012
    We are in the process of purchasing a fixer-upper farm, and there's (what I think is) a perfect future chicken coop not too far off the back porch, right next to the garage. It's roughly 10' l x 10' w x 7' h and I think used to be a milk storage shed because it's insulated and has electricity. It can also easily get water, if it doesn't already have it, since the garage that's next to it has water. I'm pretty darn excited, and think that with some tlc it'll be a great coop :)



    Here's the to-do list right now:

    -install a window where the window hole is, and make it predator proof, even when open.
    -either take out all of the insulation in the ceiling or somehow replace it.
    -tear out the carpeting
    -make electrical outlets chicken-proof (thinking maybe installing those waterproof outside locking covers)
    -remote controlled chicken door on the side of the coop for free-ranging
    -light sensitive chicken door on the back of the coop, and adjacent predator-proof small pen for outside access while we're away
    -install multiple roosts made of 2x4s turned on their sides and sanded down to remove edges
    -build nest boxes

    We're also going to paint the interior of the coop with Kilz. For flooring, since under the carpet is probably just wood, we were actually thinking about using the tile we have leftover from the flooring in the house. We'd use a particular kind of grout and seal everything, but then would probably use a thick layer of shavings over the tile? Since the floor is also insulated I would like to think it won't be too cold on their little chicken feet. The plan is also to install a caged heat lamp that is set to turn on if the temperature gets too low, to keep their water from freezing. The front door is solid, but I was thinking about putting in a small window there too, for a cross breeze for ventilation.

    Anybody have any additional thoughts on how to make the coop better? I was thinking maybe outside access doors to the nest boxes, but I'm wondering if since the walls are insulated that would a) be too difficult and b) just allow for another entrance by predators. Not only that, but if we have to enter the coop to collect eggs we would be checking the feeder and waterers for contents and functionality at the same time.

    How many bantam cochins (assuming the roosters all play nice) could I put in this coop if they're allowed to free range? I'm thinking the outside enclosed pen that they'd be able to get to if we're away will probably measure 6 x 12, but between the chickens, horses, goats, and other critters, we probably wouldn't be gone much [​IMG]

  2. jetdog

    jetdog Songster

    Jun 18, 2013
    Looks like a great start and I like all the ideas you have sounds like a good project and since you already have the shell make it how you want. I would make external laying boxes just for the easy egg collection I think I would make the run a little bigger than what you talked about but you will be off to a great start.
  3. Lose the insulation and carpet and anything else that red mites and other nasties can hide and live in
    get the thing in a state where it is as easy to clean as possible vinyl siding inside might work well

    Consider when putting in electrics using water proof fittings that way you can blast the internals with a pressure washer from time to time

    The window looks small make it bigger and put in loads of ventilation, just openings covered in welded mesh will do
    Consider using shutters to keep horizontal rain out rather than glazing

    If you have serious predator problems a sheet of welded mesh below the floor and up the sides can be useful.

    Ventilation is what matters and you can't heat a coop and ventilate it well at the same time
    Condensation and damp is what you want to avoid at all costs

    As it is alongside another building is it subject to being in wind tunnel from the adjacent buildings? if so consider placing the ventilation on the most sheltered side.

    Use heat sparingly just locally to keep the drinkers from freezing is all you really need do unless you are in the artic!
    If you do live somewhere that gets stupidly cold don't go for breeds with huge combs.

    My coops are all based on plastic garden sheds (Keter) dead easy to clean.
    This time of year we supplement the bedding with dry autumn leaves and garden shreddings etc.

    This was my plastic Duck Shed last winter 50mm Mesh in the window completely open to the elements and vents in the door opening end as well

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  4. Chelsey

    Chelsey In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2012
    Thank you for the input guys :) There is a small space between the shed and the garage that a person can squeeze through...I guess that would be the best side to put the ventilation on? Any windows or anything else on that side could be open all the time and be totally dry. Both the roof from the shed AND the roof from the garage cover that space. I'll take out all of the carpet, but you'd take out the insulation too? It's a finished room...other than the insulation hanging out of the ceiling there isn't any other stuff accessible. I need to look at it closer again, but it looks like they've got plywood or drywall up in additional insulation to get to. Can the little red mites or whatever else go through the walls??! I don't think it's been used as a chicken coop before.

    I really like the idea of being able to spray the building out without worrying about getting anything wet. What do you all think about the tile floor with shavings over it? Any big reasons not to do it?
  5. Tiles will be fine provide the wood floor can support them without causing the grout to flex and crack if not then you may as well stick with boarding the wooden floor and use vinyl (lino) or a plastic board instead.
    A dry deep bed of anything will keep the birds happy the deeper the better. you may need to build up the door threshold.
    Plan your pop hole height accordingly

    If you really needed to incorporate heating putting in an underfloor heating cable under the tiles may be the most cost effective method and as with any other wiring in outbuildings full of combustible material assume Rats will get in and use armored cable or conduit if poss at least for anything at chewing height!

    The ceiling looks like it needs gutting but if the walls can be made as secure as poss then I guess there is no harm in leaving the insulation in place but cracks and crevices are always going to be potential hiding places so you may end up ripping it out eventually

    If the walls are lined in a drywall material (over here it is called plaster board and gypsum based) then I don't think that will last long once it gets damp but again your mileage may vary.

    The closed in side is probably ideal for overnight ventilation but don't forget the birdies will appreciate a perch with an meshed window where they can look outside or perch in the sun on a cold day.

    Over here we have a thing called Stokboard comes in 8x4 sheets in varying thickness made from recycled plastic and is brilliant for lining sheds and making coop floors and walls out of I am about to build a huge coop using ecosheet as I like to keep wood down to a minimum
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013

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