When we bought our home last year, the previous owners left us this shed in the backyard. For a while, I was trying to figure out if we’d have enough room to have this shed (used as a gardening/potting shed perhaps) and a chicken coop. And the more I stared at it, and the space we had, the more I realized the shed should be the coop! Of course it helps to have a super handy husband who I knew could take on this project. I wanted to share with you how we converted our shed into a chicken coop so you could perhaps take this project on yourselves. It certainly helps to have someone handy around and the right tools, but it’s definitely DIY-able.
I think this was a homemade shed and it was pretty solid, but it was kind of put together sloppily, the roof tiles were off on the front and there was a blue tarp covering the back half of the roof were there was no protection. Finishing nails stuck out all over and there was some evidence of rain damage and oil leaks from a lawn mower, perhaps. But it was more than good enough!
(Sorry about the mess in our side yard, but this is real life. The old owners left us quite a mess that we haven’t got to yet and I’ve also added some composting and mulch piles, etc… )
If you guys have been following along, you’ll know that we got some week old chicks about a month ago. So while they were in the brooder inside our home, the hubby started working on the coop. Having them home really gave us the kick in the butt we needed to start getting to work on this project. In Part One of this series, these are the things we worked on first:
- Enlarging the air vents
- Installing windows
- Adding trim
- Installing a linoleum floor
- Fixing the floor of the chicken run
Also, because of the size of the shed, we decided to separate out an area that we could use to store their feed and supplies, as well as gardening tools.
I have been
hoarding storing vintage windows for so many years, I’m embarrassed to say. I knew I’d have a use for them eventually and so we pulled a few for the coop.
This is Karma, our 14 year old Lab, supervising the job:
Here are the new vents… this will give the girls much better air flow.
Next up: flooring. The linoleum was a remnant we found that was perfect. Just the right size and had a wood floor look. (Not that it would eventually matter, being covered up by bedding, but it’s exactly what I was hoping for and helps me pretend I have a barn.) All the reading I had been doing on coops had multiple sources say that this flooring made cleaning out the coop much easier. Here in LA, it was not so easy to find linoleum remnants. (Who knew?) I also felt the cheap flooring that was already in there would start absorbing the odor and I didn’t want that.
Here’s our 13 year old Lab Zoe, making sure the job was done right:
We didn’t glue the floor down. Instead, the hubby tacked it into place with 3/4″ round finishing molding. This will hold it in place as well as keep bedding from getting under it. Also, because of some existing damage along the bottom edges, the hubby added some 2 x 4 wood scraps to shore things up a bit more.
Once the floor was in place, framing went up to separate part of the coop. The coop is pretty spacious so we had plenty of room to do this. We plan on keeping the chick supplies/feed in here as well as gardening tools and supplies. And since we don’t want the girls to be able to get into things on that side, the hubby did an awesome job of framing it out and giving me a door to access everything.
Back outside, the sides of the coop, windows, and door had trim added to both help keep out the elements and add a little design to the poor old shed.
For the chicken run, about 12 feet of space was marked out. But before the hubby could frame out the run, we needed to dig down and add some chicken wire. We have coyotes and raccoons, as well as gophers and squirrels that we want to keep out. (Who knows what else will show up once there’s food and chickens about.) About 6 inches or more of soil was dug out and removed, chicken wire was laid down and the dirt replaced. That was a pain in the ass, but we wanted to do it right the first time and feel comfortable that the girls will be safe in their new home.
Since the coop is raised up, the chicken wire was stapled along the edge on that side so nothing could sneak under. (We added a layer of hardware wire over it as well, to be extra sure nothing would sneak in.) Once the framing goes up, the same will be done along all the edges.
That does it for Part One of converting our shed into a chicken coop. Make sure to check back next week to see the rest of the run framed-out and see what color we choose to paint it! Subscribe to my feed so you don’t miss a post. 🙂