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From Ugly Old Shed to Trendy Chicken Coop

Updated on August 23, 2017

Building My Chicken Coop

This spring I transformed an ugly, old metal shed to a trendy, open-air coop for my six young hens. The shed was in my yard when I bought my house seven years ago. It has some dents, compliments of the rowdy children of former neighbors, but for the most part is structurally sound. I decided to turn it into a cozy home for my poultry.

I was inspired by an article in the Mother Earth News and the coop a friend of mine had built on his urban farm. With the encouragement and assistance of a helpful friend, I dove in. In all the process took me about a week, but it could have been done in a couple of days.

The total cost for the project was around $200.00, which included buying a new drill. If I had had all the tools I could have done this for around $150.00.

This small photo shows the shed before work began. Just an ugly old metal shed in my backyard. The large photo shows the transformation to a coop.

All photos property of author unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved. May not be republished without permission.

The Way My Shed Looks Today

building a coop
building a coop

The Picture That Inspired My Chicken Shed

My neighbors, David and Caroline Van Slyke, turned an old metal storage shed that was once an eyesore in the corner of their yard into a stylish urban backyard chicken coop for their three hens, Charlotte, Cinnamon and Henny Penny.

Read the rest of the article here.

The Shed to Chicken Coop Conversion that Inspired Mine!

The Shed to Chicken Coop Conversion that Inspired Mine!
The Shed to Chicken Coop Conversion that Inspired Mine!

Mother Earth News Archives

Purchase Mother Earth News back issues and archives for your kindle on Amazon.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS Digital Archive: 2012
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Digital Archive: 2012

Get all of the 2012 issues. Download immediately on your Kindle. Other years are available too.

 

Please Take Moment to Answer My Poll!

Do you keep backyard chickens?

See results

Art of the Chicken Coop - A Fun & Essential Guide to Housing Your Peeps

If you want more ideas for an artsy and fun coop, you must check out this book! Not only does the author give plans for building seven different designs, you get a pictorial tour of other people's colorful poultry houses to inspire your own unique creation! This book is so much fun for experienced poultry owners, as well as beginners and those just in the dreaming about it stage. Highly recommended!

Art of the Chicken Coop: A Fun and Essential Guide to Housing Your Peeps
Art of the Chicken Coop: A Fun and Essential Guide to Housing Your Peeps

Keeping chickens—even for city dwellers is a trend that just keeps on growing. With this book, today’s modern farmer will find plans and construction techniques for making seven different chicken coops, fun chicken facts, and recipes for eggs. Experienced farmer, woodworker, and author Chris Gleason's hip eye for design, combined with sound woodworking techniques make the coops both attractive and sturdy. Practical information such as how to properly size a coop and how to source reclaimed materials is included. Don’t miss the authors “tour de coop” where he visits coops from other backyard farmers to find out why they keep chickens and what lessons they have to share with others interested in doing so.

 

Why a Fresh Air Coop?

a fresh air chicken coop
a fresh air chicken coop

Why I Chose to Build a Fresh Air Coop

Many people have asked me why I decided to make most of two of the walls of my chicken coop nothing but hardware cloth. They express concern about my hens being cold in the winter.

In thinking about how to house my birds, I did a lot of reading and talking to people. It seems that in our area, at least, heat is more of a concern than cold in terms of threat to a chicken's health. Especially in a metal shed, the danger was that the birds would overheat.

I was also concerned with ventilation. Having the chicks in my bathroom, I quickly realized how fast ammonia levels build up in a confined space. I was determined that the space would have more than adequate ventilation. I learned that fresh air coops are more healthful for poultry, and as long as the birds can stay dry and out of drafts, that the cold air does not bother them.

By winter the shed will contain a huddle house where my flock can go to roost and get out of the wind. The huddle house will be heated by the birds' body heat and I estimate will be as much as 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature.

Fresh Air Chicken Coops

Chickens need more ventilation than most small poultry houses allow. Poor air quality is harmful to the birds' delicate respiratory systems. Damp litter breeds disease. Darkness causes birds to be inactive. If they do not feed, their bodies cannot produce the heat needed for survival. Removing one wall of the structure can result in immediate improvement of bird health, even during frigid weather!

Fresh-Air Poultry Houses: The Classic Guide to Open-Front Chicken Coops for Healthier Poultry
Fresh-Air Poultry Houses: The Classic Guide to Open-Front Chicken Coops for Healthier Poultry

In this reprint of a 1924 classic Dr.Price T. Woods, a leading poulty-health expert, describes the features of his own chicken houses as well as those of his clients. An interesting read for anyone interested in keeping their chickens as healthy as possible!

 

My Flock's First Winter in the Fresh Air Coop

January 2012 Update

After researching this issue some more and having an experienced poultry breeder look at my chicken coop, I ended up covering the open sides of the coop with some heavy gauge plastic for the winter. The plastic is attached at the top and weighted down at the bottom, but open at the sides. This allows for ventilation while blocking the heavy winds.

So far we have had several nights when the temperature has gotten into the teens, with the windchill in the single digits, and the girls are no worse for wear. I found the shed to be quite comfortable whenever I went in to tend to feed, water or eggs. The shed does a good job of blocking the wind and stays dry. The birds seem to be happy. It feels cold to me, but I am not covered with layers of feather! As long as they are happy, then I consider things to be fine.

How do I know the hens are happy? During the coldest weather I still continued to get four eggs per day from my five birds.

How I Converted My Shed to a Cool Chicken Coop!

backyard chicken coop in progress
backyard chicken coop in progress

First Things First

Demolition

After cleaning everything out of the shed and trimming back the overgrown bushes that had grown up around it, the first step was to remove the panels on two walls. I decided to remove two panels on the south-facing wall and one panel and one door on the east-facing wall. This would allow for good ventilation, but would also provide protection from winter blasts.

The panels removed easily. They are held on by small screws at the floor, ceiling and a metal brace that is halfway up the wall.

A friend had come to help me with the framing. We decided to keep the brace on the long wall for stability.

These photos were taken after the panels were removed and a frame built for the front wall to increase stability of the structure.

Removing the wall panels

Removing the wall panels
Removing the wall panels

Building the Frame

building a coop in progress
building a coop in progress

Most of our time on this day was spent building the framing for the east- and south-facing walls. The framing is pretty straight-forward.

After careful measuring, we built the frames out of two by fours and screwed them into the holes already present in the metal shed frame at the floor, ceiling and mid-level brace. We used dry-wall screws to attach the two by fours into the metal frame.

We used a lot of screws and fastened the framing in everywhere we could. This is important so predators cannot get in. In addition to neighborhood dogs, we have raccoons and possums who sometimes visit our yard.

Putting Up Hardware Cloth

My lovely little hens looking at me through the hardware cloth screening on their coop
My lovely little hens looking at me through the hardware cloth screening on their coop

The screen serves two important purposes besides ventilation. It keeps your flock in and just as importantly, it keeps out predators. Backyard chickens are vulnerable to attack from a number of predators that are present in urban and suburban neighborhoods.

I live in a densely-populated suburban neighborhood that was built in the 1950s. We have a raccoon living in the storm drain on our street. I have also seen a possum on my carport showing interest in my garbage can. Either of these critters would have a field day in my hen house, so I am determined to keep them out.

I chose to use 1/4-inch hardware cloth to screen in my coop. Chicken wire is too flimsy to provide good protection. It will keep poultry in, but it is not strong enough to keep predators out. It also allows gaps large enough for raccoons to reach in and grab an adult bird. Unable to pull the entire bird out through the hole, a raccoon will tear the poor creature into small pieces through the chicken wire.

I cut the hardware cloth with tin snips and fastened it to the two by fours using drywall screws. I initially tried using poultry utility staples, but it was pretty difficult to work with them on a vertical surface. I think this could have been done more easily if I had applied the screen before the frame was attached to the shed. The screws worked great and I may have used more than was really necessary, but I wanted to be sure nothing could get in.

Interior Design

platform in the chicken coop
platform in the chicken coop

After I got all the hardware cloth fastened onto the frames of both the walls and the door, it was time to turn my attention to the coop interior, where the hens would actually be spending their time.

The shed had a concrete floor, but it was covered with dirt. I estimate the shed had been in place around 15 or 20 years, long enough for a lot of debris to build up on the floor. I cleaned this up with a flat-bladed shovel and a broom.

During this cleaning process we got a lot of rain and I realized that water comes in on the floor of the new hen house. Before deciding to turn the shed into a chicken coop I had installed a rain barrel at the bottom of a nearby downspout. During a rainstorm, water was overflowing from the rain barrel onto the patio and then seeping into the structure and spreading across the floor.

I tried hooking up a hose to take care of the overflow from the rainbarrel, but it was not successful. The water from the downspout was coming at a faster rate than the hose could carry out, resulting in water spilling out from the top of the rainbarrel.

I never have solved this problem, but for the time-being I have disconnected the downspout from the rainbarrel and directed the stormwater toward the driveway.

Because the floor of the shed frequently gets wet I made two decisions to deal with this inside the building. I built a platform on one side of the coop that gets the most water. This is also the side that is most protected from the weather otherwise, the side where the birds sleep and where I will build them a huddle house for the winter.

I had some landscape timbers I had purchased from cheapcycle. I laid four of these down on the floor. One by the west wall, one by the east wall and two side-by-side in the middle. I had a sheet of plywood cut to fit, and place this on top of these to make a raised floor. With the two center supports, the floor can support my weight when I need to get up there to gather eggs or clean. I laid one landcape timber across the edge of the platform to prevent woodshavings from falling off.

I chose to use two timbers in the center so that I could use this area for feeding. The piece cut off from the plywood floor fit perfectly on top of the two side-by-side center timbers. I screwed this into place with drywall screws. This works nicely for keeping the water off the floor. Theoretically it was going to keep the food off the floor also, but the chickens routinely knock over their food dishes and the food goes into the substrate there.

chickens inside the new chicken coop
chickens inside the new chicken coop

Because of the rainwater that comes in, I put sand on the floor. I started with six bags of leveling sand and that has worked very well. I have also purchased additional bags of play sand that were on sale Memorial Day weekend, but have not put them down yet. My goal is to have two or three inches of sand on the floor, but it does not have to be done all at once.

On the platform I started putting wood shavings. I put down the woodshavings I had left over from the brooder, and I bought a big bag of wood shavings. I did not like the shavings in the big bag. The bag contained a lot of sawdust and I was concerned this would cause the birds to have respiratory problems so I did not put it down.

I noticed that the birds are perfectly happy with having just a bare floor and a little pile of wood shavings in one corner. It is much easier for me to keep clean. I just go in and scrape up the poop off the wood a couple of times a week. It only takes a couple of minutes.

During the winter the wood shavings will probably be needed for a cozy place to snuggle, but for the summer it seems that they are probably not necessary.

chickens enjoying their new chicken coop
chickens enjoying their new chicken coop

Here are the chickens inside their finished house! They love it!

The white one is Hilda, the lead hen. She is a Columbia Rock. She does a great job of looking after her flock. Behind her is one of the australorps, probably Alma, the youngest of the flock. Alma is outgoing and curious, and can usually be found near Hilda. The two araucanas, Goldie and Hazel are in the corner. Blanche, the other australorp is standing by herself.

My friend built a little popdoor for the birds to get out to their run, but I have screened over the opening for now. I will be removing this little door. It was made out of a piece of scrap plywood we found in the old shed and it is coming apart. I do not think it is a safe door; raccoons could tear it apart. After building the run I will make a better popdoor.

Need More Inspiration?

If you need more inspiration for turning your old shed into a chicken coop, check out this website!

I Love This Coop From the City Chicken Website!

I Love This Coop From the City Chicken Website!
I Love This Coop From the City Chicken Website!

For More Information about Chicken Coops, Check Out This Great Title!

Backyard Chickens' Guide to Coops and Tractors: Planning, Building, and Real-Life Advice
Backyard Chickens' Guide to Coops and Tractors: Planning, Building, and Real-Life Advice

Customers give this excellent guide five stars. It is full of helpful advice!

 
landscape timbers in the chicken shed
landscape timbers in the chicken shed

Chicken Shed Update

I found out that the landscape timbers I used on the floor of the chicken coop are pressure treated. This is good for the timbers, but not good for the chickens and definitely not good for the future eggs. I am going to have to remove them, because the chemicals from the pressure treatment can get into the eggs. I do not want to eat that!

I will probably have to remove and replace the sand also. I am glad now that I did not put all that play sand down yet!

This does not sound like a fun job, but eating eggs containing chemicals from treated wood is even less appealing.

Ready Made Chicken Coops - If you do not want to make your own

Here are some chicken coops that are available commercially, for those just starting out or needing a place to house a mother hen and her brood. These pens cannot be expected to have the quality and durability of a shed conversion or a pen you build yourself; but, these are good for what they are and should last a few years.

TRIXIE Pet Products Chicken Coop with Outdoor Run, 66.75 x 30.25 x 41.25 inches
TRIXIE Pet Products Chicken Coop with Outdoor Run, 66.75 x 30.25 x 41.25 inches

This one has lots of photos of the interior so you can see what you are getting.

 

More Chicken Coop Ideas

Here is a sample of the coops available on eBay today. There is quite a lot of demand, so they tend to go quickly.

chickens on their roost
chickens on their roost

Why Doesn't My Chicken Shed Have a Roost and Nesting Boxes?

Questions from visitors

Hurray! I made Lens of the Day! Thank you to everyone for this honor! The hens and I are so excited! (Actually, when I told the hens they were more interested in the leftover French toast I was putting in their dish, but I am sure they are happy too. Really).

We have gotten a lot of visitors today and many questions, especially about why there are no roosts or nesting boxes in my chicken house. I thought I would give an update and try to answer some of the questions that are appearing in the comments.

My birds do have a roost, but they are not using it much. They are all between eight and ten weeks old this weekend, so they are still very young and still like to sleep in a pile on the floor. The roost is there when they are ready.

I have posted a photo of the young hens using their roost. I went into the coop earlier this week to take photos and they got up there and started posing for me. Then they hopped back down. I never see them up there hanging out. I do have some small tree branches on the floor they like to hang out on and play with.

The chicks will not start laying eggs until they are around six months old, so we will not be needing nesting boxes until the fall. I will add them when it gets closer to time. In the meantime, the cardboard box they came home in from the feedstore is on its side in one corner. They slept in it the first few nights and now I never see anyone using it. I will probably remove it when I take out the landscape timbers.

Several people have mentioned predators, and they are a fact of life. Having chickens puts you closer to nature, and part of nature is the food chain of which chickens are definitely a part. Chickens eat insects, small rodents and even small snakes. Some will even eat other chickens! Predation is a part of life we do not like to think about, but it is part of raising chickens, or any livestock really. You have to be aware of it and do whatever is possible to protect your flock. The reality is, even if you do everything you can, you maystill lose some or all to predators, injury or disease.

Poultry are no safer in an urban or suburban setting than they are in the country. You do what you can to protect them, and realize that risks are part of life and part of nature. I think anyone who has an interest in chickens can find a way to do this, as long as it is legal in your community. It may take a while to figure out the logistics. I thought about getting some for several years before I jumped into it. If you want a backyard flock, go for it! They are great!

Future Plans

This chicken house is a work in progress. I still have more work to do and will be adding to this page as work proceeds.

The next project is to build a temporary run. Whenever I go out to feed the hens, Hilda and sometimes one or two of the others will run out the door and start munching on weeds in the yard. I plan to use two by four wire fencing, existing fence posts and metal posts to put up a temporary and mobile fence for the summer.

Future plans include building a permanent fence from the corner of the chicken house across the yard to the back fence. Another fence with a gate will run perpendicular to this to fence off the garden. The gate will be open after the garden is harvested to allow the chickens to range in there. This is a long-range goal and will not be completed this year.

Before winter arrives I need to build a huddle box for them to go into to cuddle and get warm. I plan to use my old chicken tractor as a frame, cover it with plywood and put a roost inside. This will go on the platform area, in the northwest corner of the chicken house.

Finally, when the weather cools off, I plan to paint my chicken coop to make it more attractive. I have not decided on a color scheme yet. Maybe you have some suggestions!

Chicken Coop Plans for Sale at Amazon

Check these plans for building your own chicken house!

Chicken Coop Plans for Sale on eBay

Need some plans for building your chicken house? Try eBay for a great price! These sellers have some great ideas!

Y'all Come Back Now! Ya Hear?

Y'all Come Back Now!  Ya Hear?
Y'all Come Back Now! Ya Hear?

Summer 2012 Update on my Backyard Flock

How are the Girls Doing in Their Shed?

I have let a lot of the vegetation grow up around the hen house, and now it feels cool inside even on hot days. We have not yet had any extended time over 90 degrees, but on days when it gets near 90 the interior of the coop is still cool. Shading the metal and having damp sand on the floor makes a big difference in the temperature!

Update: June 27, 2012 - We are getting a big heatwave tomorrow. Temps will be in the 100s for about a week. So far the coop has stayed quite cool this summer. This will be the real test!

Update: July 7, 2012 - There is no cool place in Kentucky these days. Today the weatherman says we could break our all time high temperature of 107 degrees. My birds are staying cool under the bushes. I set up a water sprinkler for them on a low trickle. They love to drink out of the puddles and walk through to cool their feet. The bushes and vines growing over the sides and roof of the chicken coop are keeping it fairly comfortable. It is much better than it was last summer when it was like an oven inside. I highly recommend plenty of shade for any metal shed you plan to house fowl or other livestock inside!

Please leave a comment with feedback and suggestions or a question! Thank you!

Everything Else About the Chicken Shed

This is everything I know about chicken sheds all in one place. My experience is delineated throughout this webpage, along with links you can follow for more information. If you would like help with your project, send me a message. I am always happy to exchange ideas. Best of luck with your project!

The chicken coop is my favorite place to visit. While Hilda began laying in late summer, the rest of the hens took their time. The last one finally laid her first egg in December. I usually get four eggs a day now, from my five hens. I frequently get five, and sometimes I inexplicably get more than that. I am not arguing with nature. Will take what she and they will give me!

I will be adding updates soon with information about winterizing the fresh air coop.

We have made it through the winter in the open-air coop just fine. The hens and I are very happy to see the arrival of spring!

Update on the Chicken Shed

May 2012

The weather is getting warm now. It should get up close to 100 degrees this weekend, and we aren't even to June yet!

The chickens are still loving their chicken shed! All are healthy. I am still getting between four and six eggs per day. This tells me my hens are healthy and happy.

One of my hens went broody earlier this spring, but since there is no rooster, nothing came of it. I will write a lens about it someday. It was a fiasco and a sad lesson for me.

Someone came by the house today. He had lost most of his flock to a fox, and after looking at my chicken shed said he was going to do the same thing at his house. It feels great to help someone else with their chickens!

If you have been inspired by this webpage to convert your shed to a chicken coop, I hope you will leave me a note and let me know how it turned out!

Should my chicken coop be all one color, or maybe a main color with accents? What colors should I use? Neutrals? Natural tones? Bright hues? I have not made a decision and value your input.

I'm Glad You Stopped By! - Please leave a comment! Let me know what you think about this project!

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    • DuckHatch profile image

      Drake Runner 5 months ago from Virginia

      There are too many big predators in my area to keep it opened like that at night, but that is a brilliant idea and use of an old shed. I have added it to my coupe ideas board on Pinterest.

      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/653022014690015279/

    • Jeneen Hockersmit profile image

      Jeneen Hockersmit 6 months ago

      I live in SwMO. So I'm thinking climate is a lot a like. Love the idea of she'd and I had partially done some stuff, but I want to do some framing. My question is, when you did their run is it closed in. Do you have any pictures?

    • Hutch871 profile image

      Matt Hutcheson 3 years ago from Aberdeen

      Looks awesome, quite a transformation!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 3 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Wow! What a fantastic article about your chicken coop adventures. Very impressive undertaking and photos. Your babies look very content in their new home. Glad you are considering the pressure treated lumber and don't want that in your eggs. Ewwwww! :)

    • profile image

      jenjelly 3 years ago

      I love this lens, it's something I've been interested in doing for awhile, now I know where I'll check back for all the information when I start on it.

    • ashleydpenn profile image

      ashleydpenn 3 years ago

      What a great idea. Great lens too! :)

    • profile image

      glowgirlglow 3 years ago

      This is an Awesome Lenz! Believe it or not, I have neighbors who have a chicken coop in Las Vegas, NV!

    • astevn816 lm profile image

      astevn816 lm 3 years ago

      This was a great idea and great info. The chickens are safe and well kept and should produce many eggs in this pen.

    • Rock Artist profile image

      Rock Artist 3 years ago

      You sure do know a lot about chicken coops, thank you for sharing this amazing lens!

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 3 years ago

      I love this idea and the chickens are so cute. I bet those eggs will be delicious.

      What a chicken coop--it is so cute. Hard to believe that it was made from a metal shed.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      Chickens no. Pigeons yes. Growing up one of our neighbors turned a play house into a pigeon coop.

    • profile image

      burntchestnut 3 years ago

      People forget that there are raccoons and possums even in towns. And sometimes you have to worry about neighborhood dogs. If you let your chickens roam around in your garden, make sure you don't use insecticide. My cousin found out the hard way when some of her chickens died after eating tomatoes that had been treated with bug powder.

    • profile image

      burntchestnut 3 years ago

      People forget that there are raccoons and possums even in towns. And sometimes you have to worry about neighborhood dogs. If you let your chickens roam around in your garden, make sure you don't use insecticide. My cousin found out the hard way when some of her chickens died after eating tomatoes that had been treated with bug powder.

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 3 years ago

      Got to babysit some chicens over Christmas. Turned out to be a bit of fun and I learned a lot!

    • profile image

      dmhonz 3 years ago

      nice lens, for sure your chicken will be more happy now and produce more eggs as they will be comfortable with there new house coop

    • rking96 profile image

      Rick King 3 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Really cool lens. I'm not really interested in having chickens, but I enjoyed reading about your process. From beginning to end it was entertaining and an easy read. I can see that this is a great resource for a lot of people.

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Used to have chickens, but it was difficult when we went away. Maybe in the future..... I miss them

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      Totally Cool! It's been featured today on our Facebook page. Come and check it out!

      https://www.facebook.com/GreenThumbOnSquidoo

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 3 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      This is very cool. I never knew that chickens could be kept in urban settings. Great project!

    • profile image

      mistaben 4 years ago

      Lovely ideas! Thanks for a great lens.

    • JRsFavoriteFinds profile image

      JRsFavoriteFinds 4 years ago

      Great lens! Lucky you to have fresh, healthy eggs coming in the future.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      I love how you turned that old shed into a hen house. Great lens, thanks for sharing. I have chicken too, love the fresh eggs. Chickens make great pets too.

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      I had neighbors with chickens, how do you stand the noise?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Super good read. We are closing in on converting a nice cement floored dog kennel into an open air coop. This site was encouraging!

    • Willicious LM profile image

      Willicious LM 4 years ago

      We are getting chickens soon and this lens was helpful! Thanks!

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      This is a really nice coop. I had one that the chickens hated so it got broken up into nesting boxes placed around the place so the chooks could choose. Since then though they've all learned to fly and they roost in trees. I'm sure if I'd had a coop like yours I could have kept a modicum of control! Thanks

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      This lens is a masterpiece of outstanding writing. I really enjoyed reading it. Wish you (and the chickens) the best.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Oh wow, what a brilliant job you made well done.

    • Frischy profile image
      Author

      Frischy 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      @hawkeye11 lm: Mine does not smell at all. The open air design assures that the ammonia smell will dissipate. Without proper ventilation ammonia is certain to build up. This does create a bad odor and is unhealthy to you and your birds.

      I also do not allow manure to accumulate over long periods of time in warm weather. Some accumulation is beneficial in the cold, winter months. As it breaks down, the manure creates heat. Cold and freezing temperatures slow down the process and destroy odor-causing bacteria in the fecal material.

      If manure is allowed to build up in the summer it will stink, as bacteria are multiplying like crazy. To prevent this, simply shovel out any visible droppings once a week. It takes about five minutes. Let these decay in a compost pile and add them to your garden the following year.

    • hawkeye11 lm profile image

      hawkeye11 lm 4 years ago

      How bad does a chicken coop smell? We are thinking of putting in an urban chicken coop in our back yard

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 4 years ago

      @dawnsnewbeginning: I love gettiung a coop. Thanks fpor your products and lens! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!g

    • dawnsnewbeginning profile image

      dawnsnewbeginning 4 years ago

      Nice lens! I'm wanting a coop myself.

    • VictoriaKelley profile image

      VictoriaKelley 5 years ago

      awesome post! Getting some ideas for my coop

    • BackyardChickenK profile image

      BackyardChickenK 5 years ago

      I love your converted shed chicken coop! Wonderful job and very nice lens about it :)

    • nettlemere lm profile image

      nettlemere lm 5 years ago

      Really thorough report into your chicken coop project with lots of useful information.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Popping in with SquidAngel blessings for your chicken shed! :)

    • KeriCarter profile image

      KeriCarter 5 years ago

      That is a great idea! I love re purposing items!

    • ShedHead LM profile image

      ShedHead LM 5 years ago

      Good lens. I love anything to do with gardening and I actually enjoyed reading the info on this lens. I've several lenses on Gardening your other visitors may well enjoy as well.

    • profile image

      ScottMckinzie 5 years ago

      Well thank you for this info, I have a shed just full of junk. Now my next project has been inspired by your lens here. Thank you:)

    • Diane Cass profile image

      Diane Cass 5 years ago from New York

      I would have a chicken coop in the backyard in a heartbeat if my homeowners association allowed it. Sadly...I can't. I am envious of your beautiful solution of re purposing the shed for chickens. Brilliant!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      nice shelters thanks for sharing

    • Valerie P Davis profile image

      Valerie Proctor Davis 5 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      Yes, it's hard to keep chickens cool in the South! On the other hand, they do fine in our winters.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 5 years ago from New York City

      Reminds me of my childhood days growing up in the country. Neighbors had a big coop out back, and it was amazing to wander through and see where eggs came from.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Wonderful page! I hope one day to keep chickens, but that now seems like an impossible dream. Still, I keep on dreaming.

      I'm curious about the sand. Do the chickens avoid using it as a bathroom and use only the wood chip pile? Or do you have to change he sand frequently, as my grandmother had to change the straw with which she covered her coop floor?

    • PickupTrucksFan1 profile image

      PickupTrucksFan1 5 years ago

      Cost of materials is so high it just makes sense to recycle and make do with what you already have.

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      MintySea 5 years ago

      Wow congrats on building your chicken shed. I don't have chickens but urban farmers amaze me

    • Hobgoblin LM profile image

      Hobgoblin LM 5 years ago

      Great lens! Well done!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      You did a great job on your chicken shed. We have a similar 6 x 6 x 6 structure that is currently home to some foster kitties. It was designed specifically as a cat enclosure, but I recently added another layer of hardware cloth to keep raccoons and skunks out. I keep meaning to do a lens about it. You have inspired me!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We have some in our backyard in the Philippines as I like the free range local variety.

    • MJsConsignments profile image

      Michelle 5 years ago from Central Ohio, USA

      We raised meat chickens in our suburban garage this year as a 4-H project in a specially built pen we constructed last year for a turkey project. I have to say the chickens we're easier but a lot more messy!

    • healthbrights profile image

      healthbrights 5 years ago

      Love this chicken coop and the chickens.

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      theharmonioustimes 5 years ago

      Way to go on building your own Coop! I loved all your pics showing the various stages. Kudos to you for only having to purchase one tool. Looking forward to hearing about your next project.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 5 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      Great lens! We have been raising chickens for a few years now, and it never occurred to me to use the metal shed as a coop. But then what would I do with all my other stuff, including lawn mowers? :-)

      TonyB

    • Bulbs1 profile image

      Bulbs1 5 years ago

      Great ideas! The coop turned out great.

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 5 years ago from USA

      It us a joy to return to see how your chickens handled the heat. Wonderful information here.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      What a neat idea. It worked out great for the chickens. Thank you for showing the steps; they were very helpful. Congratulations on LOTD also.

    • Andrej977 LM profile image

      Andrej977 LM 5 years ago

      This is a really great lens, I enjoyed reading it!

    • alexandradouglas profile image

      Alexandra Douglas 5 years ago from Florida

      Great lens! Keep it up! I love ideas

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      What a smart idea! Looks like the shed turned out to be perfect for a chicken shed. Nice lens!

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 5 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      What a beautiful chicken coop.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I cannot believe the fantastic articles that sit so low in the rankings. Your chicken coop design and information is so very helpful to those raising birds in a human manner.

    • Trixiesmom2u profile image

      Trixiesmom2u 5 years ago

      I so enjoyed this lens! My niece has chickens in a home made coop in Fl. It is open on 3 sides. Having stayed with her recently and eaten the fresh eggs, I appreciate your lens all the more.

    • ShedHead LM profile image

      ShedHead LM 5 years ago

      I actually loved your lens on chickens. I have got several lenses myself on shed plans and constructing sheds that your other readers may be fascinated with.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm glad your chickens are holding up under the heat wave. Great idea to let vines grow over the shed.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 5 years ago from Texas

      I have several chicken coops built from scratch. Using an old metal building sounds like a really great idea. Great information and instructions. Enjoyed your article!

    • carolinarobin profile image

      carolinarobin 5 years ago

      I wish I could have chickens where I live.

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      DrJeff7 5 years ago

      Very nice, we converted an old outbuilding to house our chickens. It is still a work in progress. The hardest part for us is keeping them contained in a "free-range" setting.

      drjeff7

      http://heritagebreedsfarm.com

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      BeadCatz 5 years ago

      What a great lens. We finally decided to start raising chickens again but were trying to figure out how to build a coop that would keep the critters out. This fits the bill perfectly! Thanks for sharing your shed instructions.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice to come back and see this lens doing great, and I believe you have even added more. :)

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      sherioz 5 years ago

      I love how you describe your process here. I would love to have laying chickens, but I don't think I can do that legally in my town.

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      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      Oh, and I'm leaving a blessing, too!

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      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      Awesome lens, with some great photos and great info here! This is so cool, and I'd definitely do this if I every got chickens!

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      My other half's sister has chickens. They are adorable. The foxes have been known to get in and kill a few though, it's so sad when it happens! Have you seen Chicken Run? If not, it's the most awesome animated film about chicken's trying to escape a massive chicken farm. Recommend it x

    • LizRobertson profile image

      LizRobertson 5 years ago

      Appreciate the lens, the details and the updates. Keep it up - I'll keep checking back!

    • Mariajomith profile image

      maria 5 years ago

      thanks for sharing, just wrote my first chicken lens, will use some of these ideas for our winter coop

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 5 years ago from New Jersey

      I've got to bookmark this page to come back to later - I'm sure I'd find some great ideas and products for my mom who keeps backyard chickens.

    • priscillab profile image

      priscillab 5 years ago

      I love how you used an existing shed that most would have thrown away. Very interesting lens. Nice work.

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      TheDeeperWell 5 years ago

      I don't have a chicken coop...but I have the next best thing--a sister who has one! I get fresh, free range eggs from her a lot. They are so good!

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      frugal123 5 years ago

      Good insight, we plan on having chickens some day, this lense maybe helpful.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Excellent lens, I really liked how you studied the subject so that you could be a profitable farmer and still humane to your chickens. Angel Blessed!

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      Very nice and spacious chicken coop. Very nice hand work.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      We built a chicken coop off of our shop. It's been a great set up. Blessed.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Great idea and final result - so beneficial for you and so many others who will be able to apply your experience and tips!! :)

    • Angelina Gherna profile image

      Angelina 5 years ago from California

      wonderful lens...it's nice to see the care you putinto your coop for your hens

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Happy Poultry Day :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      nice chicken coop... chickens been always a part of my life. my father used to have a number of them for cock fight (it's legal here in the Philippines) and something for our food. we have only 3 adult chickens left today with a dozen chicks, that is months after my father passed away. we don't want to give away all our chickens because they are sort of a reminder of my father.

    • erin-elise profile image

      erin-elise 5 years ago

      What a great lens and a great idea. I have an old shed just like that and think I will be turning it into a chicken coop too. : )

    • Cinnamonbite profile image

      Cinnamonbite 5 years ago

      Not zoned for farm animals even though my neighbors all have horses (grandfathered in) and my town has wild chickens roaming the streets and you can hear chickens crowing all the time. It's so hard because the local feed store has baby chicks right now! On the other hand, I couldn't kill a chicken and eat it (unless I had no choice) so, aside from the eggs, I don't know what I'd do with chickens.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 5 years ago from Redcar

      Great idea.

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      chickenarks 5 years ago

      Awesome lens. Very informative and your chicken coop is so well made.

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      grannysage 5 years ago

      I had chickens years ago and we used the old chicken house that was on the farm we lived on. My son was a toddler and somehow learned how to get the little chicken door open and would crawl in and break all the eggs. I have a picture of him chasing the chickens around the yard. Having chickens is very rewarding. I am so impressed with the work that you put into making a safe and comfortable home for your chickens.

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      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      What a great idea for building a chicken coop from a backyard shed, Very creative.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      Wow.. a LOVELY chicken shed.. what a great job. Angel blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome lens! We've thought about chickens, but our neighbor has them and sells us eggs at $1/dozen!

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      NC Shepherd 5 years ago

      I love to renovate and re-purpose, and I love chickens....and I love this lens! Great job!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      This is an awesome chicken coop you've built!!! I've raised chickens since I was 6, with only the occasional break (after moves) without them, and I don't know that I can honestly say any of my chickens have ever lived in anything *quite* that cute! Way to go!!!

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      JoshK47 5 years ago

      What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Love the project - you did great. Now if I could just get my parents to turn one of their sheds into a chicken hotel...

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      This is a really awesome lens. I don't have chickens right now but I'd love to have a few one day and this information will definitely come in handy.