From Shed to Chicken Coop
by Dakota Storage Buildings, on April 12, 2016
Whether you already have chickens or are looking to get some, here's a great idea for a backyard chicken coop.
If you have a shed, with a little work, it will make an ideal chicken coop. If you don't have one, we suggest buying one. Why a chicken coop shed? Here are a few benefits:
1. You can stand up in it which makes for easier cleaning.
2. The chickens have more than enough space to fly and roam.
3. Sheds are not only functional but attractive.
If purchasing a shed, you have the benefit of starting from scratch which will enable you to customize the coop. Because 4.5 square feet of space is needed per chicken, 10 chickens would fit comfortably in a standard 8×10 ft. or 8×12 ft. shed. Choose the shed that you like best; browse our Ranch, Low Barn, or High Barn shed styles.
Create a Solid Foundation
Before your shed is delivered, secure a building permit and lay the foundation. Be sure your site is perfectly level. An unlevel foundation will cause the frame of the shed to twist and make doors difficult to open. There should be breathing room under the shed which means the foundation should not be flush with the shed's floor.
Putting up a protective fence around the shed will allow the chickens to leave the coop without the threat of harm and will provide space for them to run around, get fresh air, and soak up direct sunlight.
When the fence is in place, measure and cut a small door no larger than the size of your largest chicken at the rear of the coop. This provides an easy entry and exit point for the chickens. If desired, a covering for the door can be constructed or purchased.
Chickens prefer to be up high off the ground when they sleep, so it's important to include a roosting bar or perch in your coop.
Perches should be positioned 12-18” away from the wall for head/tail space and the minimum diameter should be 3-4". Branches found in nature may also be used, but note that not all types of wood are healthy for chickens. For more information regarding perch specifications, refer to this article by Countryside Daily.
This hack will make cleaning the coop easier. Install a secure but removable board(s) under the roosting bar When it's time to clean, remove the board(s) and most of the chickens' droppings will fall out of the coop and onto the ground. Clean the board(s) and returned them to their location. Use material that's easy to disinfect but harmless to the animals.
A nesting box is a place where the birds can make a nest. There are many ideas for these boxes, some DIY and others prefabricated. Three nests can be shared between 8 chickens. However, no matter how many nesting boxes you have, all the hens will wait in line for the same box—it's chicken nature.
The best materials to use are those that are easy to clean and sterilize. For example, metal and plastic can be sanitized, bleached, and scrubbed. Also these materials don’t absorb chicken feces or the product you use to clean them. Conversely, wooden boxes are convenient and easy to fabricate, but a little more tricky to clean.
After the boxes are in place, spread hay in and around them. This will help keep waste under control and allow for chickens to properly nest.
Windows are necessary for proper ventilation. They allow natural sunlight and fresh air into the coop. Durable, well-built, and long-lasting windows are just one of the many features we offer with our sheds.
In addition to windows, it's important for the coop to have vents. All of our sheds include two vents to promote increased ventilation. Placement of the vents varies depending on the building model, but most are installed in the gables.
Chickens will be healthy if they are kept in a well-ventilated coop, have adequate food, and fresh water daily. There's no need for heating or cooling units as chickens can regulate their body temperature with little help.
For more information on creating your own coop, visit CountrysideNetwork.com or for more creative, out-of-the-box ideas, visit Homesthetics.net.
To find out which of our sheds will best fit your needs, contact our shed specialist, James, at (888) 832-6889 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to customize your own coop and get a quote, Design Your Own Chicken Coop today!