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The Coop

I have an 8ft x 6ft garden shed that I used to store a ride-on mower in. When I got rid of the mower, the shed just became a junk store, so I decided to convert part of it into a chicken coop. The coop is at the back of the shed, as shown in this picture. It measures 6ft x 4ft and is about 5ft high at the apex.

Chicken Coop at Back of Shed

Chicken Coop at Back of Shed

You can see that I store stuff under the floor of the coop, so I did not really lose much storage space in the end. At the moment, I have some bags of compost and a load of flower pots under it. I also have about 4ft by 6ft of space in front of the coop, but I use this for working at the coop, so I probably won’t store anything much there, except food and materials for the birds.

I designed the coop so that everything is removable. This will make cleaning, maintenance and repairs easier to do. So everything either slots into place or is screwed into position.

The floor is made of half inch marine ply. It could be a bit sturdier, but it seems to do the job. It is in two overlapping pieces, which means it can be easily removed for cleaning or replacement. The floor is supported underneath with a joist running across the middle of the shed.

The front parts, comprising the door and wire frame are also removable. The door is screwed on two hinges to the wall of the shed. The rest of the frame is bolted into position. I did this because I will probably have to remove it fairly often to maintain and clean the coop. It is very easy to do and can be removed and replaced in about a minute. Above the door and wire frame, using perhaps the only nails in the entire coop, I nailed in some plastic posters, cut to shape, to fill in the gap at the apex. I might replace this covering with wire, as I have already noticed that the coop is pretty dark, particularly on the side where the door is.

I built a 12ft x 8ft chicken run outside the shed. Once again, it is assembled and attached to the shed using screws only for ease of repair and replacement. I treated all timbers with two coats of wood preservative.

Chicken Run Outside Shed

Chicken Run Outside Shed

The run is partly covered with two sheets of 8ft x 4ft x 3/4in marine ply, covered with green mineral felt. This will provide the birds with some shelter when they are outside in inclement weather. The end of the run farthest from the shed is not covered. The entire run, apart from the enclosed roof, is enclosed with chicken wire to keep the chickens in and, hopefully, unwanted visitors out. My site is far too open to allow me to let the chickens run free at the moment. Perhaps when they have settled in I will consider it.

The base boards of the run are 6in x 2in and the top boards and uprights are 4in x 2in. In addition I used some 3in x 1in, 2in x 1in and 3in x 2in for various purposes around the coop. The perches are made from 2in x 2 1/2in planed.

View of Run Showing Pop Hole, Ramp and Electrics

View of Run Showing Pop Hole, Ramp and Electrics

I put a pop hole in the shed, with a ramp ladder leading up to enable the chickens to enter and leave the coop. But they are also able to fly up to the pop hole so they don’t really need the ramp. Nevertheless, it is there if they want to use it.

The base of the run is grass at the moment. Once the chickens have scratched all that up, I intend to put in a covering of straw or wood bark, or a mixture, for them to enjoy. I will change the material regularly, as needed.

There is a small window facing out to the run. I covered this with strong chicken wire on the inside.

The run is fitted with power and lighting but this work is not yet complete, as I need to put in a new fuse board to isolate the load. My son will be looking after this part of the work for me. There is no hurry with this, however.

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