Introduction: DIY Garden Shed Chicken Coop

Picture of DIY Garden Shed Chicken Coop

Welcome ! We decided we needed a larger chicken coop, and set about looking for an alternative to buying a ready made coop. We decided to build one, and the easiest way we could find was using a shed kit from 2x4 Basics. They are not "all inclusive" by any means, rather they provide the brackets giving you the correct angles for the walls and roof. You provide the rest. This is a step by step guide how we went about building this shed and transforming it into chicken coop...

Step 1: Going to Need a Solid Base...

Picture of Going to Need a Solid Base...

The shed kit called for a 8x12 floor... Since many of the pre-built sheds are built on 4x4 runners, we decided to mimic this building style. On the off chance that we might one day need to pull this coop, we:

1) Cut the ends of the runners at 45 degrees.

2) Added 45 degree braces to keep the frame from twisting.

3) Double joist what was to become the front for a strong place to pull from.



Step 2: Level and Square the Base...

Picture of Level and Square the Base...

At this point, it is your best chance to level and square the base. Leveling should be done on all 4 sides, and across all 4 corners. We used paver blocks on the ground, and wood shims for the final adjustments. To square a frame, the easiest way we know is to measure it from one corner to the opposite corner... Then do the same on the opposing corners... The measurements should be equal... You can adjust the frame to make them so, but be careful to maintain your level...

Step 3: Will Need a Multi-Purpose Floor

Picture of Will Need a Multi-Purpose Floor

The next step will be to cover your floor. Being a chicken coop, and the floor exposed to moisture / waste, we decided on marine grade plywood for the floor... We also chose to screw the plywood down rather than nail it, to help it resist warping... Lastly, we applied several coats of outdoor enamel... Enamel resists moisture well, and is also durable enough for us to get in there with shovels and remove the waste material... Be sure to allow your paint to cure between applications or it will become a gummy mess that may never cure correctly... Other options might include linoleum or sticky square floor tiles... In our opinion though, paint is the best way to go...

Step 4: Gonna Need Some Lumber

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The directions that come with the shed kit will explain exactly what you need. All of the measurements are included, and the kit is designed in such a way that you will not have to cut any angles. All boards are simply cut to length. We used a chop saw for this.... My "best" advice at this stage is some good "old" advice - "Measure twice, cut once..."

Step 5: Standing the Walls and Rafters

Picture of Standing the Walls and Rafters

Using the brackets (shown in pic) that are included in the kit, and your pre-cut lumber, the next step will be to assemble the walls and rafters. Each wall stud is mounted to the floor with its own bracket. And instead of nailing through the brackets into the wood, we opted to use 1 1/4" screws... Also make sure that your pre-cut pieces are seated into the brackets correctly... It can be confusing, and sometimes the directions appear to make no sense at all... Keep moving forward and trust the directions...

Step 6: Framing in the Ends

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The next step is to put in the horizontal boards you see along the tops of the walls, the ridge board, and begin framing in the end for the main door... That is all included in the directions... However, this is where we began modifying the design to be a coop VS a shed... We added two 12' long perches about 18" off the ground down both sides (in pic) and framed in a hole in the far end that would eventually become the door for the chickens to enter and exit...

Step 7: Ventilation / Light Is Important

Picture of Ventilation / Light Is Important

Heat and Ammonia are dangers in a coop, and can affect the health of your chickens. For this reason, we installed these two windows as we applied the outside sheeting. The windows are from Lowes, and I believe were for mobile home bathrooms. Chickens also require light in order to keep up egg production, especially during the winter. Having as much light as possible is beneficial. Now An Important Note: We intended to leave these windows open a majority of the time. The screens in these windows offer VERY LITTLE protection from predators. Since they open and close from the inside, we were able to cover the windows on the outside with hardware cloth, and secure it using the outside trim pieces. I would highly suggest you do the same...

Step 8: Heat Is Always an Issue

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We also added these vent covers to the wall opposite the windows. We place them high so the warmest air escaped, and we put them opposite the windows for cross ventilation. Like the extra security we put on the windows, we also trimmed over the edges of the vents so that nothing could pry at them...

Step 9: Roofing...

Picture of Roofing...

We opted to go with a shingled roof, though a metal roof would have been fine as well. Pictured is our son who helped us with the roofing before leaving to serve in the US Air Force. This was his first time putting down shingles and he did a wonderful job.... Whatever option you choose, take into account things like wind direction, snow load, where the water will shed, etc...

Step 10: Trim and Paint

Picture of Trim and Paint

Next is trim and paint... Here, we have added the trim that holds the hardware cloth over the windows... We have also added some 45 degree trim pieces to the door in order to help it hold its square, and the hinges / latches to the door to secure it... Very little of the trim is actually included in the directions since trim is something people do "to taste" persay... We opted for treated 1x3" trim boards all the way around... Measure everything you intend to trim before purchasing - it took a lot more than we expected...

Step 11: Trim and Paint (2)

Picture of Trim and Paint (2)

Here is the vented side of the shed and it's trim... Nothing truly special here... This view is from the rear of the shed where the big "clean out" door is... We're almost done...

Step 12: Chicken Door and Ramp

Picture of Chicken Door and Ramp

Now to another "coop" adaptation... We framed for the chicken door back when we were building the walls... The door rides up and down on two tracks inside the wall and is lifted by a string from the outside, that goes in through the wall - over a pulley - and down to the door... The ramp was simply built from the outside sheeting scraps, and we split pieces of the trim to made the treads on the ramp... We brought the string that opens and closes the door out the side of the coop so that we could attach a run to the front - and we wouldn't have to walk through the run to open the door...

Step 13: Adding the Outdoor Chicken Run

Picture of Adding the Outdoor Chicken Run

Our chicken run is a 10x10 dog kennel... We used two 10' fencing top rails to span across the top and hold up both the top wire and the shade cloth... The side facing the road is also covered in a 6x9 camo tarp, which keeps any traffic noise (etc) from exciting the chickens... We've added several natural wood perches outside for the chickens to play on... We later added a platform for paver blocks in the center of the run for the food and water dishes...

Step 14: Quick Summary

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I apologize that the instructions are not overly detailed. Several steps in this build would have likely warranted an Instructable of it's own. This is, however, how we built our chicken coop from a shed build kit (the "kit" was brackets only).

The shed cost us $1300.00 to build in total.

The run cost us $350.00 in total.

It took us 6 days to complete this build (much of that - paint drying)

Person To Build: 3 Adults

We hope that you enjoyed this Instructable. We enjoyed making it, and sharing it with all of you. If you would like to support us in return, and you enjoy YouTube videos, we would invite you to Click Here to visit our homestead channel: Bumble Bee Junction. Once there, please click the red "SUBSCRIBE" button. This will ensure you are notified when we post new videos. Watching our videos, giving them a Thumbs Up, and leaving your comments really helps. Please consider subscribing. Its just two clicks (the above link, and the red "Subscribe" button) but it means the world to us, and we would really appreciate it. Thank you !

Mark and Tina

Bumble Bee Junction (FB and YT)

A Disabled Veteran Owned East Tennessee Homestead

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Comments

SusanH75 (author)2017-08-14

Love your coop. Did you put some chickenwire or something along the bottom of the run under the dirt so foxes and such don't try to dig under it to get in?

Bumble Bee Junction made it! (author)2017-08-13

A missing detail (before anyone asks) is how we passed the entry through what appears to be a solid chain link fence. It usually catches people's eye in person (we have 2 other similar coops done the same way). We boxed in the entrance with 2x4's on the outside of the coop. 3 layers of boxing in fact. We then pushed the chain link chicken run up against the boxing... Where the fencing crossed the boxing, we drove U-nails to hold the fencing tightly against the boxing - and to keep the fencing from unraveling. We then cut away the center of the fencing. With the center cut away, we added one more layer of boxing on the inside of the chicken run - sandwiching the fencing between the 3rd and 4th layer of boxing. This gave extra support to the cut ends of the fencing, and created the illusion that the entrance to the coop passes right through solid chain link fence. Sorry. Guess I should have included that since it is a neat / useful trick someone might have wanted to know... // Pictured is one of our other coops, but you can see it in this picture better... The first 3 layers outside the fence are white... The fence was then u-nailed to the front face of the white, and the center was removed... Then the 4th layer, inside the run, was nailed over the fencing inside the chicken run - and painted purple to match the coop trim...

namlehseb (author)2017-08-13

I know tht this was about building the coup itself, but it would have been nice to see how you designed the nesting boxes on the inside. You were so detailed about the building, but left out the chicken part.

Bumble Bee Junction made it! (author)namlehseb2017-08-13

namlehseb... Apologies. In the video we made it clear, but not here, that the coop was originally built because we needed a larger home for our roosters... It is a fair comment given the information provided though... We have since used the house for hens, and put the plastic totes you can see (center / rear) in the photo in for nesting boxes... We purchased them at Wal-Mart a good while back, but I have seen them there again recently. They work very well. I am sorry for the confusion. We needed a larger house with a larger entry door for the boys - and the video is entitled "Rooster Retreat"... But again, valid comment since I did not clarify in the instructions. I will take more care in the future. This was the very first Instructable I ever made. Have a great day.

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Bio: My wife Tina and I are 20+ year homesteaders and the owners of Bumble Bee Junction which you can find on FaceBook and YouTube. We ... More »
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