When we bought our first flock of chicks, we jumped in with both feet (and no chicken coop!). We considered many options for building a coop, but this little shed on our property just kept looking so useable, that we finally came up with a plan to convert it into a chicken coop. (We actually just used half, and kept the other half for storage.)
It had no doors, and piles of storage tubs and boxes. But it is a great structure, so we decided to start with what we had.
We built a half-wall down the center out of corrugated tin (that was given to us) and made a screened wall on the top half with hardware cloth.
Nathan (6) likes to help.
Pallets were laid for the base of the floor. We did this to prevent varmints from digging their way into the coop.
Plywood was laid over the pallets for a floor. My husband and 8-year-old son are installing the door frame.
About half-way in we created a screen door and screened-wall.
We designed and built our screen door. My husband and 13-year old daughter are putting it up.
My hubby and me in the coop. : )
Inside the coop. These shelves were already in the shed. We used big branches for roosting perches.
The chickens were moved from our living room (!) to the coop at about 2 months old.
The finished doors. I love them! We would do a couple of things different in the future, but they still work great.
We cut a window in the side and covered it with hardware cloth for light and air. On the outside, we made sliding doors to close up during bad weather.
We started with 25 Buff Orpington chicks. At Easter, my daughters fell in love with baby chicks at the local feed store, so they moved into the house when the Buffs moved out. Once they were a few weeks old, we moved the 4 white chickens into the coop.
Since we had the inside of the coop separated into two sections, the new babies could be “in” the coop to meet their mates without being thrown together too soon. We kept them like this for a couple of weeks. The white picket fence in the previous photo was moveable, but we typically just climbed over it to feed and water.
We cut an exit door in the side of the coop that goes out to their run.
This is the chicken run. I found this cool screen door at a yard sale and saved it for just the right project! We added solar lights on top of the posts.
The complete coop and run. I love it. This is facing west so it’s always got a pretty Texas sunset behind it.
They’re ready to go out and hunt for bugs!
My 3-year-old daughter LOVES cuddling chickens!
Well, there you have it! We are not experienced builders in any sense, but our chicken coop and run have served us well for 2 years so far! Now our chickens are free range, so the run is mostly used for new babies, or mama hens with their little brood. We later built a “chick nursery” inside the front of this coop, which I will share soon. Check out my HOMESTEAD PAGE for more of the “simple life.”
If you like this, you might really like my series on The Simple Wisdom of Laura Ingalls Wilder!