Chickens and village life in Buxted East Sussex


From old shed destined for the tip to budget chicken coop -  We were in need of a 'new' chicken coop for our hybrids to spend the summer months on the allotment, our relative's shed became available and we decided that we could convert the shed and make a coop which would get us started and if need be we could revamp further as time went on. Follow the pictures below to see what was involved.


Tools and equipment needed:

Materials needed:


Step 1 - Locate a suitable shed, here are 3 pictures in it's original location -  some parts are a bit rot but overall it's pretty sound.


Step 2 - We cut the panels into the sizes that would fit our transport - if you have a transit sized van or pick-up available then you would not need to cut at this stage.


Step 3 - Load up and take to your own house / workshop, somewhere under cover and dry is preferred.


Step 4 - Reassemble your cut panels, in this instance the two sides were cut down in width from the back and shortened on height from the bottom, this leaves the original pitch and the exact position to refit the front.


Step 5 - The floor was cut and mounted approx. 500mm from the floor in order to give shelter underneath - bearing in mind chickens are not 6ft tall you do not need a full height coop.


Step 6 - The front section was cut in height from the bottom and a  3" x 1" tanalised batten screwed along the front to support the floor


Step 7 - The back panel was cut down in height from the bottom [in order to fit in transport] and fitted to the top of the side panels, the remaining section will be reattached later.


Step 8 - The roof was cut to fit and a couple of extra battens were used to recreate the overhang needed for felting.


Step 9 - The basic coop was then taken apart and transported to our allotment and reassembed, a door was made from the best part of the original shed doorwith some extra battens added.


Step 10 - The roof was covered with roofing felt, do this as a priority so that everything is kept dry.


Step 11 - Although not shown the remaining back panel was reattached to the bottom thus making a 3 sided shelter. The bottom shiplap boards stop about an 1" from the floor so as to prevent rotting.


Step 12 - The door was taken back off and a pop hole made with additional hinges, a toilet door lock was used as the lock and a batten nailed around the door opening to really strengthen the door up.


Step 13 - Timber treatment all over as many coats as you can afford, we used a fence treatment as the boards were quite rough and porous. If your boards are good planed timber then a shed paint would be needed.


Step 14 - A ladder ramp was made from an off cut of plywood and some small tanalised battens.


Step 15 - Picture shows detail of the pop hole door, you could make a sliding door, an automatic door or indeed a door on the side. In our experience keep the door in a position that is sheltered from the worst weather i.e. North and South West. Doors in the floor are not recommended as all your bedding ends up outside the coop.


Step 16 - As this is a work in progress project the intention is to make external nest boxes, however for speed and to get things up and running 2 internal freestanding nest boxes were knocked up out of off cuts of ply and battens. This coop is for large fowl birds so the nest boxes are quite large.


Step 17 - 3 perches were made from redundant battens from parts of the shed that were cut off, ply traingles make these really light but sturdy and easily removable for cleaning out.


Step 18 - More timber treatment [pet friendly of course] was added.


As this is a work in progress project it is anticipated that next year we will replace some of the shiplap that is a bit worse for wear, currently there are a few holes here and there that need to be patched up but these are acting as ventilation at the moment.


The feeder is hung underneath so as to keep dry and off the ground sufficiently to deter rodents.


So the big question how much did it cost? Well let say £10 timber treatment, £10 assorted battens, £5 for plywood, £5 for screws and nails, we already had some roofing felt but would cost no more than £20 , hinges and latches about £10


So for £60 you get yourself a £300 coop, the more bits and bobs you can use the cheaper it gets - just your time and energy needed and a little inspiration.


Happy Hens in their new home.

Coop enclosed within 1700mm fenced compound - free to roam.