After months of pouring over Pinterest posts and looking at pictures and plans of different chicken coops, we decided that buying a storage shed and converting the inside into a chicken coop would be the easiest, most efficient, and most economical option. We purchased an 8×8 metal shed kit off of Ebay. We figured we would build the shed, get the inside converted into the coop, and we’d build a large run for the chicks to hang out in each day. We’re hoping to free range the chickens when we live on the property, but until then they can hang out in the run when we’re gone and we’ll let them out when we’re there working. We’ll pretty it up in the Spring time to help spread out the expenses and make it look more like my vision. I’d like it to look like a little cottage – windows, flowers, shutters, bright colors… you get the idea.
The shed cost us $330. I didn’t notice until we were on assembly day 2 that the seller is based in China. It was delivered about 4 days earlier than estimated which was great. When we opened it up and pulled out the instruction, the front said assembly with 2 people would be about 2-3 hours. Well… MY ASS. This thing has been an ever-loving nightmare. The screw holes rarely line up, the panels are super flimsy, the directions have spelling and directional errors, the protective coating is peeling, it scratches SUPER easy, and we’ve so far put about 6 hours into this thing and still aren’t finished! We still have the roof to attach and we aren’t going to bother with the metal doors. We will just put some wood ones on there when we replace the metal framework with wood. When it’s all said and done, it’ll be sturdy and durable. However, if I had to do it all over again I’d rather spend a few extra hundred dollars and build a wooden coop. It’s easier, looks better, and I likely would have been able to customize it a bit more than what I’ll be able to do with this. Lesson learned. It’ll work for now. Cecil literally said “this is worse than Ikea” while we were putting it together, and I don’t disagree! The little plastic washers I had to pull apart were an absolute nightmare. Never again! NEVER. AGAIN.
This week we will frame the inside and put on the doors. Our next step will be adding external nesting boxes with a hinged door for easy egg collecting and a retractable door into the run area. Our last step will be building the run which will be around 12×12 for now. We may add sections later, or a chicken tunnel, but for 9 cheeps it will be nice and spacious.
I think converting a shed into a coop can still work for people. If you already have one on your property, that’d be the best scenario. You can also find tons of prebuilt and great looking sheds at garden centers or stores like Lowes and Home Depot. I still think building your own coop would be a better way to go in the long run, and if I’m being honest, that seemed to be the overwhelming recommendation in forums and chat groups. I tried to save some money, though. And while I don’t think it’ll come back to bite me in the ass, I do think I would have been happier and less frustrated spending a bit more money. The cost of my sanity was not worth it here!
What did you do for a coop? Link away! I love the creativity some people come up with!