We made the decision to downsize our backyard chickens from the shed to a smaller coop. The best budget friendly, and easy solution for us, was to build from a kit.
Why are the hens getting booted out of the shed?
Truth be told, we actually built the shed for the chickens many years ago. It worked out really well when we had fourteen hens! However, it was a lot to keep up with.
As the hens began to retire and die of old age (we’ve had chickens for ten plus years), the space seemed to be too large and hard to keep clean. Chickens are very “poopy”, for lack of a better word. If you’ve ever had a pet bird in a cage, multiply that by a zillion and you’ll get the idea.
Also, you have to walk across the litter to the back wall to gather the eggs. My grandkids love to gather the eggs and it’s honestly just freakin’ me out!
So those are the main reasons. But an equally important reason is that we desperately need a work space and potting shed. We don’t have any other buildings on our property, so our garage ends up being a tornado, if we’re in the middle of a project. Let’s face it, we”re never NOT in the middle of a project.
So a change had to happen. I figure if people can live happily in a tiny home, then so can chickens. They’re outside free ranging our back yard all day anyway, so it’s basically just sleeping quarters.
Speaking of tiny homes, if you haven’t checked out my interview with my friend Kris, you have to check it out! She built a tiny home in Alaska and has been loving it ever since. I’ll add the link at the bottom.
Chicken Coop Plans
Like I said above, we chose a kit to keep things simple and fairly inexpensive. When we had our first few chickens years ago, we had built a little A frame coop. It did the job but it wasn’t all that cheap to build and it was kind of, well, homely. Not in a charming way, like they say it in the UK. In an ugly way like we say it in the US!
So I wanted something cutesy and easy for the grandkids to gather eggs. But of course we wanted the hens to be comfortable and safe.
There are plenty of blog posts and youtube videos about building a chicken coop out of scrap wood, pallets, or other repurposed materials. We have a friend that built a beautiful coop for next to nothing. If you’re motivated in that direction, I say go for it. Be sure to send me a picture of the finished coop too!
We just have so many projects going on that it wasn’t possible for us to do that. It wasn’t going to happen.
Then the Tractor Supply sale flyer hit my mailbox. I pleaded with Rob to make this happen. He was always reluctant to buy a kit because of the quality of the materials. Generally it’s just pine wood and not pressure treated to withstand the weather. I had to agree with him but asked if we couldn’t make a few modifications to make it a longer lasting set-up?
Chicken Coop Kit
We ended up purchasing the Innovation Pet Chicken Homestead Coop from Tractor Supply. It was on sale for around $200. at the time.
It comes in a pretty compact box. A little too compact if you ask me because it sat in our garage for weeks!
Finally on a Saturday morning, Rob laid it all out and got it put together. I’ll tell you that it went a lot faster and smoother than most projects around here. So I was very happy about that.
Chicken Coop Modifications
When it was all set up my son and I took an exterior Polyurethane and brushed it all over the wood. We did a total of two coats. I also added it onto the ladder since I’ll want to spray that off with the hose occasionally. Like I said, chickens are “poopy”. They’ll “go” on anything and everything! So the more washable all of the surfaces are, the better.
Rob added 2 x 6 treated wood around the bottom. This added a little height which was nice. But mostly we wanted to get the pine bottom up off of the dirt where it could eventually rot.
We’re hopeful that these modifications will help to improve the longevity of the coop. We’ll keep you posted.
Building a chicken coop from a kit was quick, budget friendly, and had the cute factor that I was looking for.
If we had it to do again, I might take my time and look around for a kit with a bigger chicken run area since we have six chickens.
The kit says this coop is for eight chickens. Two of ours are Bantams (smaller than full sized), so there is plenty of room. However, I think the run is a little tight if they’re in there for long periods of time.
We let our chickens out most days for the entire day, so hopefully it won’t be an issue.
We’ll keep you updated on how the hens are adapting!
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