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Guide to Converting Your Shed Into a Chicken Coop

chicken coop shedWith the growing popularity of raising your own chickens, many backyards are now home to flocks of chickens. If you’ve got an old wooden shed in your backyard, having a home for your own flock could be just a few steps away. How about converting your shed into a chicken coop?

Here are the basic steps for converting a wooden shed into a chicken coop.

The Doors and Windows

The first part of your wooden shed to concentrate on is the doors.

Chickens will need fresh air during the day, so build a wire door to insert inside the main door frame. At night you can close the door, but during the day, you’ll want to have something wire or mesh opened so the chickens can have air and sunlight.

Next, concentrate on the windows. Leave the glass on the window frames and if you don’t have screens, add them to the windows so you can let fresh air in, but still have the option to close the windows at night and during inclement weather.

Having secure windows and doors will keep predators at bay as well.


Next, you’ll need to build some shelves on each side of the coop.

Consider where the chickens will be roosting and make sure the shelves allow room for waste to hit the floor instead of a shelf underneath.

Spread hay on the shelves to help keep waste under control and allow for chickens to properly roost comfortably.

You’ll want to make enough boxes on the shelves so they can lay eggs individually.

In the front of the shelves, nail boards and separate spaces for each chicken, making the separate boxes for nesting.

coop shelves

Each shelf should also have a small ramp allowing the chickens to walk down easily.


Underneath the shelves, on the floor, you can store items such as lidded food buckets and small cages.

On the side of the wall inside the door, hang a tool caddy for your shovel and gloves.

If you have room, build a cabinet area for hay storage on one side of the chicken coop. You’ll need to put doors on this area so the chickens won’t get inside and mess it up. The clean hay is for clean up and nesting. Throw down some fresh hay and scrape chicken waste outside for use as mulch or put it in your compost area.

Fresh Air Coops

There are many variations on converting a wooden shed into a chicken coop.

In some parts of the country, where there might be a danger of overheating due to warmer climate, you can open up the shed to more fresh air by building a fresh air coop.

A fresh air coop has the same basics, but with mesh walls instead of wooden walls. To do this you would remove one or two of the wall  panels on your shed (not all the walls) and install hardware cloth to give your chickens more open air space.

Here is an article showing a beautiful fresh air coop.

How Was this Shed Converted into a Chicken Coop?

converting shed into chicken coop

A ridge vent was purchased and added. This allowed for more ventilation.
Two windows were added.
A customized pop door was made in the rear of the shed for the chickens to use.
The interior was customized to allow the chickens to be able to nest and sleep.

Most Common Designs of a Chicken Coop 

  • Easily have the space to fit at least eight chickens
  • 4.5 sq ft (0.4 sq m) of space per chicken
  • Three nests shared between eight chickens
  • 9″ of perch length for each chicken

The Many Benefits of a Chicken Coop Shed

Converting your shed into a chicken coop can be easy and cost effective. With a little bit of time and just a few dollars, you could have that old shed turned into a chicken coop in no time!

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  1. sally says:

    hi I have a shed but it ,don’t have a window.its big,but need to know how to do the beds,for them.and how long do they need light.thank you

  2. Kelly says:

    I also have a shed without windows. Is it a must have to install windows? also should I insulate the shed for winter time?

    • bdeitsch says:

      Good Morning Kelly,

      Thank you for visiting our blog. No, it is not necessary to have windows on a shed. However, windows are great to bring in natural light into the shed. When have a backyard project you’re working on, it’s nice to have some light as you grab for tools. It also helps match your home. Insulating the shed is not a necessity. Plans on what you want to use it for. If you plan on using it as a workshop or livable space, I would reccomend it. Espcecially if you live in colder climates. Please let me know if you need anything else. Have a great day!


      Brennan Deitsch
      Online Marketing Manager

    • Tom Collick says:

      Do not insulate. The insulation will keep moisture in the coop and cause possible frostbite. you can have an outside and an inside wall with air in between to allow for a warmer environment. The chickens regulate their own temperature by eating. Keep them out of drafts and in a well ventilated coop and they will be fine as long as adequate food and water(not ice) is able to be consumed.

  3. Carol says:

    Hi I have large shed like area made from plastic privacy fence without a roof. Do you think I could convert this into a coop.

  4. kim says:

    I have a wood shed. I wanted to convert half of it into a chicken coop. I already have the yard for them to go in. It has a roof already. do i use a heat lamp in the winter? I am the only one who is here so please help.

    • bdeitsch says:

      Good Morning Kim,

      Thank you for visiting our blog. This article was written based on the experience of some of our customers that have converted our sheds into chicken coops. So, we don’t have first hand experience building shed chicken coops. Having said that, I did some research for you. According to this reputable blog, they suggest NOT use heat lamps as they present a fire hazard. Feel free to read the article here. Feel free to give us a call at 855.853.8558 if you have any other questions. Have a great day!


      Brennan Deitsch
      Online Marketing Manager
      Backyard Buildings and More

      • Kim says:

        Thank you for your help. I have a 14 ft long by 8 ft wide lean to wood shed is what i use it for. I built a summer chicken tractor, but wanted to convert half of it into a coop. to use the pre-existing lean to, could you point me in the right direction. also I use wood chips instead of hay which do you prefer. I cant get the chickens to sit on their eggs.

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