This October we completed a chicken coop renovation and addition and about doubled our square footage for our chickens. Last year we purchased a shed from Home Depot to turn into our chicken coop. It was alright for our 28 chickens that we had at the time, but it was not as functional as I would have liked. I had wanted to redo the inside from the beginning. As this year progressed, I had a goal to renovate the inside and make it easier to clean and not so cluttered.
Chicken math is real!
I was not planning on getting any more chickens this year, but with the virus and the dumpster fire that 2020 is, we decided to expand our flock. This way, we might be able to keep up on the egg demand. With expanding our flock from 28 to 49, we planned on adding an extension to the back end of the coop. The plan was to add enough roosts where all 49 chickens can be in one coop comfortably. Right now, we have two coops and it is too time consuming to clean and maintain both.
Winter is coming and we need to get busy on the chicken coop renovation and addition
The older ladies and the new layers have been integrated together since the end of August, but they continue to roost separately in two coops. We know we needed to get them in one coop by winter. So once the gardens were done for the summer, we made a plan and got to work.
the virus caused lumber prices to almost double
One thing we did not account for while I was saving up cash over the summer was the insane price increase of lumber! We had saved up $600 for the project and it was not enough. We are out of the budgeted money and we still have to buy paint. Not only are we going to paint the new addition, but I want to repaint it all. When I painted the original coop last year, I picked out a barn red with white trim. My barn red turned out to be more of a cherry red. Paint will have to wait now until spring 2021. I caulked all of the seams so water cannot damage the siding.
Starting the chicken coop renovation and addition
We decided to make the extension the entire length of the shed and made it 6ft wide. My husband, Dave, hung up the new roosts every 2 feet. This gave us a total of 5 new roosts.
He also made the new roosts removeable. They attach to the wall with brackets. He screwed the brackets into the wall and the roosts slide in from the top. This will make it extremely easy to clean out and lay down new material under the roosts.
Dave cut a large hole in the side of the shed. This connects the old coop to the new addition and it also is small enough that I can block it off when I need to clean out the roosting area. We will take the old roosts down in the old coop and I will build a large dust bath area and a large enough area for food and water. By having both sides open, it will allow the ladies to stay inside during nasty weather and they will have enough room to move around.
I learned the hard way with pests
I found out the hard way this last year in regards to a dust bath area and how important it is. We were pretty novice chicken owners last year and it was only our second year of having chickens. I did not provide a proper dust bath area inside the coop over winter. My ladies got a significant infestation of mites. A good number of the chickens lost a lot of their feathers and it was a lot of work to eradicate them.
learn from my mistakes
I have learned from my mistakes and this year I will be providing all 49 with a nice dust bath area inside. We will also have a large area on a platform for food and have hanging, heated water containers. I found some nice, self feeder containers that are made out of metal. The chickens step on the lever and it opens up and they can eat. Once they step down it closes and the rats cannot access the food. We had a wood feeder that my brother in law built and the rats ate through the wood.
Yes, chickens can attract rats with their food. So I recommend a metal food feeder. When rodents cannot access the food, they are less attracted to the chicken coop
benefits of having this chicken coop renovation and addition
So by having this new addition and renovation to the chicken coop, it will make chicken chores more efficient and I will not be wasting so much time. The chickens will not be pooping down the walls like in the old coop. I could never keep it clean and it was so frustrating!
If you build a coop from scratch, my recommendation is to make sure your roosts are far enough away from the walls or you will run into a frustrating situation like I did. Learn from my mistakes and it will save you a lot of time and energy from scrubbing walls.
By winter all of our chickens will finally be housed in one coop. Winter can come and the ladies will be together and warm and have plenty of room to move around if they do not want to go outside.
For tips on winterizing a chicken run, check out my post HERE.