Creating a Cute Chicken Coop




How I Transformed My Ugly Old Tool Shed

Into a Cute Chicken Coop 

Chicken Coop Transformation

When we moved into this property the tool shed was already here. We were too tired of fixing up the house, removing old carpets, painting all the rooms, and then moving from one house to the other. There was not enough energy or desire to build a new chicken coop so we did a quick conversion of the tool shed to use as our chicken coop. All we had to do was add nesting boxes to the already present shelves, remove a window and add a ladder, reassemble the parts of the old chicken run attaching to the side of this shed. It served us fine for the first two years but it was nothing very appealing to the eye sight.  I always wanted to have a cute chicken coop but it takes money to buy materials, money that we did not have.

 

At first we had a long ladder that came out of the shed window down into the chicken pen. All my ladies had gotten used to the long descent so that was not a problem until a neighbor gave us two of her hens who were customed to simply walking straight out the door into their pen. But this big old bird was afraid of the ladder so we needed to lower the access door into the pen for her sake. Good thing I saved the window we had removed. That was out first modification to the old Coop arrangement.

Long Chicken Ladder Short Chicken Ladder
 Yes, I made my ladies walk the plank
 We lowered the door for the big bird

 

3 Baby Chicks

Well, the inspiration came to me after I was gifted three new baby chicks. While the little chicks were developing in the brooder that I kept in my kitchen I formulated a plan to introduce the little ones to my flock of older hens. I was worried about the little chicks being picked on of even killed by the older hens so did not really want to put them in with them too early. Chickens can be mean. When I took in my neighbors two full grown hens they had to deal with not being accepted by my regular flock. They were lucky if they could get access to the daily treats I set out for them. I wanted the young chicks to have a chance to mature to where they would be able to defend themselves. I had heard too many stories from other people about the older flock killing new baby chicks.

 

Caring For Baby Chickens

I keep the young chicks in my house in a brooder that is made out of a large Rubermaid Container. It has a heat lamp suspended above it which I can adjust up or down to adjust the temperature. They start off about 100° and gradually as their feather come in I allow the temperature to drop. Once all their feathers come in I move them outside into the chicken coop with attached chicken run. I kind of enjoy their little chirping sounds in the house for those first few weeks.


Chicks in a Brooder

 

Chicks in a Brooder

Homemade Chicken Brooder
 Young chicks need to be under a heat lamp
I keep the brooder in the house

 

 

 

Introducing Young Chicks to Older Flock

We had just finished remodeling my kitchen and I had these old cabinets. I hate to throw things away because I might be able to use the materials for another project or find another purpose for them. In this case I thought this unit would make a great mini chicken coop for my new three baby chicks. I cut the centers out of the doors of the cabinet and attached some chicken wire.

Mini Chicken Coop Mini Chicken Coop
 Converted the kitchen cabinet
Installed inside the main coop in the corner

Mini Chicken Roost

 

 

Mini Chicken Roost

Mini Chicken Coop Door
Low roost inside the mini coop Door to access their private pen

This way all the chickens would share the same coop only they were divided from each other. The little ones would be protected from getting hen pecked by the older hens yet be able to enjoy the shelter of the same coop and their own private outdoor pen. This meant I had to add thier own water and food feeders as well.

Building a Chicken Pen
 The location for the new chicken pen

Building a Chicken Pen

My previous pens were built 9 feet tall to prevent the chickens from flying out of the pen because I could not bring myself to clipping their wings. If my ladies had too much freedom wandering around the yard they would eventually wind up in my neighbors flower beds digging and scratching for bugs which does not make for good relationships. So, I keep them penned up more than roaming free. Plus I also had hawks come into the yard which stole one hen and killed another so for their safety the hens are better off penned up when I cannot keep an eye on them. I realised that chicken pens do not have to be so tall if they have a cover on them which would use up less building materials. So for the new chicken pen we built a small low pen that was completely covered.

Building a Chicken Pen Building a Chicken Pen
 Building a small low chicken pen
Added a small door into their pen
Chicken Pen Security Cynder Blocks for Planters
Dog wire around the pen down into the ground Cinder blocks around the base of the pen
Cynder Blocks for Planters Building a Chicken Pen
Planted Pansies in the blocks Small pen for the baby chicks

 

My husband and I created a door pull so I could open or close their little door from outside the pen. I would not have to go inside the coop to let them out. All we did was add a hook to the top of the door and tie a cord to it. We put a loop on the other end and hooked it when the door was open. To prevent the cord from drooping in their pen when their little door was open we ran it through a long peice of PVC pipe. I loved the new door pull.

 

For added security for the baby chicks we dug a small trench around the perameter of the pen and laid in some dog hardwire attached to the base of the pen. The hard wire goes down and out wards from the pen which is a deterrant for dogs that might try to dig under the fence to steal chickens.  After we burried the hardwire we placed cinder blocks around the outside of the pen to be used as planters just because it looked cute. I found a small picket fence to accent the red spray paint giving the pen sort of an American stripes appearance. That little detail sparked even more inspiration for the next phase of my Coop & Chicken Pen Make Over.

 

One Great Idea Sparks Another

 

Creativity is not always planned out in perfect order. True creativity is completely spontaneous. It just comes to you one idea after another. And when it begins you just have to go with the flow as I did in this project. My focus up to this point was protecting those baby chicks. I did not want plain gray cinder blocks so I looked into my shed to see what color paints I had on hand. My choices were silver, gold, black, white, or red. I chose red because it is a bright color and spray painted the outside of the blocks after they were laid. That was OK but when we decided to add a little white picket fence in front of the red it spoke to me of Americana decor. I just happened to have a few peices of Americana decor that I was not using in my house. In fact I was thinking of donating them or adding them to the pile of yard sale items. So I pulled them out and added decorations to my new little chicken pen. Imagine that a decorated chicken pen. But that was the spark that really got me going.

Americana Decor Americana Decor
 Added an American Flag
A little peice of Americana Decor

 

Hens Admiring New Pen
 I think the older ladies were a bit jealous of the new pen

 

I was so happy with the cute little pen for my baby chicks and the overal color theme that was developing a new inspiration came to me. After seeing my wandering ladies lined up like this looking at the new pen we had just built I was sure they were jealous of such a pretty pen. What they had was really ugly.  I could build them a new pen similiar to this only much larger. What could be more American than an old red barn?  So I went out and bought me a gallon of red paint. I decided to paint the Coop red. I had some remaining exterior white paint left over from a previous project. I could use that for the trim.

 

Back side of new pen
 After the new pen was finished I was inspired to paint the whole shed

So, my plan was to build a new pen on the back side of this shed but before I did that I would first clean it up and paint it before building the pen. There were lots of trees around my coop so the shed was covered with lots of green algae growth and needed a good scrubbing before any painting could be done. The older hens would remain in their old pen until I completed the back pen.  I also needed to dig up several roots of small trees that were trying to grow back there.

 

Now the Real Transformation Had Begun

 

Transforming Shed into Cute Coop Transforming Shed into Cute Coop
 Scrubbed clean and built the chicken door
Hard wire keeps chickens out from under the shed
Transforming Shed into Cute Coop Transforming Shed into Cute Coop
First I painted the trim white Painting from top to bottom
Transforming Shed into Cute Coop Transforming Shed into Cute Coop
And what a glorious red it is Wow, makes a world of difference!

As I began to think on my glorious red chicken coop with a white trim and wanting it to look like an old red barn I thought of some extra decorative touches to add to it like cute signs I wanted to paint. Every chicken coop should have a sign that tells when it was started so I designed me one.

Cute Chicken Signs

 

Cute Chicken Signs Cute Chicken Signs
Seems appropriate
A sense of humor

 

The creative juices were flowing now so I came up with these extra little touches in keeping with my red, white, and now black color sceme. I wanted it to be attractive, cute, maybe even a little whimpsical. I thought it would be funny to paint chicken feet prints as if walking up the ladder. The colors of red, black, and white are always a dynamic combination.

Cute Chicken Door Cute Chicken Door & Ladder
 It just seemed to belong there
 Chicken prints

After the back side was painted I began to build the new back pen. My plan was to reuse some of the very same materials I already had. So I partially dismantled the old large chicken pen that was 9 feet tall and fashioned a small temporary pen for the ladies to go out side while I built the back pen. So for a few days the ladies had a small pen. Using recycled materials can be a challenge as I had to pull out U hook, remove screws and dimantle every part of the old fencing because the new pen would not be as tall.

Recyling Old Materials Recyling Old Materials
 Parts of the old chicken pen
 Wood from the old pen
Recyling Old Materials Recyling Old Materials
 Framing the new pen using the old wood Attaching the wire

The wire is peice mealed together with various different scraps. I had galvanized dog wire and green plastic coated wire and even a few rusty peices of dog hard wire. What mattered most was that it was fully fenced in. It took me a little longer to apply the wire than if I had been using all new materials. Sometimes saving money means havint to do extra work. I did have to purchase the cover that would go on top but everything else was recycled including the screws, joint brackets, and U-hooks.

Recyling Old Materials
The ladies were glad to be in their new bigger chicken run 10' by 14'
 Recyling Old Materials
The pens will keep the chickens out of my garden

Whenever it rains I observed how the hens would go for some cover. Well now they have a roof. Half of the pen closest to the coop has a sloped solid cover. The further end is more open with chicken wire. This pen gets more sun in the morning hours and lots of shade in the afternoon. When it rains this is the dryest pen so they tend to hang in this pen when it rains heavy.  The roof also catches alot of the fallout from the trees overhead. Another benefit of having a roof cover over the doorway is that is keeps rain from seeping into the coop. I like to keep the coop dry.

Chicken Swing & Perch
 I gave them a chicken swing plus a place to perch if they wanted to get up off he ground.
Chicken Dirt Bath
Chicken Dirt Bath

The dirt bath I made for them using an old tire became a favorite spot that all the ladies seemed to enjoy. They will bathe most anywhere but the tire is the perfect size for just one chicken so they get to have a private bath.

Chicken Dirt Bath

 

 

It did not take the ladies long to find their way into the new pen. Almost as soon as the door was opened they came into the new pen. I think they knew I was building it for them. They were watching me from the other pen.

 

Now that the back pen was complete I could tear apart the rest of the old pen, keep that door closed, while building the third pen. Meanwhile the ladies were enjoying their new pen and a change of scenery.

 

 

Transforming The Left Side

Turning the Old Tool Shed Into a Cute Chicken Coop

Just take a look at just how awful this shed looked. It was an ugly eyesore that I did not enjoy seeing. The trees overhead are constantly dropping pine needles, pine cones, and the exterior of the shed was covered with a mess. With a scrub brush and water hose I scrubbed it clean.

Dirty Ugly Tool Shed Transforming Shed into Cute Coop
 That is just nasty looking
 Scrubbed Clean was so improvement
Transforming Shed into Cute Coop Transforming Shed into Cute Coop
I like to paint the trim first
So much better with a bright cherry color
Reclaimed Wood Transforming Shed into Cute Coop
Reclaimed wood for old weatherworn shutters
Now it is taking on an old barn look.

I am so into reusing, recycling, or repurposing things so I am reluctant to throw things out. My husband on the other hand does not see the potential in some things so he is all too quick to toss things out into the garbage. You do not know how many times I have stopped him from throwing something away. I pulled an old board out of the burn pile and cut it to make the faux shutters just to accent this side of the shed. The board had previously been used as a chicken ladder. It had been exposed to the weather so was very worn but it had so much character. It was perfect for an old red barn look. I cut some trim to it add for an extra accent.

Transforming Shed into Cute Coop Transforming Shed into Cute Coop
Framing the third pen 12' by 16'
Finshing up the third pen

I worked on this project pretty much by myself but I did get some help from my husband and a couple of my sons. My husband hooked up all three chicken doors so I could open them just by pulling a cord from outside the pens without having to enter into the coop. He also helped me built the first pen. Both my son and my husband helped me pull out the U-hooks when I was dismantling the old pens so that I could reuse the same materials. I did have to buy a bit more wood but had enough wire to enclose all the pens on hand. Since these pens were much lower it did not require as much wire. My oldest son happened to visit just at the time I was needing to finish the last pen but was busy with other things so he volunteered to put on the top and attach the wire since I had the frame already built and had all the supplies on hand. Like his mother he prefers to stay busy even during his vacation.

 

Transforming Shed into Cute Coop

My ladies now enjoy the option of two large pens. I can keep my babies separated from the older hens until they are big enough to defend themselves. So it has been really nice to have the three different pens. Each one has it's own access door into the coop. The two large pens have a partial roof cover with the other part wired. Each pen also has a small door which allows me to get inside the pens if needed. I usually throw in a pan of treats from the house daily. When they see me coming from the house with a pan they run to the doors expecting their treat.  I do let them out of the pens when I have the time to keep an eye on them. While my garden is in full swing I cannot risk allowing them too much freedom. I moved my bench into the corner between the two large pens because I like to sit and watch them sometimes.

 

Now for the Crowning Touch to My Chicken Coop Transformation

With two sides painted working my way around the coop it was time to dress up the front. All the while I was working on the backsides I was planning my grand idea for the front of the coop that faces my driveway. I wanted to make my Chicken Coop a showcase, something to be proud of. It would greet everyone that visited my house with it's bright, happy color and delightful to behold for the eye gate. The UPS delivery man wanted to come take a closer look at our set up because it caught his eye.

Old Shed 2010 Old Shed 2011 - 2013 Trandformed Chicken Coop
 Tool Shed 2010
 Chicken Coop 2011 - 2013
Cute Chicken Coop 2014

The above photos show you how this same tool shed has been transformed over time. It was an ugly eyesore when we moved into this property but I was thankful we had a place of shelter for the chickens. When we began using this tool shed we thought it to be temporary until I could build a new Chicken Coop. We had aquired another tool shed so we really did not need to convert this back into a tool shed. The building has electricity in it so I can turn on the light or plug in the water heater during winter months. It was close to the water spicket so really it was in the best location for a Chicken Coop, just off the back porch door.

Trandforming Shed into Cute Chicken Coop Painting Chicken Coop
 After scrubbing it clean I painted the trim
  Turning the metal door into a wooden barn door
Painting Chicken Coop Painting Chicken Coop
Now my fancy signs fits. Starting the sign painting
Painting Chicken Coop Painting Chicken Coop

 

Painting Chicken Coop

I put on some tunes on my ipad and just had fun painting

After I was thoroughly immersed in this project it was discovered that one of my my baby chicks was not a hen but a rooster. One morning when I went out to let the chickens out of the coop, he was crowing. That changed everything. I had never had a rooster before so this would be a new experience. So, I decided to make him the centerpeice of the painting I was doing on this door. My Rooster is a Rhode Island Red so I Googled images of RIR Roosters to see what he would look like when fully developed.

Painting Chicken CoopPainting Chicken CoopPainting Chicken Coop

 

I wanted to give the door the appearance of an old barn door with a three dimensional look. So with clever use of colors I created different values to give the white trim a three-dimensional appearance.  The sign is painted to look as if it were hanging on the door but the whole door is actually a flat surface. This is what you call a Trompe l'oeil Painting meaning to fool the eye.

Painting Chicken Coop Painting Chicken Coop
Medium values on the sides of the boards
Darker values on the underside of top boards
Painting Chicken Coop

The proper use of values (colors ranging from lights to darks) is what transforms a flat surface into three dimensional shapes.  The proper use of values is what transforms any flat sketch into something with volume and debth. It turns ordinary into extraordinary.

I am an Art Teacher.

I offer Online Art Lessons

 www.ArtisMyHobby.com

Lighter values on top sides of bottom boards

Now I am thoroughly happy with my cute Chicken Coop. It pleases me to have a good looking Coop in my yard that I can be proud of. Ugly things can become beautiful with a little effort. You have heard the old expression "If the barn door needs painting, paint it." Well, this project is a testament to that truth. I am satisfied with my Chicken Coop and will no longer desire to build me another unless I move to a new location. I do have some cool ideas for an orginal self cleaning design that would catch the chicken droppings for the compost bin to be used in the garden. But I shall save that idea in the event of a future move.  I am greeted with this cheery Red Chicken Coop when I go out to meet my chickens. It no longer repulses me to walk past it on my way to and from my garden.

Painting Chicken Coop

 

Painting Chicken Coop

I am willing to paint signs for your Chicken Coop Contact Me

 

I had come full circle on this project, back to where it all started with the new little pen built for the babies. Remember, that I did not come up with the idea to paint the coop until after this little pen was set up. But now I was grateful to have the three pens so I could still keep the older hens separated from the young chicks that were still growing.

Painting Chicken Coop Painting Chicken Coop
 Removed the top of the small pen
So I could paint the final side of the Coop

Left Side Chicken Door Back Chicken Door Right Side Chicken Door
 Left Side Chicken Door
Back Chicken Door
Right Side Chicken Door

I closed the back chicken door which forced the ladies out the left side door. Once they were all out in the large pen I closed the little door. Then I opened the mini coop door (Right Side) to allow the babies inside the coop. When they went into the back chicken door into the back coop I closed that door. Then I moved their food and water into their outdoor pen for the day. Then I opened the side left door so the big hens could access their food and water which is kept inside the coop. That kept the chickens separated and out of my way so I could finish painting this side of the coop.

 

Young Chicks in New pen Multiple Pens to Seperate Flock
 Young chicks is their little pen
 Two pens to separate flock
Chickens in Pen

This coop and pen set up is Chicken Approved so says my Boss Lady. She is a Plymouth Barred Rock who is very friendly and will let you pick her up and pet her.

Barred Rock

 The colors of my Transformed Chicken Coop Match her colors

Cute Chicken Signs

My ladies are content If they are happy, I am happy

Transforming Shed into Cute Coop

The project is finished until I am inspired with any more ideas to upgrade the coop such as automatic door openers would be nice or a watering stystem that gives them a perpetual clean water supply which I am considering.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please check out my YouTube Channel for updates on how it went when the young ones were old enough to mingle with the older flock.

 

 

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