Originally Posted by DreamsInPink
Ok, we are a chicken coop build GO!
We laid out the outline of the coop today. 10 x 20.
1. What are some of the most important things you've learned by trial and error?
2. What tips and tricks have you learned along the way?
3. What would you do differently if you were just starting out and know what you know now?
I look forward to hearing what ya'll have to say! I'm SO excited!
We just recently did a coop and run makeover. With the addition of some new hens and now ducks I knew there were things that I wanted to change with our existing coop and run. My coop is a custom built long shed that we had made but took 12' of it at the end partitioned it off for the coop part. It is 8x12. Things I would have done differently and did when we redid it was as follows:
1. Add a 1x6 guard around the door to keep bedding in and out of the run and allow easier access when opening and shutting the people door (the door in in the run in my set up) This works wonders especially if using pine shavings. Can also use even a 2x4 at the chickens door too.
2. Bedding- well this one isn't exactly what I would do different just what I have used pros and cons. I first had a small little coop with attached run, that's was before I understood chicken math. I had shavings in it which made a mess in the sand run area and found I had a harder time cleaning it in the original set up. Built the larger shed/coop and this time used sand both in and outside the coop. I put down heavy plastic liner and a thick amount of sand. Had that for years and loved it. For the most part all I had to do was sift it out, stayed cool (I live in the south) and kept things dry, just added barn lime and DE now and then mostly in summer to keep down odor and any possible bugs. After awhile (a year or two) it needs to be all replaced and new sand added and this is what I didn't care for. I'm now back to shavings with the door guard to keep it away from the door, I may go back to sand we shall see.
3. Do yourself a huge favor if you can and make a "litter box" under the roosts and use PDZ if you can or a combo of it and sand or even just sand. It makes a world of difference. I just built one waste high and filled with 2 bags of PDZ (used to keep ammonia down in horse stalls) and I love it! Use a cat scoop to clean and it's not only a snap keeps it dry and no odor. Having it waste high makes no bending and with a bad back this is great for me. The area underneath can either be used to hang there food and water creating more space or you can add chicken wire and a small door to house injured birds or broody hens or whatever. Great use of space!
4. I white washed the inside this year and what a difference it made in terms of light which is good for your hens. It doesn't have to be white wash although it's cheap and easy to make and apply, it can be paint but the white inside really brightens the space up and for me in a shaded area that was important. Which I did that years ago.
5. Not really part of the coop per say but get your girls started on nipple waterers, oh how I love it, keeps there water so clean!
Good luck!! Show pictures when you are done! 👍🏻🙂Edited by HennyPenny2 - 3/8/16 at 5:51am