We are planning to start building "The Garden Coop" for our 3-4 chickens soon (we are suspicious that one may be a roo that needs to be rehomed.) This is our first time raising baby chicks and having backyard chickens.
After reading these forums, there are a few mods that I plan to make that I have questions about.
1. Ventilation - we live in a hot climate and I'm concerned about them having enough ventilation in the henhouse. I am going to leave off the interior walls and add some hinged "windows" (hardware cloth with doors that can be closed if needed) up high, does anyone have recommendations on how large they should be and on how many sides?
2. Has anyone done/seen a Garden Coop with added poultry nipple waterer? I like the idea of using PVC pipe over a bucket-type design but have never seen pics of this in conjunction with our particular coop.
3. Exterior vs. interior nesting boxes. It seems most people do this to create more space in the henhouse. Since we only have 4 chickens, does this seem unnecessary? One nesting box is sufficient for 4 hens, correct?
4. I have seen coops with a drawer beneath the henhouse for easy cleaning. Does this make more sense than using poop boards under the roosts? Making clean-out easy is one of my biggest priorities.
I'm also planning to lower the henhouse so the kids can collect eggs without a stool, moving the pop door from the bottom of henhouse to the side as we plan to maybe use sweet pdz, making the roosts in henhouse removable and adding poop boards/drawer of some sort.
Would love to hear of any other mods people made, or wished they made.