We moved into our house in North Idaho early November 2016, it snowed three weeks later and didn’t stop for five months. Our coop and run were already built but the run caved in with all the snow. We didn’t get a chance to get to it until the snow melted in April / May 2017.
We cleaned out the 2-3 feet of dirty litter in the coop, sanitized with vinegar and essential oils, and rebuilt nesting boxes so we can access the eggs without going into the coop. We decided on sand and Sweet PDZ for our coop floor and it has been wonderfully easy to clean without a horrendous odor. I have fibromyalgia so easy cleaning is a definite must. Also added roosts inside. The coop has three windows, two of which have chicken wire for nice cross-breeze/air flow. The coop has electric already run to it; we have a lamp inside the coop if we need to be in there at night or need it for chicks/sick chickens.
We shortened the run to repair the cave-in. Using materials around the homestead added more hardware cloth and chicken wire for additional strength and security, added a temporary door at the end, we hung a swing and roosts, and sand was added for chicken dusting.
We plan to build a bigger permanent run with an angled partial tin roof to provide shade and to prevent snow cave-ins, more secure with hardware cloth on the entire run, better roosts, a nice door for human access, improved door/door opener into the coop and an improved water/feeder layout for ease of cleaning and feeding. My hand drawn plan attached.
I love our little chicken coop and run. I love that electric is already run into the coop, windows are in place and it is a cozy, safe building. I am excited that we have plans to build a bigger, more secure, four-seasons run for our flock. I would improve our run/coop door, which currently opens using a pulley system on the outside of the run and replace the chicken wire windows with hardware cloth.
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