I wanted to share our new coop with the BYC community first because we are so proud of our girls' new home and second, because I appreciate all the info I collected from BYC!! We are totally new to chickens and it has been quite an adventure. We are loving it, our kids are loving it and it's been such a great experience for our entire family. Now ...We just can't wait for our girls to start laying eggs. We started with 2 Colombian Rocks and 5 blacks sex links. We recently added 2 EEs and 1 adorable white silky, the babies are still in a brooder. I will start slowly introducing them to the older girls in a week or so because they are 3 weeks apart.
We placed our coop right beside our home for convenience and access to hydro and water. Due to the grading and being right beside the house, we couldn't place it right on the dirt so we built it on a plywood box with hardware wire to keep any critters from digging into the run. Overall it's 10 ft long by 6 ft wide and 8ft high at the highest point. The coop is 4ft by 6 ft and 18" off the ground. Both coop and run have linoleum on the floors for easy cleaning. We have 2 windows for ventilation and 2 vents that can close when needed. We live in Ontario, Canada and can experience very cold winters. We also added a light and an outlet for a heated water option in the winters. We have 2 roosts that are 14" from the wall and 18" apart. They typically all sleep together and snuggle so close nobody even uses the second roost. At this point we are using a rubber mat as a poop board but we are looking to install something more permanent. They do work, most of the droppings are right under the mat and it's easy to clean. We have 3 nesting boxes, they are closed off right now until they reach about 18 weeks. We also added a door that can be opened and closed from outside the run. This again will only be closed in the winter months as they are totally secure in their run/coop.
For the bedding we are using pine shavings and it seems to be working so far. No smell and they have been in the coop for 2+ weeks and I haven't cleaned it yet?! Just the poop boards once. I would have like to try sand but not sure how that works on plywood with linoleum? I may try it just to see? I am open to anyone else's experiences with this.
Our girls have been free ranging during the day for over 2 weeks and it's going great so far. I am worried about predators, we have hawks in our area and back onto a forest! But they love being free?!? Bedtime routine was a struggle at first, then I kept them in the coop for 4 days and that seemed to remedy the issue. Now they go to the coop in the evening.
Anyways .... Here it is. Hope you enjoy it [IMG