Best ideas for low maintenance coop?

Carson213

Songster
Aug 31, 2020
275
355
111
I assume that many of you have kids, activities and travel. What are the essential chicken coop “hacks” to make chickens as low maintenance as possible? If you want to leave for a weekend or a week, what are the best coop modifications to make that seamless?
 

woodworm

Songster
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
May 31, 2015
170
406
161
North Wales, UK
My Coop
My Coop
I think the main things are food, water, security and cleaning.

We have a water bar connected to a water butt. Other than an occassional clean and checking the nipples are working, etc there's nothing to do.

For food I made a feeder from a 5litre bucket, this holds enough food for our 10 hens for at least a week.

Automatic door on the coop is great regardless of whether your away or not. I've also added cameras to my coop and run so I can check on them when I'm not there.

Our hens need a fair amount of cleaning as some of them are sleeping in the nest boxes. As they are ex batt's and featherless (to varying degrees) I'm guessing they keep warmer huddled in together so I've left them to it for the moment. We haven't had them long so haven't been away from them but I'd guess you'd need someone to collect the eggs as well.

We are very lucky in that we have someone willing to come and stay at our home when we're away to look after the animals. A bottle of gin and a hot tub helps here :)

If you search for feeders and waterers on here there are a lot of great DIY designs.
 

3KillerBs

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
4,144
8,352
776
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
I wouldn't leave for a week without someone coming at least every other day to check on the chickens.

For a weekend I'd want a hardened run so that the chickens can have free access in and out, two feeders in case something happened to one, and two waterers in case something happened to one.

Even then, I'd want someone to stop by and at least collect eggs and check for major disasters.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
91,944
117,088
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I assume that many of you have kids, activities and travel. What are the essential chicken coop “hacks” to make chickens as low maintenance as possible? If you want to leave for a weekend or a week, what are the best coop modifications to make that seamless?
Climate can make a big difference.
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
1611580387767.png
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 26, 2008
32,777
63,893
1,392
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
My Coop
I wouldn't leave for a week without someone coming at least every other day to check on the chickens.

For a weekend I'd want a hardened run so that the chickens can have free access in and out, two feeders in case something happened to one, and two waterers in case something happened to one.

Even then, I'd want someone to stop by and at least collect eggs and check for major disasters.
X2. All of it

The problem with leaving eggs... is that egg build up, especially over several days, will often end up with an egg getting broken, egg getting smeared over the rest of the eggs and then, tada.... you have a coop full of hens that have now learned that eggs are yummy. :barnie

If you install roll out nest boxes where the eggs roll away, are completely out of the hens reach, AND can hold a week full of eggs.. that would solve that.

However... more than a weekend away and I would super stress... it just takes one stray dog barking at the coop, freaking out the hens so the waterer is busted.... and then they have no water....

If someone could just check every other or every third day... it would be easier to relax.

I have found asking neighbors (so no driving involved) and telling them that they may keep eggs, has always worked well.
 

Mamajewels

In the Brooder
Jan 27, 2021
16
61
43
Sagle, Idaho
I not only have too many birds, I have too many coops (though I believe there are worse vices!). My favorite coops have exterior nesting boxes which are easier to reach and way easier to clean, and I firmly believe in using poop boards under the roosts.
How do you make poop boards, this concept intrigues me! currently I have a small hand rake, a metal dust scoop and a cat litter scoop to pick out nightly poop from the coop.
Attached are the only pictures I currently have of my coop. I'm interested in any thing that will make cleaning easier!!
 

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