Chickens in Kalamazoo


Jul 16, 2016
Hello all!

I'm nestled here up in the Midwest and just had my township ordinance revise its chicken restrictions a few months ago. I've been raising 4 barred rock hens from chicks for the last 12 weeks.
Day 2:

VERY perchy right from the beginning!

After their transition out to the coop (Don't mind the poopy ramp, more about that later in the post)

And my beauties today:

My biggest learning curve has definitely been how to keep everything clean. As I noted above, these little gals were very perchy from the beginning. Which resulted in poopy water and food. All the time. So, as an engineer, a crafter, and someone who likes to teach, I will share my learnings I had from Camilla, Dottie, Zacharina Jr, and Fluff Butt. Enjoy!

The Ramp:
You saw to gross picture above. The best I was able to do was to scrape the droppings off daily. I did find a car snow brush/scraper the handiest for this. But this was still daily maintenance. After much research, I ended up with this:

Yes, that is a wire shelf stand bent and trimmed. Works fantastic! And minimal poo buildup!

Water/Food Protection:
My township didn't entirely lift our chicken restrictions. We are only permitted up to 5 hens. No roosters. So, I have my 4 ladies. But that also means I don't need large scale feeders and waterers nor does my movable coop have room for it. I found the quart and gallon size options to be limited. I found a great idea for being able to shield a quart feeder or fount and also provide a means to hang it: glue a pot lid to the top! Go to your local Goodwill. They will have a bin of loose random pot lids. Tips:
Go for loop handles rather than knob.
Look for ones where the rivets for the handles are further out than the diameter of the quart bottle.
Gorilla glue worked well for plastic to metal.
For glass to anything, I had to use an epoxy.


I just wish I had figured this out when they were still in the brooder!
We do back up to a farm and I am very conscious about rodent threats. I really like this Ziploc bin for food storage. 6 robust latches, a foam seal for moisture. So far, rodent proof:

I'm also pretty paranoid about general rodent traffic in their run. I lock up their food at night. Found a great food safe 5-gal bin that has a screw on lid. Also rodent proof so far!

I am a HUGE fan of closet rods and brackets. Right diameter and readily available hardware:

Admittedly, I cannot tell my 4 girls apart at this time. They had distinguishing markings as chicks, but those are all gone. I'm thinking about banding their legs to tell them apart. I'd love any feedback on this.

I'm a big nerd who's always looking for more efficient options. I'll always share what I figure out.
Fingers crossed for eggs in 5 more weeks!

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