Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pattycake, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    Can we start a thread about out coop mistakes, so that new chicken owners don't make the same ones? [​IMG] My chicken experience has been quite successful so far, BUT how I wish I could do it over again and not make these same mistakes...

    Mine are:

    1. Putting the house and run on low ground. I only lived here a month when I got my chicks, a nice dry summer. Now that our six inches of hard packed snow is melting, my run is a SWAMP! And the chickens track the mud into the coop, so I've got a coop full of damp litter. But I can't change it out, because my yard is also a swamp, and I can't get the wheelbarrow across it...

    2. Putting the chicken door right close to the floor. This makes the deep litter method very difficult -- the litter falls out the door. I should have made the door six inches up.

    3. Putting the chicken door so that it faces into the prevailing winds.

    4. Not enough windows. In the summer it was bright and seemed fine, but with the overcast skies and short days, it's positively gloomy in the henhouse, and I have to keep a light on all day.

    I'll probably think of more. [​IMG] Do you all have any to share???
  2. hensdeliverthegoods

    hensdeliverthegoods Songster

    Dec 18, 2007
    Catawba County, NC
    I'm a newbie, and I really appreciate these tips. I've made a note of them - thanks! [​IMG]
  3. nccountrygirl

    nccountrygirl Songster

    Jul 31, 2007
    Sanford N.C.
    Mine is not building my coop and run big enough to have a lot more chickens, but DH is soon going to remedy this situation.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2007
  4. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    not using what i had

    making it too big

    making a door 5 inches tall (actually my dad's fault)

    thinking that nesting boxes were for sleeping

    no pine shavings or straw on the coop floor, making cleaning really difficult

    i'll probably realize more later.
  5. johnnyjack

    johnnyjack Songster

    Oct 21, 2007
    pc can ya run some drainage ditches to route the water away from ur house and coop ? go inside and add the 6" board to keep ur litter inside.most chickens like it dark in the henhouse. mine seem to for the door well i will have to think on that one. im with ya i would change things on mine also .
  6. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Well, this really depends on the type of coop you have. I build the kind with the shed style roof that you lift up. Big mistake if you make that roof to heavy.

    Make the tops of the nesting boxes on a 45 degree angle if you don't do that, then the chickens roost on top and poop all over it.

    Might want to make windows open up. It's easier to open them more or less depending on the weather. Opening down they are either open or closed. If you fix them to only be part open, they catch rain or snow.
  7. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    I think our biggest mistake was not having the coop and run finished before the day-old chicks arrived. They were brooded in a spare room of our trailer, and lived inside with us until they were almost 6 weeks old.

    The second was not getting a bigger building for a coop. There's room enough for our Banties, 2 roosts and 2 nest boxes, but that's it. We do rent our place, so smaller works better for when we eventually move...

    Will add more as I think of them...

  8. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    Johnny Jack -- That drainage ditch idea is a good one, but I really did put my coop in a low area -- I don't know where it can all drain TO!

    I put a board in front of the human door, but if I put one in front of the chicken door, they wouldn't be able to get out.

    It's a real pain -- I might actually drag my coop somewhere else, except my poor DH spent so much time digging a trench around the run... he'll never forgive me if I put it somewhere else, and certainly isn't going to dig another one for me!

    Going back in time might be my only solution.
  9. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    First one I can think of is making the chicken door open OUT - we changed it and now it opens in - works better for us.

    My first roost was fine, but they quickly outgrew it and we had to make it longer.
  10. okto

    okto Chirping

    Jun 30, 2007
    los angeles
    this post is a good idea

    1. i made my coop too low to the ground initially, requiring some tricky carpentry to fix the problem

    2. i have a large door that can be opened on sunny days. i didn't create a sill of any kind to prevent
    the litter from falling out the door
    . same goes for the regular door

    3. a few of the features were add-ons. if i had thought through my initial coop, things would have been
    . things like adding a nesting box and a small shuttered window adjacent to the perch.

    4. using thinner plywood for a lighter coop. i don't think that i could have skimped on the bones of the
    coop. once you reach a kind of critical mass, 2x4's are necessary.

    5. i should have installed a chicken cam!

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