Coop that thwarts mites


11 Years
Jul 23, 2008
Seattle, WA
Hello all!

I had to get rid of my whole flock of chickens due to an unusually bad infestation of mites about a year ago. I would like to some day begin again as I love keeping chickens so much, but want to ensure that I don't repeat history.

I've heard that wood gives the little boogers a hiding place and is harder to clean. If I'm wanting to build from scratch a city coop for 8 hens and avoid the nasty beasties, what suggestions do you experienced chicken keepers have for me?

(I do realize that there are other elements involved in a healthy flock, namely, buying only non-infested hens to begin with, quarantining them when I do buy them, etc)

Thank you!
Caulk seams. You could look into Eglu - a plastic housing unit for chickens. (not Eggloo)

Use DE and/or Poultry Dust - make notes on a calendar for when you should dust next so time doesn't fly by.
If leg mites: use vaseline/petroleum jelly on their legs and feet nightly to "suffocate" the mites.
I use this:

Check the birds feather shafts & vent areas weekly.
They really don't mind being flipped over, especially if you flip slowly.
Go for it! Enjoy and have fun with your new chicks.
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My husband and I are planning to build a larger chicken coop soon. I believe the materials we are going to use would help deter insects and I am curious about the opinions of experienced chicken owners if they see any problems with any of it. I don't know what the cost is relative to traditional wood because we happen to have most of the materials on hand from various other projects. Here goes:

We will be using steel studs for the framing and to protect them from the caustic nature of chicken poop, and also to allow for insulation, we will be lining the inside walls with sheets of PolyMax (HDPE) panels. On the outside, my husband wants to use Hardi Plank siding (fiber cement). I would like to use metal roofing and perhaps a panel of the corrugated polycarbonate (clear or smoked) to let in some light. We will use vinyl clad windows. The floor will probablly be OSB or plywood covered with vinyl flooring, although we are debating a bare wood floor covered with sand and DE. We haven't discussed the nesting boxes or the roosts, yet. While the metal nesting boxes would be resistant to insects, I would think they would get much colder in the winter than wood - is that an issue? And what about using composite lumber for the roosts? I know it is expensive, but we wouldn't need that much of it.

What do you think?
KYTP........I would not even think of leaving the vinyl off the wood flooring. If you use sand, it can to some extent absorb moisture on overcast, heavy fog type days. That moisture held on top of a bare wood floor is not good at all. I put down 1/2 plywood, not press board, for the floor and the vinyl over that. Then 2 inches of play type sand. The sand can become somewhat moist, and that moisture your husband knows you don't want on the bare wood. Anyway, when you ever want to clean out all the sand and put in fresh, so easy to clean it all out.
I think the key to using wood is to make sure you seal any holes and crevices. I used wood and primed and put two coats of exterior paint on every piece of wood that faces into the coop (top, bottom and sides) before it went on. Then I sealed every seam on the inside with clear caulk. It took a long time to get the coop up because of the painting, but there's no place for mites to get a foot-hold in this coop. They need a small, dark place to live and breed. Then I use sand with DE mixed in on the floor of the coop, and dust the straw in the nest box with DE once a month or so (I sprinkle it with a flour sifter). No stink, no mites, easy to clean. But it takes time in the set-up.

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