do you have any SECRETS to make our coop better?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LilbitChicken, May 6, 2009.

  1. LilbitChicken

    LilbitChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Hello, I am new to BYC, but have so many questions for our soon to be feathered family members.[​IMG]
    We are finishing our coop...I've read books and lots of info from BYC. However, do you have any secrets on what makes a coop better overall? For the chickens, that is. [​IMG] The best roost? best style nesting boxes? I get confused reading so much general info![​IMG]

    ANY info to help us make a better coop, is very much appreciated![​IMG]
  2. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    I use plastic containers as nest boxes... less mites and easier to clean.
  3. Leah-yes I know I'm crazy

    Leah-yes I know I'm crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2008
    Skidway Lake, MI
    Plan ways for easy cleaning. That makes the coop better for the birds and life easier for you. There are a lot of great examples on the coop pages and they are so fun to look at.
    Welcome to BYC!
  4. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    I think the best roost is a 2 x 4 with the 4" side up for them to sit on...nests - mine love milk crates and I do not mind because they are easy to clean. Have Good ventilation and air flow in the coop.

    As far as better for them...anything that makes it easier for you to keep clean, them to stay dry and out of the elements...that about does it.
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  5. Slywoody

    Slywoody Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    I would say, lots of ventilation, lots of windows, linoleum on the floor and up the wall in back of the roosts for easy poo clean up, built in feed storage area, predator proof all openings with hardware cloth, (window screens don't work). Removable roosts are a big plus for cleaning. Maybe insulation, ( depending on where you are located. A steep pitch on roof, ( again depending on where you are located). The more RESEARCH you do here the better your coop will turn out. Good Luck,,, Woody
  6. pearls

    pearls New Egg

    Apr 29, 2009
    :)my best tip would be keep it at least 40 cm off the ground then you don't get mice and rats living under it and the chucks like to shelter underneath when it is both too hold and wet and windy. that is what i have done with mine and the chucks love it.
    you can put it on either legs or very large strong plant pots- they have to be strong enough so it would not collapse on top of them obviously.
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I'll post some of the things that my chickens have seemed to enjoy over the years. Some are important and some are just nice for the chickens, although not necessary.

    From the chickens point of view, there are a lot of things they like:

    They like enough space, so they aren't crowded, crabby and picking on each other.

    They like litter that isn't wet and stinky. Making the coop easy to clean helps a lot, as well as having a corner to store some clean shavings for easy access. I keep a feed scoop right in the shavings, to make it easy to add a bit where I need it. Keeping the litter well managed also improves air quality. Badly managed litter gives off a lot of ammonia.

    They like air that isn't stuffy, damp or over-heated. Good ventilation takes care of this. If your summers get hot, they need a lot more air flow then. You shouldn't place their roosts directly in a draft in the winter. It's good to have winter ventilation up high, above the level the chickens are roosting at. It's ok to have a breeze in warm weather, once they are feathered out and not babies anymore.

    For a roost, they like a 2x4, wide side up, with the edges gently rounded. Other roosts work, too. Place the roosts at least a little higher than the nest boxes or they may roost in or on the nest boxes.

    As layers, I think they do well with nest boxes that are big enough to comfortably fit more than one chicken in it. This is because they all want to use the same one, even if there are lots of others available. I am a fan of community nest areas or at least building "double wides" for boxes.

    They like food all the time and fresh water that's changed regularly. They always run over for fresh water. Even if they also drink out of mud puddles. [​IMG]

    They love to look out windows that are at their level. That includes higher windows, with a little shelf or platform in front of it. Ours like to look out the windows during breakfast and on days when the weather is very bad. They'll also stand around and look out the pop hole door. Windows make the coop a nicer place during the day, if you live in a place with harsh winters.

    If you get a lot of heavy rain or snow, I think they also appreciate a little "chicken porch" for their coop. Just some type of roofed area, right outside the pop hole door. Then they can hang out in the run, even if it's raining hard. It also gives them some shade in summer. It also keeps you from having to shovel snow in the winter, to get the pop hole door open. You can either roof a section of their run right next to the coop or have a little roof coming off the coop.

    Anything you can do to make the coop easier to care for, is a huge plus for you. Have fun with your chickens and [​IMG]
  8. racuda

    racuda Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    North Carolina
    I'm going to run electricity, so I can see better at night, also a motion activated floodlight outside. And no more frozen water!
  9. chickens3

    chickens3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Eau Claire, Michigan
    the storm light should work just fine for what you are saying
  10. mmtillman

    mmtillman Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

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