Newbie needs your expert advice :-)

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In the Brooder
6 Years
Jul 20, 2013
Okay, we converted an old carport into a coop. We think it looks pretty nice and the ladies love it! We used fencing from an old dog run to fence in the front and back. We have put wireing all around the outside of the coop to keep critters out. They also have a fenced in yard that they run in all day. I just open the door in the mornings and they come and go from their yard and the coop as much as they want. Twice a day they get let out for a good hour or more to free range. See photos below of all three areas.

Do you see anything that I don't have in my coop that I should have?

Coop Floor: Ours is dirt. We rack it every weekend to keep it clean as well as their dirt yard. I have read about the deep litter method. Is this used strictly for ease of cleaning? What is the purpose? Wondering if I should do this too? If I do I am assuming I will have to put a wood edge around the bottom of the chainlink and the gate to keep the litter contained.

We nice loose dirt in the yard where they love to take their dirt baths. I have added some sevin dust to their dirt piles to help with the mites, etc. They seem to be doing really great now, as we had an issue with mites for a while.

We have plenty of roosts and right now three laying boxes which seems adequate as we only have a few that are old enough to lay, we will be adding more soon. Right now we keep pine shavings in their boxes, is that good?

Winter. We plan to put 6 foot boards in front of the chainlink, leaving the top two feet open for ventalation (it has chicken wire in that area to keep critters out). Is there anything else that I need to do keep them comfortable? Do they still roost in the winter or do they huddle in containers? I am in Oklahoma and we don't get below freezing to often. From what I have read most people leave their coops open and let the birds decide if they want to go out or not unless it is freezing out then they keep them in.

I love this site and the honesty and kindness everyone has in helping one another! Thank you in advance for your thoughts!!


Chickens roost like normal in the winter and they'll be okay in cold temps but only if there aren't harsh drafts where they sleep.
Deep litter is primarily for ease of cleaning. Of course, you get to add all the litter material to your compost heap along with the chicken poop.

A dirt floor should be good, if there is no problem with mud when it rains. Otherwise, some sand will allow drainage to keep the chickens out of the mud.

Looks like you have it covered.

We went ahead and added a couple of bags of pine shavings and will try the deep litter method during the winter. I think it will work out all right, give the girls some protection from the cold ground when winter hits and they seem to like it! We have figured we will board and tarp the front and back to stop the cold winds from blowing in (leaving room at the top for fresh air, but not cause a draft) I am sure they will be just fine, I just need to not stress :)

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