What did chickens do before humans built them a coop?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by NOLA farm, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. NOLA farm

    NOLA farm Just Hatched

    Dec 2, 2016
    AS a newbie I did a lot of reading to create the best coop design with locks, open air, square footage, dryness, etc. I did most of these things as recommended with a few tweaks. They have a roof. They have an oversized "condo" for sleeping and laying with open air. I decided not to put a door on the condo.

    I could have done more to insure 100% dry environment but I reached a point where I started asking what the hell did they do before we started building coops for them. The facts are clear, they lived in nature.

    So as I look at my coop today after a rainy few days and part of me wants to be disappointed in the moisture around the interior perimeter of the run I refuse to. The girls are scratching in the moist ground and worms are coming to the surface naturally. Why bother with any modifications I ask instead?

    I discussed my coop with the hatchery I bought the girls from and he said it perfectly when I asked if I should modify this or that or add this or that. He responded, "They are chickens man"

    What are your thoughts based on your experiences?
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    They are chickens, man. [​IMG]

    Chickens don't do well in a totally dry environment, just like they don't do so well in a totally wet environment, so your little bit of moisture can be a good thing. I intentionally use methods that traps moisture into my coop for certain reasons, so the whole idea that chickens need to live in an entirely dry environment is kind of bizarre to me. Mine are out foraging in downpours of rain and even in the snow showers.

    My experience has been that chickens stay healthier, more quiet, produce better and have no fighting when they have light stocking rates and live as closely to how they are supposed to live in nature as possible. That means clean soils, grass underfoot, wooded areas to forage in, the ability to come and go as they please from shelter to the outdoors and all the weather therein, the ability to forage for their natural diets, dust in various places of their own choosing, fresh water and a healthy, varied diet.
  3. nmflygirl

    nmflygirl Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 29, 2016
    Just this side of crazy
    I'm still very new to the chicken keeping thing so keep that in mind with my response.

    That being said, I've had 6 chickens for almost a year now and they don't live in perfect conditions. I live in the desert with no grass, and little rain but LOTs of sand. I have given them a nice large area for roaming and put down straw for them to scratch through. I give them fresh water and make sure they have a base of laying feed and then give them fresh scraps from our meals when I feel like it.

    Even in those less than perfect conditions they were producing anywhere from 3-5 eggs daily and nothing the last few weeks during winter (but I don't have a light in their coop yet).

    I am planning on building them a better coop but my construction abilities should give plenty of opportunities for moisture to develop.

    What I'm really trying to say is if you do your best to provide a decent environment with fresh water and food they should be good.
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    What did chickens do before we started building them coops? Well, they died. A lot. They died young. They died from exposure, they died from predators, they even died from their own stupidity. Now we build them big, elaborate fancy coops like build-by-numbers erector sets and they die. A lot. They die from exposure, predators, and their own stupidity, BUT.........

    I think in the overall scheme of things we don't build these coops and runs as much for them as we do for our convenience. It keeps eggs closer and in one place (well, more or less, until that wandering Tilly joins the flock and will only lay under an inaccessible bush). It keeps them safer from predators, if we build with those pesky critters in mind. Ity keeps them in one place so that we can better care for them. It keeps them out of the wind, rain and snow, unless you have chickens like mine who LIKE to go out in that garbage. But I think the most important thing building a coop, a run, and keeping chickens does is get us closer to who we were in days gone by. It FEELS good to provide them a good shelter. It feels right to be sure they are eating, getting good clean fresh water, and cared for if they get sick or injured. It feels good to be out there in the fresh air doing what our grandmothers and grandfathers did before us. It feels good to provide good food for ourselves from our flocks. And it feels good to find the raising and husbandry methods that suit you, your birds, and your lifestyle.

    Some folks can slap up a shelter and do extremely well by their chickens. Some build little palaces - a couple of them equipped with small TVs or radios to keep the chickens company. But in the big picture, the chickens don't care. They care about two things - Can they survive? Can they reproduce? If they can, the rest is gravy and comfort, both human and critter. And our chickens are living longer, healthier lives because we take the time to try to keep them in the best way possible. Still, they die. But a lot of them are living much longer than they did way back when. And that feels good too!
    3 people like this.
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture

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