What is a necessity in a coop, in your opinion?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rhemerick, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. rhemerick

    rhemerick Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Mar 18, 2013
    We are building our coop today and I thought it would be good to get info from all the experts on here who have done trial and error before me. What things have you learned that you just "can't live without" in your coop; Things that you wish you had made in your first coop? I would love to see how many of these ideas we can incorporate into our coop design.
     
  2. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,735
    117
    188
    Nov 16, 2012
    The only necessity for me is the chickens...I need them in the coop, because a coop without chickens is just a building. The only necessity the chickens must have in the coop is water....So...It's pretty easy. A lot of people say they can't live without a poop board, but I don't have one. And I get by...Lol. My nest boxes are made out of cardboard boxes, and a large dog crate. The chickens are super easy to take care of, and all I need to do is make sure they have water to get a return on my investments. My feeder is made out of a plastic laundry soap box with a bottom of a hamper attached to it...it holds 25 lbs. I need to make a largish chicken waterer, but waterers are a little harder to make with stuff I have lying around as they need to be able to hold water. Lol.

    Our coop is a building that was already on the property when we moved here. It's 18x20 feet and it's on the second story over the garage space. There is a door in the back that I slide a ramp out to connect to the bank behind the building and that is how the chickens go in and out, unless they just feel like using the stairs. They roost in the rafters.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. rhemerick

    rhemerick Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Mar 18, 2013
    Forgive my ignorance, but what is a poop board?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,633
    4,142
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    What do I consider necessary in a coop? Not a lot.

    Predator protection.

    Protection from the elements. That varies a lot depending on where you are.

    Roosts.

    A way for the chickens to get outside.

    That’s probably it, though some people might include nests.


    Some of the additional features I built into mine.

    A built-in brooder where the top serves as a droppings board.

    Removable roosts.

    Nests that allow me to lock a chicken in there if I wish, plus adjacent space where I can feed and water the hen locked in there.

    A window to provide light.

    Electricity to the coop with a water spigot just outside. This includes lights and electrical outlets.

    It’s much bigger than the bare absolute minimum.

    Lots of permanent ventilation up high plus vents that can be opened down low. The window has hardware cloth so I can open it and still have predator protection.

    An additional roost away from the main roosts and a little lower which makes integration a lot easier. The younger or weaker can safely roost away from the bullies on the roosts.

    Something I did that is useless to me. Access to the nests from outside. I never use them. I much prefer to go inside to see what is going on inside the coop. I’ve found possums, snakes, and dead chickens I would have otherwise missed.
     
  5. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,735
    117
    188
    Nov 16, 2012
    A lot of the poop that accumulates in a coop happens when the chickens are roosting. So people but a raised board underneath their roosts to catch all that poo. And then you clean the poop board keeping the coop cleaner.

    But since I didn't build my roosts I didn't build a poop board...so a strip through the middle of my coop becomes a poop landing zone. but I use the deep litter method with straw, so I just turn it all over and it's no big deal. My chickens are outside during the day most days. I can see the wisdom of a poop board, but I am just as happy just churning up the whole area.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,633
    4,142
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If you throw a little corn in there, they'd probably turn it enough for you.
     
  7. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,735
    117
    188
    Nov 16, 2012
    Yeah I don't want outside access to my nest boxes either. I like going in a hanging out with my chickens at least once a day everyday. And really the most important thing to have is space...the larger the space the less chance of ending up with a smelly mess of a coop. I have a huge building with 10 chickens so far. I'm getting ready to up that to almost 40 chickens before spring is over, so hopefully that huge space will be huge enough in the end. I mean it should be...but I'm hoping it won't become super labor intensive. I like chickens because in the event that I collect too many I can just start eating more of them...
     
  8. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,735
    117
    188
    Nov 16, 2012
    I may have said that I turn it...but they turn it while I watch lazy in a corner...Lol.
     
  9. rhemerick

    rhemerick Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Mar 18, 2013
    Has anyone used linoleum in the bottom of the coop and had water get under it and damage the floor? I've seen a lot of people use it, but I saw someone say that they don't suggest using linoleum because water can get under it and be trapped and cause the floor to rot. Is this a problem that anyone else has had?
     
  10. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,735
    117
    188
    Nov 16, 2012
    I would like running water. I don't need lights though. Just a fire hazard waiting to happen. There used to be water hooked up to the building that is my coop, but it isn't hooked up right now. There also used to be lights and the fixtures and wiring is still there, but I don't want my husband to hook it up. If the hens need a break in the winter they can have it. I started with 4 chickens off of craigslist. One rooster and 3 hens. 1 hen wasn't laying so we ate her. One of the hens ( a buff orpington) hadn't started laying yet, but now she has, and the third hen is I think a white rock leghorn mix. She has the leghorn big floppy comb, but has a thicker body like a rock. My rooster is a white Rock. Anyway the leghorn (or leghorn mix) lays the same this spring as she did in the winter. I don't know how many of the chickens will slow down in the winter, but I figure that more than a few of them won't stop or slow down. Since I've picked a lot of cold hardy breeds that aren't supposed to stop in the winter. That buff orpington knows how to lay an egg I'll tell you what. Anyway so for a couple weeks I had 1 rooster and 2 hens...then someone was getting rid of a mama hen and her brood and I went and got them. So I had the mama hen and her 7 8 week old babies. Then someone listed a silkie rooster that they couldn't keep as they are in the city, so I got him too. 2 of the chicks died of what I assume was Marek's probably contracted from my adult chickens, but possibly they came with it...not sure on that one, but all my adult chickens and the other chicks are all still fine, and that was months and months ago that all that happened. Anyway, Chickens are awesome and they don't really need too much to be totally happy.

    I have a set of roosts I built at first but all the chickens sleep in the rafters anyway. My big rooster won't let anyone fight. At all. None of the hens, none of the younger roosters...nobody can fight while he is around. He even keeps the silkie from attacking me...that he has done on 3 occasions so far. Lol. My big rooster has also stopped roosting at all. He sleeps in the dog crate that the hens sometimes use as a nest. He sleeps on the side they don't make their little nest hollows in. So if anyone was getting picked on they have shorter roosts, but really there are numerous rafters so if someone isn't getting along they can just roost somewhere else without too much trouble. So far there has been no fighting. None among the hens, none among the roosters. Gotta love a big enforcer roo. If only he was better at being a rooster. He doesn't protect the hens...if he finds food he eats it... But he doesn't let any of the other roosters mate with the hens. Actually he doesn't care for the small hens but the large hens are all his. The silkie is the ever vigilant protector. Sometimes my dog gets out when the chickens are out, and the dog chases after the chickens. The silkie starts squawking and making a spectacle of himself and runs away from the coop...so the chickens all run inside and the slkie gets chased by the dog...Our dog doesn't do anything to them...he just likes to chase things. he won't chase the big roo because the big roo doesn't run...I mean they will hang out within feet of each other with no issue...

    We have 3 windows in the coop...and the door...in the summer I figure we'll open all the windows. In the winter one stay open all the time. The largest window actually stays open. It isnt' even really a window. I mean it used to be, but since this was a building on a property nobody lived on until we moved here the windows were broken for whatever reason that happens. So we just removed the window and covered the hole in hardware cloth. The other 2 windows will be opened should our weather actually decide to turn springy...we had a few 60 degree days, but now there's snow on the ground again.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by