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What's the one thing you wish you had included in your coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MaryJanet, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. MaryJanet

    MaryJanet Crowing

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    Adelaide, South Australia
    Hi Peeps!
    I'm planning a coop build and I'm hoping to take a few lessons from the BYC community before I start. So, please share one thing you wish you had included in your coop.
    Thanking you! :)
     
  2. Ribh

    Ribh Free Ranging

    Making sure everything was in easy reach ~ including the roosts! The one thing I can't reach easily is the top roost.
     
  3. Chickenlover4ever!

    Chickenlover4ever! Chirping

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    Depends where you live, you definitely want a concrete hard floor with a slight inch or two lift on the bottom so you can hose it out from time to time. If you live in a hotter climate I recommend LOTS of ventilation, if you want to get fancy a mister is a good idea. An outdoor run with dirt is helpful but make sure you have it separated from where they sleep so you can close it off at night for protection. Definitely use a top cover on all the areas they roam, birds of prey love chickens. The sleeping area should have a high roosting bar with solid walls and a roof but make sure it is easy to clean. Make sure the coop has good protection from rain or snow, not so much the outside part but they should have a larger area to dry their feet and feathers to prevent sickness. The laying boxes should be raised and offer individual privacy for each box. Use shavings for cleaner eggs. Make sure if there are cold winters that you have a warm, wind free area for the girls to keep warm. Keep the ease of cleaning in mind for everything and an automatic water is the best thing in the world.
     
  4. MROO

    MROO Free Ranging

    MORE SPACE! Go bigger than you think you need, especially with your run! Chicken Math is sneaky. One day, you'll wake up to find that you've exceeded your space ... and you'll either have to re-home some of your babies or start building again. Another thing I would do is to build a separated hospital/broody area directly into the coop and run design. It would have been much easier than the multiple coop option I ended up with while retro-fitting the original set-up.
    Spend some time perusing the Coop pages in the articles section. There are LOTS of wonderful ideas! You'll be able to pick and choose and customize to fit your own needs and budget. And lastly and most importantly: Document your build with pictures and text. That way we can all benefit from the experience!
    Good Luck!
     
  5. Uff Da

    Uff Da Songster

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    I actually far prefer dirt floors to concrete. Every coop I've been in with a dirt floor has smelled better than those with concrete. I've always wondered if it has to do with the microflora from the soil helping the ammonia to be neutralized. Of course, all the coops I've had experience with were infrequently shoveled out--I believe the term used here is "deep litter." But the dirt floor coops never smelled and the concrete ones did.
     
  6. Chickenlover4ever!

    Chickenlover4ever! Chirping

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    I agree about the smell but due to rat and predator problems I have found the concrete helps keep my birds safer in the long run. The foxes and raccoon used to just dig holes into my coop to steal my birds.
     
  7. Kris5902

    Kris5902 Free Ranging

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    Giant eaves, an Automatic door for opening in the morning, and automatic waterers, or at least a hose and running water to reach all the pens (can you tell I just finished lugging all my water out for tomorrow morning for all 54 chickens in 7 different locations over about 2/3 an acre?). I wouldn’t trust a door to close the girls up at night though, I need to do an evening headcount... but not having to get outside so early every morning would be nice!
     
  8. MROO

    MROO Free Ranging

    I have a dirt floor, too, but my coop/run is a repurposed playhouse with a sandbox beneath it. We have coons, opossums, foxes, a handful of coyotes and my own digging beast to contend with, so I really wanted a concrete barrier, not just a hardware cloth apron. I solved the issue by digging a narrow trench all the way around my run, right up against the foot boards. I filled it with dry quick-dry concrete mix, ran a hose through it and mixed it up with a hoe. Instant concrete barrier! I planted some marigolds in front of it and covered the concrete with mulch - pretty chicken-edibles and no weeding!
     
  9. MaryJanet

    MaryJanet Crowing

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    Adelaide, South Australia
    Has anyone tried paving an apron around the coop perimeter? Would this keep foxes and dogs out?
     

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