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. morsekathan

    morsekathan Songster

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    Automatic door! I lost so many chickens due to forgetting to close the door at night until I got one. Haven't lost a hen since I installed it. I have the pullet-shut chicken door with a light sensor and solar charger for the battery. It swings open like a regular door. There are guillotine type ones (door drops down) out there too, but I didn't have space for it. i also love my sand floor, but it doesn't count as something I wished I had installed. I started with a sand floor. It's over wood flooring. I did recently cover the wood with hardware cloth so rats couldn't eat their way through it. It's taken them several years to figure out that they could, so I guess it's another thing I should have installed when I built the coop.
     
  2. feathers for momma

    feathers for momma In the Brooder

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    a box to put cray mean Rooster that turns them into sweet one LOL a Light and switch hard to see in the dark corners
     
  3. slowloris

    slowloris Chirping

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    Electricity. (which I now have). Heated water bowl in the winter changed my life :)
     
  4. Double Yolked

    Double Yolked Chirping

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    Things I wish I had?
    More space. Move the nest boxes back a little further from the roosts. I miscalculated and they're too close.
    More space. Add an easy to reach from the outside feeder and waterer for inside the coop. It's not for steady feeding and watering but on those days I absolutely need to leave them in the coop for a few hours early in the day and I'd know they weren't thirsty or hungry.
    More space. My coop is too small again (more space!) I only intended to have 12 chickens... uh huh chicken math strikes again. More space. Even with the chicken tractor my hubby built me, it's not enough room.
    I did a couple of things with my coop I'm very glad for. It's on stilts, about 3 feet off the ground, with a super heavy duty wire floor under the roosts. Since it never really gets cold here it works great and they have adequate ventilation, easy cleaning and poop removal. The coop is virtually self cleaning. I can use a pressurized water spray and clean the coop a few times a year with that and it drys in an hour. And second, I put storage space built into the side of the coop.
     
  5. BJerome

    BJerome Hatching

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    I put soffits up above their heads-even in winter there needs to be airflow or they get respiratory diseases. I am in New England and after having chickens for 10 years, bears struck. I just built a strong electric fence. Wish I had done that earlier.
     
  6. 8CityChicks

    8CityChicks Chirping

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    Automatic "this & thats" are great until something fails when no one knows. For that reason I stayed manual on doors, waterers & feeders which also makes me check them daily. Same on litter - I use a bin with pine savings that is dry-cleaned daily and added to a leaf compost pile. On space, be sure you have a more than you think you will need at first & that you can fully stand in the house - bending nor inhaling dropping fumes is both pleasant and unhealthy. Ventilation - I live in the south & you can't have enough, I covered all of mine with 2x4 hog wire that no predator can chew or enter through. As for the floo,r mine is wood, raised 6 inches off the ground for better ventilation & circulation, sloped slightly with a small crack at the downslope end to hose it out once or twice a year. Nests should be accessible from within & outside the house for convenience & cleaning. Birds do foul the nest & there's the occasional broken egg which is a smelly mess. I line my nests with old roofing & just slide the lining & straw out,hose the lining clean & replace the straw. I interact with my birds 2-3 time a day to the point some want help on & off the roost (mainly the older ones) . Also below the roost (mine is high-up in the house to make bin cleaning easier) I put a rubber mat on the floor where they jump from the roost & nests to prevent leg injuries.Be sure your roof is sloped for cleaning & draining. On hot days I often hose the roof at roosting time to help cool the birds. I don't have power in the house but use a battery-powered fan to cool them at night. Another technique I find useful is to have food points at multiple locations as the dominant birds always bully the ones less-dominant ones to the point they can miss food at times since mine get table leftovers 3 times / day and there's a mad scramble for the good stuff. In my run (mine is large) I've criss-crossed it with fish line even under trees since hawks will do anything to get a bird. They also don't like flashing aluminum pans & I've added a scarecrow with a broom handle to look like a gun since I read somewhere that hawks are fearful of humans with guns. With all 3 things I haven't lost a bird - without them I had lost 5 in 3 years. Probably forgot something, but these things worked for me.
     
  7. danjag

    danjag Chirping

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    My Coop
    I have a raised coop, it allowed me to insulate all the way around, only wish I had included a trap door for cleaning it out.
     
  8. michaelmfl

    michaelmfl In the Brooder

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    I have a small coop with 4 hens. I made a poop hammock out of 2 dowels and a piece of old shower curtain. It's the width of the roost and is easily removed with one hand. I take it out in the morning and most days I just dump out the poop into the compost pile and put the hammock back in the coop. Some days it's messy, so I just hose it off first. I infrequently have to clean out the wood chips from the coop.
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  9. Spiritsmeadow

    Spiritsmeadow Songster

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    Elizabeth, Colorado
     
  10. jspeese

    jspeese Chirping

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    Apr 26, 2019
    My new(three years old) 8 x 8 coop has a raised wooden floor, which I like because rats and things can't dig tunnels under it. I have 14 hens. I built this coop (with lots of help from our daughter and son-in-law) and it is working great. I put in features I like such as a dropping pit-type roost with a hatch in the back for easy manure removal, and a 320 square foot run made of turkey wire and with a turkey wire top (I chose turkey wire because it's a lot more durable than chicken wire but easier to work with than hardware cloth. Although the children helped build the coop, I was on my own with the run and hardware cloth is too hard to work with without help, not to mention expensive!). If I had the money, the only thing I would have done differently or added would have been a facility to start new chicks when these hens get old and are no longer productive (they are going on their 3rd year). As it now stands, I'd pretty much have to get rid of the old hens, thoroughly clean everything and start new chicks from scratch in the coop. I have two blue Cochin hens whom I would not want to get rid of, so maybe I'll build a small separate coop and run for them when I start my new chicks. And since Cochins are so gentle, they should readily reintegrate. So I guess I'm reiterating a lot of other folks' advice...built it bigger (if you can afford to), but if you can't, don't let "chicken math" get the best of you. A few healthy happy hens with as much space as possible are more productive. I'd like to have ducks again some day, but I'd want a separate pen for them.
     

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