Whats your favorite, must have, feature of your coop(s) at home?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by katydidit, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. katydidit

    katydidit Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 10, 2011
    I've designed our coop ( mostly by looking at all your lovely coops in gallery on BYC!) and am off to lowes tomorrow to pick up all the materials to start building!

    I've incorporated an external access nest box for easy access of eggs, and a "manure box" (plywood bottom, 2x4 sides, with a hardware cloth lid on top to let the poo fall through) below the perch. Also, a double door access thats 3' wide (its a 5'x3' coop, only 4 chooks) for easy cleaning access.

    Any suggestions from the pros? This is my first chicken experience... and no matter how much I stalk the forum here, I'm sure there are people here that have amazing ideas to make both chicken life and our life a lot easier!

    Thanks all!
  2. southernsickles

    southernsickles Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 10, 2010
    The most important thing to me is make it as easy on yourself as possible to clean and have good access to the birds.If its hard to get your hands on your birds you tend not to handle them as much as you need to.The best way to keep up with your birds health is to feel of them regularly.Just my opinion.
  3. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    One thing we did to our coop that I reallly like is adding a roll up curtain for summer use.In winter it can be stapled down to keep cold air out. A third of the front wall is wire and the curtain covers it or can be roll up and tied in hot weather.
  4. katydidit

    katydidit Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 10, 2011

    The roll up curtain would be nice for us for shade (100 days over 100 degrees! ouch) Thanks for that idea!

    And access to the chickens was my main thought in the design, thats why I wanted a 3' double access door! Granted it will take up most of the space on the front wall of the coop, but it will allow me to get in there and clean and inspect throughly. We also plan on having the run on a side yard that will be fenced off with a picket fence so they can partly free range while we're home.

    Great ideas! Keep em coming!
  5. katydidit

    katydidit Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 10, 2011
    anyone else?
  6. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:By the way .... [​IMG] I am in the late phase of the design, all most done.

    I think Must haves are subjective. First and foremost The climate here in the summer is pretty hot and its very windy throughout the year. 90-110 summer daytime and 30-60 winter daytime. And exceedingly dry. My work needs to be done within the continuous shelter of the coop so I dont die of heat stroke or get blown off my feet. Here in the high desert we typically do three sided shelters two solid walls with a roof and for exceptional weather days drop down tarps or shades for extra protection. But for the most part not necessary. Fresh air is best.

    I have mobility issues so easy access is paramount. My coop is going to be more of a house because I want several different breeds plus Guinea Fowl. I have a central hallway. And am working on what kinds of feeders I can build so that all I have to do is dispense feed into hoppers from the outside. I like PVC but it has its issues. I like wood but it has its issues. Ideally I would want at least the ability to load 25 lbs of feed at a time. Definately automatic gravity fed watering system. Definately a dedicated space for feed and supplies.

    Like you I want to be able to access the inside of the coop wall to wall. So my outdoor coop walls will be hinged like a gate so I can swing the whole thing out of the way. So I can wheel the lawn wagon right inside to deliver bedding. So along one side of my coop will be four six foot doors representing the whole 24 foot length of the chicken house.

    For the Runs I am going to have long narrow ones to match the width of the partitions in the coop. Then there will be gates between each run so that theoretically I could walk the length of the coop unencombered. This again would allow me to access the four runs for clean up. With regard to run layout. There will be four equal sized runs then at the end I want a large space that will be an additional area that will give quite a bit of extra runspace where the chickens will each share on alternating days.

    OH and the nest boxes will be accessible from the inside hallway. Because if they were on the outside of the coop both the chickens and the eggs would be cooked.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'm glad my coop is big enough that I can sit in there on a lawn chair and store supplies. And I'm glad it has wire mesh for walls on two sides and open air spaces between the walls and roof on all 4 sides because the chickens go in there in the heat of day for the shade.
  8. Barbara Kolohe

    Barbara Kolohe Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 2, 2011
    Before my chickens decided they liked laying everywhere BUT their nesting boxes, I would have had to say the angled box that gently rolls the egg to the outside of the coop where you can just open up the hinge and get the eggs. Im sure there is a technical term for that [​IMG] Its nice not to have to pick poop off the eggs! Also keeps them safer where I live because the mongoose around here just love to get in there and steal the eggs. Actually, my dogs dont mind stealing eggs either lol. Not to mention it takes away any temptation for the hen to pick at a spot on the egg. Once they pick one open by accident and eat the egg, you cant get them to stop.
    Other than that, I would have to say having the coop be portable was a great help. They can wear down the grass sooner than you expect sometimes, esp during really rainy weather. Its nice to be able to move them to a new spot and let the grass regrow.
    Hope that helped. I'm still pretty new myself:p
  9. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:[​IMG] boy I know how frustrating it is to not remember the name of something.... [​IMG]
    Roll out box.... VBG There are two kinds one that rolls them out the back and one that rolls out the front.
  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Poop trays! I use plastic boot trays held up on shelf supports under the roost. Every morning, I take the trays out and dump/scrape the contents into the composter. Since the trays are plastic, they're light and easy to move. The dry poop rolls right off the plastic, and the cecal poops scrape off. I then hose the trays down and replace them in the coop. The process takes about 5 minutes every morning, and the coop stays clean and fresh.

    If you find that too many droppings are catching on the wire top of your manure pit, or that the accumulated droppings in the pit are starting to stink or attract flies, you could consider switching to poop trays.

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