You would have done what different with your coup?

BGcoop

Songster
Aug 5, 2018
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1,243
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Kiki

🐣 How many calibrated thermometers do you have?🐣
Project manager
Premium member
Jul 31, 2015
82,174
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Houston, TX
My Coop
My Coop
Nope (although the one you are talking about we have discussed....but I think I like this one better--https://www.wayfair.com/pet/pdp/my-pet-chicken-bungalow-chicken-coop-with-nesting-box-mpcn1000.html)
This is good for 3 chickens.
Way too small.

Be SURE to read the measurements.
That is only 14 SQ feet.
No way in the world you can fit 10 chickens in there.
 

HyperCello

In the Brooder
Feb 10, 2020
25
71
41
Cincinnati, Ohio
This is good for 3 chickens.
Way too small.

Be SURE to read the measurements.
That is only 14 SQ feet.
No way in the world you can fit 10 chickens in there.
I know, I'm planning on only 3-4 chickens (my city only allows us to have a max of 6, and I feel my yard wouldn't hold a run big enough for more than 4 chickens). :)
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
5 Years
Apr 9, 2014
2,723
11,066
632
N. California
Without a question, I would have run electricity to it. I need it for cooling fans in the summer, running the electric fence during the dark of winter, and heating a brooding plate when I'm raising chicks in the coop in the Spring. Now I have an ugly extension cord running from my house and up my driveway. Its on the list of things to fix in the future.

The other things I would have done differently, we've already fixed -- putting a solid awning over the coop door to give them a dry spot when it rains, and having a larger coop.
 

crazyhen75

In the Brooder
Feb 3, 2020
16
41
30
I'm new...don't have my chickens or coop yet.....The coop I am planning on getting has a pull out drawer. I just need to put sand in the bottom and scoop like kitty litter? How deep should the sand be? Do I need to put pine shavings on top of it, or mix in with it? How often do you scoop it out? If I mix the Sweet PDZ into it, what ratio of it to sand?
be sure to use plenty PDZ. it helps to k,eep down smells and insect.
 

Cryss

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
3,920
9,520
707
Northwest New Jersey
Btw how many chickens are you starting with and how many do you think you’d like to add over time?
Your title asks what we’d do differently. Here’s what I DID differently.
First of all I started with the Tractor Supply coop I described earlier. Big mistake. Huge mistake. It doesn’t hold 8 birds. It holds 1.5 birds. Yup, one and a half. I am thankful for this site guiding me. Here’s what they taught me.
Prefabs are not built with good dynamics for healthy chickens. The measurements they quote are deceitful lies. That coop for 8 only works if the entire perimeter is indoor coop. Starting from the bottom up, I learned a coop needs 4sqft walking around space per bird. This excludes nest area. A good solution for the nests is either have them hanging externally (works well for raised coops) or hang them about 18 inches off the floor indoors (excellent choice for a walk in type coop). One nest per 4-5 chickens. Roosts, one foot long per bird and 1 foot away from the wall and anything else, should always be higher than the nests because chickens will roost at the highest point. If the nests are higher than roosts they will sleep, and consequently poop, in the nests making very nasty eggs. If you make a walk in coop make the roosts a bit higher than your waist height. Hardware cloth covered vents, 1 sqft per bird, should be under the soffits well above the heads of the birds as they stand on the roost.
That tiny coop was a mess. I decided to do better. I built a coop with the specs I mention here. I opted for a walk in because I’ll be using it for years and I ain’t gonna get younger along the way. Much easier to access the birds for inspection or treatments. No bending for me as I age or for anyone I may ask to chicken-sit if I am out of town or ill. Instead of a drawer outside (brrrrrrrr, winter snow storms are no fun!), inside I have poop boards 8 inches below the roost. The board is 2 feet wide with PDZ spread on it. THIS is the best improvement I made hands down. It is so easy to clean poop, I’m not standing outside in rain/snow/ice/wind, and my coop doesn’t stink. Besides, that drawer acts like a squeegee as you pull it out scraping the poop off and dropping it all over the floor below. Ask me how I know. Speaking of snow my roof Is slanted to let snow slide off. Flat roofs hold snow and ice and can collapse. Mine overhang so water doesn’t drip down the walls and my entrance is covered over. Oh, and I put hardware cloth covered windows in two walls to maximize their natural light for egg production. One thing I recently changed was I added black curtains for nighttime because my grandson uses spotlights at night when walking his dog. This is only a winter problem because it gets dark early. Summertime they go to bed late and the dog will be in bed already too. I don’t use artificial light in winter so they get a break.
I finished my coop 5 months ago. I’ll be doing some exterior decoration painting this spring. I want to incorporate a dust bath in winter indoors. I’m sure I’ll find something I want/need to change, but seriously, I’m one very happy camper. Look closely at any coop you are thinking about. If it doesn’t meet the requirements Run away fast, do not fall for it. If you can’t build consider buying a wood shed from Home Depot and fitting it with roosts, nest, ventilation, and a pop door.
Don’t neglect your run even if you free range. There are times you will want to keep them secure. You may have a predator threat, you may need to leave town, you get the idea. This should be 10 sqft per bird and covered in hardware cloth including either two feet of hardware cloth either buried vertically around the perimeter or as an apron on the ground horizontally. Don’t forget protection from hawks and such from above. Put fun stuff in the run. Roosts, swings, ladders, bricks and cement blocks ( helpful when they clean their beaks.) I want to put a xylophone in the run! I plan to make a better cover over a section of my 300 sqft run. Tarps aren’t working well. Water and feed stays in the run under the cover. Never indoors.
There are lots n lots of excellent examples on this site. Explore and pick and choose bits from your favorites to make your personalized coop.
And post pictures as you go!
 

Cryss

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
3,920
9,520
707
Northwest New Jersey
Definitely build for your maximum number of chickens allowed. Chicken math is real!!! Two and a half years ago I started with 4. I knew that’s all I’d ever want.

I have 15.

Actually build for 8 but only have 4 with the knowledge you could legally have 6. Why? Because the measurements I gave are MINIMAL dimensions. Be good to your chickens and give them that tiny bit more personal space. :thumbsup
I know, I'm planning on only 3-4 chickens (my city only allows us to have a max of 6, and I feel my yard wouldn't hold a run big enough for more than 4 chickens). :)
 

Fluffyflufffluff

Chirping
Premium member
Dec 30, 2019
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When I began keeping chickens I new to have wide roost, plenty of space, but what else have we learned. Me for one would like an easy way to clean the drop boards under roost from the outside. Maybe some kind of slide out with a drop lip to make it easy to scrape off. Then it would be easy to put into a wheel barrel .
Do any of you have any ideas? Maybe a drop lip also on the nest to make them easier to clean out . As I have gotten older the bending is harder. Do you have any more ideas to help us golden oldies?
When I began keeping chickens I new to have wide roost, plenty of space, but what else have we learned. Me for one would like an easy way to clean the drop boards under roost from the outside. Maybe some kind of slide out with a drop lip to make it easy to scrape off. Then it would be easy to put into a wheel barrel .
Do any of you have any ideas? Maybe a drop lip also on the nest to make them easier to clean out . As I have gotten older the bending is harder. Do you have any more ideas to help us golden oldies?
What should I have done differently with my coup?

I should have elevated it, so they can be safer from predators.. too late for that... I already lost 3 chickens... So sad.
 
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