Updated: Nov 28, 2020
Justin can do amazing things. He can take a pile of wood and turn it into something I would be happy to live in! and its just for the Chickies!
When we got here, there was some kind of left over of some sort of chicken coop. We even found a few petrified eggs. After talking with the neighbor who is down the road, we found out it had been four years or more since any sort of flock inhabited it. And it sure looked like it! In a day, Justin had it all torn out and a clean spot to start new.
It couldn't have been a harder week to try to get this done. THe girls are almost all feathered out now and ready to move out. But we faced rain storms and sweltering heat. Justin is amazing though and powered through. I am still amazed that he can do something so perfect just from his head.
Painting has begun! I will update with more pictures soon!
what you need for a happy healthy coop:
ventilation- drafts are bad. But you have to let out the moisture or risk frostbite or pneumonia. We have vents at the top of two sides that run the whole length (covered in hardware cloth) as well as a window.
nest boxes. At least one for every four. Mine always pick a favorite and will try to all pile in there at the same time. But the more you have the less chance of broken eggs and fights.
litter. Think car litter. Absorb the urine. Keep it dry. You can’t use cat litter, but everyone has a favorite. Sand, straw, hay. You have to find out what works best for you and your flock in the climate you live in. It just has to keep them dry and the air clean.
water. A must for any animal. Try one that plugs in to keep it defrosted in the winter. I have to clean and fill mine up about every other day.
access to food an nutrients. Chickens need food access all the time. They should be able to get what they need when they need it. They are not like you and I. They don’t feel hungry and go for a snack. they actually know what their body needs. So they will find the thing to eat that will give them that missing nutrient. Make sure they can do that! and cAlcuin is a must for laying hens!
perch. They need to have a flat perch about two to three inches across. Look to have at least one foot per bird. Chickens don’t like round perches like other birds and will do better flat footed. Keep them away from vents and drafts. Don’t worry if they don’t use it at first. And they may not until they are more than 18 weeks old. some just don’t figure it out right away and chicks prefer to sleet on the ground huddled up. Just give it time.
additionally- you should have a way to let them out. Chicken doors are not a necessity but I love mine. It is on a sensor to let them in and out with the sun (don’t worry, chickens know when it’s time to go inside). it’s up to you how you want to do it. Nothing wrong with opening a human sized door for them or even sliding open a panel. Just make sure they are not “cooped up” all the time or they will pick on each other and become ill. you may choose to give them a run to play outside in or you can free range. there are benefits to both. Do a little searching!
The girls have begun laying! Check out all of the wonderful parts of our finished coop!