My New Chicken Coop

Out with the Old and in with the New

Unlike my new green house that turned out to be a disappointment in some respects, my new chicken coop has so far turned out to be a great choice.   It is beautiful, functional and very durable.  It will weather extreme snow fall, and the wind storm with 21 mph winds didn’t even faze it the other day. I love it and I’m sure the chickens will get used to it quickly.

The old coop that I’ve had for over three years was put together with mostly scrap pieces of lumber, and I was very lucky to have a friend build most of it for me free of cost.  He also helped me build the nesting boxes, and together we worked on the roof.  It’s served its purpose well, but although it’s been fairly functional and very durable, it has been an eyesore.   My chickens certainly don’t care about how the new coop looks, but I do, and it is a gift to myself that I’ve long wished for. In some way it’s a consolation for having to cut down my black locust trees.  Without them to create a more park like setting in my yard and provide much needed shade for me and my chickens, I’ll need to figure out something else. I’m thinking of planting some semi dwarf plum trees where the black locusts used to be. That would give me and my hens shade, food and ambiance without interfering with my food growing areas. We’ll see.

I’ve been looking at chicken coops and designs for several years now, and there is no end to
the variety out there.  The prices are as varied as the designs out there.   I am happy about my new chicken coop not only because of the practical design, but I was able to buy it from a local company here in town at a very reasonable cost.   Check out their website at www.chickengardener.com to see what these guys can build.  They build more than just coops.  This coop came partially prefabricated, so they were able to put it up in about an hour.  After you’ve had chickens for awhile you figure out what you really need and want in a chicken coop, and this particular design fulfills just about all my needs for my lifestyle and backyard environment.  For me the most important criterion for a chicken coop are as follows:

  1. Easy to move and relocate to another area of the garden if desired.
  2. Easy to keep clean.  The nesting area in this coop slides out for easy access!
  3. Easy to enter door that can be locked.
  4. Roomy enough for the number of chickens you  have and a good sheltered area for the hens.
  5. High enough to stand in.
  6. Good roosting for the chickens.
  7. Appropriate number of nesting boxes and access to the eggs without having to enter the coop.
  8. Safe and securable to keep chickens in and predators out.
  9. Durable for all kinds of weather.
  10. Easy access to the feeders and water trough.
  11. Affordable.
  12. Easy to modify if I want to, i.e. easy to attach a side of thin plywood or something to add shade if necessary or a wind barrier.
  13. My personal favorite modification: lay a thick sand floor in and around the coop to prevent mud from splashing up on the coop and to make it much easier to clean out.
To keep the nesting box and roosting area clean I’ll put down a plastic tarp over the bottom and a lot of straw on top of that.  When the hens poop on the straw, it’s really easy to pick it up and throw into a bucket.  I’ll be able to use the poop for fertilizer or in my compost.  After I get the sand area done I’ll put up more photos in my next post showing what I’ve done.
Now if the rain would stop and we could get a few dry days I’ll be able get outside and take down my old coop and start transferring the sand from that area to the new coop area.  This summer I’ll probably paint the new coop with an oil based stain to preserve the new wood so it won’t turn brown.

Will the projects ever end!  I hope not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments to My New Chicken Coop

  1. September 2, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    This post is invaluable. Where can I find out more?

  2. September 10, 2013 at 3:37 am | Permalink

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