Maybe you saw the super fun Whataburger Chicken Coop or maybe you are thinking of your own unique design but I can tell you that this city girl has learned a thing or two about a chicken coop that can help you. If you didn’t know this already we were living in Las Vegas and picked up our entire life and moved to Tennessee in the country. It’s beautiful and a major adventure. My friends call me Zsa Zsa or Green Acres.
I think my move to them is hilarious. There are bugs the size of a man’s hand here, snakes, turtles sometimes under our porch, a skunk once, mice in my pantry ( we have a cat now though LOL) and other interesting creatures. But it’s gorgeous and we love it. Well minus the bugs part.
But I want to share some things about a chicken coop that may help you if you are planning to buy or build one. That’s ours above.
The first thing I want to share is that chickens can be smelly and so can their coop. I’ll share some tips to help with that in a second. But this coop we bought at Tractor Supply. They say it holds 8 chickens. It does but they can be cramped if you plan on them staying in the coop and don’t allow them to free range.
Here is a quick list of things I’ve learned and I’ll explain a little more below 🙂
- FREE Range Equals Less Mess The easiest thing you can do IF you have space is let them free range. Why? A lot less mess, happier chickens, healthier chickens, and they love running around so much they will make you smile.
- Chickens can be trained– I’ve trained ours to go back into their coop as soon as it’s dark. Then I just go out and shut the door. Easy peasy!
- Never wet the bottom of a dirt chicken coop with a hose in the summer. I learned this the hard way. I thought to myself .. I’ll just spray it down and clean it. Only trouble is that now you just have a wet soggy mess. The next day flies were everywhere it was gross. So now I just shovel out the dry poop. We put new dirt down. Some pine chips in the upper coop and everyone’s happy.
- Apple Cider Vinegar is awesome Every few days I add a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar to their water. It helps keep the birds healthy. You can google all the benefits but we’ve had no issue with our girls and we’ve had them over a year now.
- What kind of chicken coop should I get? This is a question I asked over and over. It depends on how many birds you want. Do you plan on letting them free range? If not they will need lots and lots of space so plan ahead for that. Also, remember that you will probably be getting these eggs and feeding and watering them in the winter. So make sure you have easy access to those areas especially when it may free or gets cooler outside.
- Chickens need to roost Ours has a roosting bar but I think we will build a new coop and add a larger one. At night when they are sleeping none of them go inside the closed portion of the coop. They all roost to sleep. So make sure you have a nice big roosting bar for them.
- Cleaning the coop– There are many different methods some use some type of litter some don’t. I don’t. I just wanted natural earth below ours. But I will tell you that you have to scoop it out every couple days even when they are free ranging most of the time. You can give it a good spray down ( only the roosting bar) every few weeks if needed but I would not hose down the coop. The smell is awful.
- Ventilation – VERY important chickens need lots of ventilation so make sure wherever you keep them it’s not toxic due to a lack of circulating air.
- WEAR A mask to clean the coop – Don’t let your young kids or yourself clean the coop without a mask. Lots of germs flying around and it’s just yucky. So make sure to protect yourself and them.
- If you don’t give them lots of space they will peck at each other. There is a pecking order regardless but happy chickens that wander are not bloody chickens. Thankfully we’ve never had issues but I’ve heard nightmares. So make sure your chickens have lots of space.
- Chickens need dust baths. If you plan on keeping your chicken in the coop at all times, ( I don’t recommend that) Then they need a place for a dust bath it helps with mites and other yucky things your chickens do not want. There are lots of ways to create a dust bath I may add some soon.
Also if you have a chicken coop like ours you can buy a simple tarp for super rainy days and give your girls a little more protection from the rain or cold. That’s what we do and it’s super easy.
So that’s it for today just a few tips to help you. Let me know if you have more chicken coop questions in the comments and I’ll try to answer those 🙂 Have a great day and don’t forget to Visit us on Facebook Fluffy Clucker Farms
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