Lamenting the old-fashioned chicken coop
One of the most common themes in our "I
wish I'd known" contest entries has been the chicken coop. My
husband wishes we'd made our first coop larger and more accessible, Helen
wished she'd taken drainage into account, and Charity wrote in to
lament certain aspects of the coop she inherited when she bought a
tract of land in Washington state:
"I may have made some of the same mistakes, but now am recognizing some specific features in chicken husbanding from my childhood that hadn't necessarily been pointed out before.
"Coops - so the coop that I inherited is build in a particularly steep part of the hill, though just about everywhere is steep on this property. It is really well made in terms of size, ability for people to comfortably walk inside and even ventilation, for the most part.
"I really want to build another coop though because there are some rather unfortunate features . . . they built a substantial floor - mostly because of the steep slope, but chicken houses really should have dirt floors. Also, the chicken house is buried in mature Douglas fir trees, which really shades the building, particularly in mornings. I would prefer early morning sun to get the birds up and going in the morning.
"More sun and dirt floors would be the priority in version 2.0. The
other challenge that I don't have a solution for is rodent control. We are currently forcing the hens to lay in bare nest boxes because mice are constantly building nests everywhere! If the nest boxes have any cover, even overnight you might come in and find a nest box full of oak nuts. We feed daily and the poultry clean up the feed daily, so we aren't feeding the ground squirrels and mice, but even with that the rodents are terrible!"
Our chicken waterer keeps the floor of your coop dry...but building that perfect coop is up to you.
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