Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Planning the perfect chicken coop, part 2

Pentagonal chicken coopMark and I are still in the planning and negotiating phase of designing a new chicken coop.  My long-suffering husband agrees with all of my features of a perfect chicken coop, but what's most important to him at the moment is aesthetics.  He wants to order a Starplate building system for a bit over $100 and turn it into a coop like the one shown here.

Even though I was the art major, I also don't seem to have a problem with plain old rectangles --- probably because I'm also a cheapskate and know how much less rectangles cost to build with.  However, I figure it's worth letting Mark have his way if he gives me an external nest box and a wide Marans hendoor.  Plus, it's quite possible the pentagonal shape will be easier to shovel bedding out of than a rectangle.

The big question mark right now is the roof.  Due to crazy winter weather keeping our flock cooped up, I'm tempted to make a clear roof that can be made opaque for shade in the summer.  Options for the clear layer include cheap greenhouse plastic (but that would have to be replaced perhaps every year or two) and clear roofing panels (but they might not be structurally sound if cut into triangles).  I'm pondering simply cutting triangles of styrofoam insulation to fit up under the roof in the summer, providing a bit of heat reflection as well as shade.  Other ideas are appreciated!

Our chicken waterer keeps drinking water clean even in a cramped coop.

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