The Making of an excellent chicken coop
In the past decade, our chicken coops have undergone significant improvements tailored to the specific needs of each breeding group. Admittedly, some of our earlier coops reflected our limited carpentry skills, but we’ve come a long way since then!
Over time, we have chosen to work with a local builder who customizes the coops to our precise requirements, taking into account factors such as climate, predation levels, and environmental considerations for our hens. Just this week, we added two new coops to our farm, and we couldn’t be happier with their appearance and functionality.
The coop design we prefer is showcased in the accompanying photos. To move the coops between pastures and ensure fresh grass for our flocks, we utilize our small Kubota Tractor, equipped with special forks that securely attach to the bucket.
Here are the features we prioritize for our farm:
- Elevated Coops: Our coops are raised off the ground to prevent predators from digging underneath. This elevation also offers a shaded area for the hens to escape the heat on scorching days, while providing a safe haven from aerial predators like hawks.
- Dual-Sided Nesting Boxes: We favor coops that have nesting boxes on both sides. While hens often prefer to lay eggs in the same box, having multiple options allows for flexibility. Additionally, external access to the nesting boxes enables convenient egg collection.
- Convenient Cleanout Door: A spacious cleanout door positioned in the front middle of the coop facilitates easy bedding replacement and general cleaning.
- Solid Plywood Flooring: Our coops feature solid plywood floors for effortless cleaning. While some people opt for wire bottoms, we have found that plywood floors offer better sanitation in the long run.
- Ample Cross Ventilation: To ensure comfort during hot summer months, we prioritize ample cross ventilation in our coop design, allowing for proper airflow and cooling.
- Adore Store Auto Door: We highly recommend the Adore Store auto door, which we believe to be the best available in the United States. After trying various options, these doors have proven to be durable and reliable over time. Using rechargeable batteries instead of single-use ones is not only environmentally friendly but also ensures excellent performance.
By incorporating these features into our coop designs, we have created a safe and comfortable environment for our chickens, while also streamlining maintenance and providing optimal conditions for their well-being.