Lamenting the old-fashioned chicken coop

Guinea fowlOne 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.

Insulated chicken
coopCoops – 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 Chicken runsun 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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