How to choose the right chicken coop? That was a question I asked myself when I first got word we were getting chickens. It was a sudden thing. The guy didn’t want them anymore. So we didn’t already have coop prepared. I went to many different websites looking for the answer to that very question. I hope that this blog post will help you pick one out more easily.
Picking out a chicken coop can be so confusing. There are so many styles, sizes and floor plans to choose from, but which one is perfect for you? There are many factors that come into play when choosing a coop.
How to Choose The Right Chicken Coop
Size – A good chicken coop has a couple of great options. The first thing to think about is size. My suggestion is to calculate how much space you need for how ever many chickens you’ll have, and then double or triple those numbers.
Chicken math is real. I’m here to tell you, all the pretty chicks will call your name at your local Tractor Supply. I’ve even had some duckling cheep at me, and well…they had to come home with me too…
That’s why it’s a great idea to build or buy bigger than you need. Also, chickens get broody and hatch secret stashes of eggs, IT. HAPPENS. Being prepared for chicks and more room for chickens in the big coop is a huge help in the long run.
Easy cleaning – I love my horse trailer chicken coop, because I can stand upright in it, and shovel poo. It’s easy enough, to get it done, without the hassle of bending and breaking my back trying to fit into a tiny coop. Smaller coop can have a handy pull out drawer.
However, after using one in my first coop (store-bought crap), honestly I’m not a fan. With that drawer, I couldn’t place a lot of wood chips in the coop, because the drawer wouldn’t pull out with all that bulk on top of it. It wasn’t super easy to clean, plus you most likely just end up throwing all the chips out, instead of picking the poop out, stirring it up and adding some fresh chips, which is how we do it now, in the big coops.
Storm ready – I don’t know about you, but here in Florida we have to be ready for baaad storms. Our home took hits from a category 5 hurricane michael, and so did our chicken coops. They withstood 100+ mph winds!
We installed hurricane windows on the horse trailer chicken coop, and the chickens hang out in there while we wait out the storms.
I hope this helps you pick the right chicken coop! I know I could have used a post like this when I was looking. I looked at so many different companies, it was a lot of work sifting through all of the different types of coops. Good luck finding your dream coop!
Weathering – Whether you live in a tropical climate like I do, or a cold climate up North, you’ll need to try to keep a good balance in the coop. If you live in a cold climate, you might want to think of ways to weatherize it for the cold.
When we built our chicken coops we tried to include a white roof. White helps to reflect the sun rays, and doesn’t absorb so much heat. Which is important to help keep it cool in the summer.
Every once in a while we get a cold spell here in Florida. One year, it got so cold, I was worried about the chickens. This was before we built the new coop, and we had some chickens sleeping in a fairly open coop.
I added down some hay. Hay is warm, and acts as an insulation.
Nesting boxes – Having easy access to the nesting boxes can be critical! You want to be able to get in there and get the eggs when they’re fresh! You don’t need many nesting boxes. I have 20 hens who will fight over one nesting box, even though they have their pick of 6 boxes. They are ridiculous…
Mixed flocks – The last thing we’ll discuss is having a mixed flock. It happens, chickens leads to ducks, and ducks might lead to turkeys. Who knows. Some animals can bunk together, such as chickens and ducks.
Planning ahead for a mixed flock can save a ton of time and money.
If you still need help choosing the right chicken coop, check out these different designs in my chicken coop inspiration post. I’ve compiled a bunch of images to get a better idea of what you might like.
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