7 Chicken Coop Necessities

Before Savannah designed our coop, we both did a lot of research. Years ago we had chickens and our coop was a converted shed. It had all the main components for a chicken coop but it was horrible to clean out. In order to get the eggs, you had to go inside the coop. When we decided to do chickens again, we knew we wanted a coop that was well thought out and easy to use and clean. After much research this is what we came up with. I can say after using it for 5 months, I wouldn't change a thing (except maybe making it bigger so we can get more chickens....hahaha).

1. Vents
This is one of the most important aspects of a coop because it keeps them healthy. Chickens produce a lot of moisture and ammonia. If they don't have enough ventilation this will cause a lot of problems. Ventilation also reduces the heat in the summer. The more vents you can put in the better. The even need ventilation in the winter.

2. A Giant door for easy cleanout
You will thank us for this. Cleaning the coop out takes me less than 5 minutes. I pull my Gorilla cart right under the door and sweep everything right into the cart. Having the wide door makes this whole process so much easier.

3. Roosts
Chickens need and like to roost. Sometimes you might find a chicken trying to sleep in the laying boxes and you just need to place them on the roosts. Ours wouldn't roost for the longest time. They would just all huddle together at the bottom of the coop. We added a second roost that is a 2X4 because they didn't seem to like or use the branch we had in there. Once we did that they started roosting on both of them. I have read that it's not good for their joints to sleep laying down all the time.

4. Easy Access Laying Boxes
This is just a convenience thing. It would be challenging to access our laying boxes from the inside. Also since the coop and the run aren't the cleanest of places, I avoid going in them as much as possible. Being able to just grab the eggs from the outside is quick, pleasant, and easy.

5. Chicken sized door & ramp into the run.
The girls have to have a way to get into the coop. We actually don't ever even close our door because our run is predator proof, but it's nice to have a way to close it especially in the winter time.

6. Raised Coop
This is huge in my opinion and one of my favorite features of our coop. Several years ago when we lived somewhere else and had chickens, we used an old shed as a coop. We had no idea what a nightmare that would be. Cleaning it out was terrible and so we didn't do it very often. The coop being elevated makes everything easier to access. It also extends the size of the run and provides an additional place outside of the coop where the chickens can take cover when it is raining. We also put their food in this space so we never have to worry about it getting wet and moldy.

7. Vinyl Floor
We got this idea from somewhere on the internet and it's one the best things we ever did. This allows the bedding to just slide off into our cart. As mentioned above, I can clean out the coop in 5 minutes. This is largely because of the vinyl flooring. We did the stick on tile which is super cheap and easy to install.

If you hadn't notice, a lot of the necessities revolve around making the coop easier to clean out. Chickens aren't happy or healthy in a dirty coop, so being able to keep it clean is pretty crucial. Happy chickens lay more eggs!

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