Bradley Handziuk's blog

Chicken Coop Lessons Learned

If you didn't see the previous multi-part blog post series, we built a chicken coop and are living with 5 chickens. They are healthy and happy but there a several things I'd do differently if I had to do it again 9which I likely will when we move).

Door construction

Make-shift doors (that is doors made from 2x4s and ply wood and not a typical panel door) should be made with the 2x4s oriented in the skinny direction not the wide direction. Making them the wide way for the frame means the door will probably not swing properly.

Door-floor elevation difference

Door access should have been elevated/the floor should have been recessed. Because we would like to do the deep litter method except I made the doors flush with the ground I ended up needing to install some boards in the doors to contain the litter from spilling out. It works ok but will not contain a 12" deep litter like some people do.

Nest box location

The nest boxes should be on the exterior/physically separated from the roost area. Where they are right now is OK except that we needed to add a little roof over the one nest box where the chickens have chosen to lay their eggs because the roost is right above it and if we didn't put something there they'd just poop all over their nest box in their sleep. The extra roof is slanted but has some sticks on it for traction so the hens don't slide off when trying to get into the roost.

Somethings stay the same

Then there are some thing's I'd do the same because I really liked how it turned out.

Chicken door opening mechanism

Two things I really like about the chicken door opening mechanism. One is the rope I used. We tried several things before landing on the thick nylon rope like sisal (scratchy on your hands and abrasive), picture hanging wire (not meant to have the friction of going around bends), and thin nylon rope (difficult to pull on because it was so thin).

Ultimately the thick nylon rope could be tied off on the clean easily, was easy to pull because the diameter of the rope did not dig into your hand, it was tough and doesn't wear that easily from rounding the bends. The whole mechanism

Exterior clapboard

I really like how the exterior looks. The only minor change I'd make here is I'd try to find some more old fence board for the one wall where we ran out to match the the pattern everywhere else. Not much I could do about that though. 100% of the tree house fence board was used.