Today I got to go on a little adventure. My chicks are growing quickly, and we need to be thinking about where we’re going to put these sweet girls once they outgrow their brooder. Remember, chicks can stay in their brooder for 5-6 weeks. Some may do a bit more or less depending on their set up. I had an idea about what I wanted for a coop as I’ve had chickens in the past. But my current chicken tractor isn’t big enough to hold all 10 chickens. So, I called up a couple of my fellow chicken raisers and asked if I could tour their coops.
Our first stop was to my friend, Clara. Clara’s set-up was very nice! She walked me through their chicken coop which was a small area sectioned off inside of a larger shed. I really liked her food and water set up and her roosting bar areas. The thing that most impressed me was their nesting boxes. They built them on their own and the eggs gently roll out into a pick-up area as soon as the chickens lay them. It was pretty incredible. I definitely want something similar to that!
Our 2nd stop was to my friend, Mike. Mike’s coop was a bit larger than Clara’s and had a lot of different space which I liked. It was very organized and easy to maintain it seemed. I really liked Mikes’ dust bath set up of a half of an old kennel. He put a mixture of dust, DE, and rocks in it for the girls to bathe. The other part of Mike’s coop that I really liked was his set up for grit and calcium. He used PVC pipes and made nice, inexpensive dispensers for those two things. Talking about predators and heat during this tour was also very helpful. I will definitely incorporate the PVC pipe feeders for our grit and calcium.
Our last stop was to my sister, Tamar. Tamar was unable to join us but gave me permission to go check out her set-up. Tamar only has 4 chickens, but honestly, if you’re just starting out this is a great number! Tamar had her nesting boxes up and out of the way which was kind of nice. Also, she uses a larger shed, so she’s sectioned off part of it for her chickens. She currently uses the other part of the shed for storage. She is planning on building a brooder area in this space in the future. I liked that idea of having enough space for a brooder area, but I’m not sure my coop will be that big. There are other ways of doing that, so I’m not so concerned.
All in all, I learned so much on my tour! It was a great opportunity for me to see other set-ups, different breeds of chickens, and ask a lot of questions. I highly recommend doing this if you know other people already raising chickens.
I also know that I don’t need to have everything all at once! We will be building a run on the back of our coop come spring. Until then, I can slowly add to our coop the different things the girls need inside.