It has been one year with our cozy chicken coop (click to learn more about the process)! We have adjusted, we have learned, and we have made some adaptations to the coop. While I answer a lot of questions over on our Coop FAQ page, below I am highlighting a few more questions and sharing pics of our beloved chicken coop to date (with some winter decor and all because life has been a little too hectic to worry about changing our coop decor)!
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As always, be the first to see updates on my Instagram: @theroostingplace
I’m wearing some of my favorite overalls and they are linked HERE.
Why chicken wire and not hardware cloth?
My chicken wire is extremely sentimental to me: it was on the chicken barns of my family farm. My father and grandfather were commercial chicken farmers; and when my father passed, my sister and I decided to liquidate the barns. I salvaged the rolls of wire from the debris and to me, it feels like a piece of home.
If you have large predators, yes hardware cloth will be a more secure option. We do not have large predators and I have found that on the rare occasion we have had a snake (once) they prefer to enter through the open chicken door.
What type of siding did you use?
Multi-Use Primed Grey Engineered Panel Siding (0.34-in x 48-in x 96-in) This is pre-primed, so ready for paint!
What type of bedding do you use?
We use pine shavings inside the coop and untreated local or cypress mulch in the run.
How much did the coop cost to build?
We did not keep perfect records of the receipts for the coop-bad practice on our side. But, after tallying it up we roughly spent $6000 on our coop, (give or take) not including any decorative lighting or electrical runs. We saved on a lot of costs by doing a majority of the labor ourselves and salvaging windows, wire, and doors.
Most of the cost came from our cement base and the standing seam metal roof. (We also built during the height of cost increase, so give or take on today’s cost).
What does maintenance look like?
Personally, I think chickens are extremely low maintenance as long as you are able to keep their coop clean of dampness, most bacteria or fumes won’t accumulate. While everyone’s cleaning schedule will vary based on flock needs-you can find a more detailed outline of my cleaning schedule HERE!
What are your favorite coop features?
I absolutely love our coop, so it is hard to pick just one! My personal favorite features are:
- the walk-in ability for easy cleaning
- cement floors (easy cleaning)
- storage space
- electricity for lights and fan
- easy access to nesting boxes
- AUTO CHICKEN DOOR
If you had to change/add anything, what would you do differently?
One of my biggest regrets was not finishing the ceiling-which I recently completed. My hens would roost in the rafters and poo into the storage side-making it difficult to touch anything without getting flakey poo on myself. That problem is now solved!
If I had to “change” anything, I would have made the run even larger. But now that we have the lama crew, my chickens are safe to free-range with added protection.