Just built 2 new chicken coops for our 5 hens. Our old coops were falling apart and this gave us the opportunity to rethink their living quarters. After combing through pages of chicken coop kits, we finally settled on one that has a slide-out tray for easy cleaning (something we didn’t think about when we built our first coops. These kits are made of cheap materials and they’re designed to fall apart quickly. So I added twice as many screws and sealed them to protect the raw wood – hoping they’ll last for 5 years.
I put the water bucket on a plant stand so the chickens could get the water from a nipple under the bucket, while making it impossible for rodents to reach it. We bought a chicken feeder that requires the chickens to stand on a plate to open it – making it impossible for critters to have access to the food. This has saved us hundreds of dollars in feed.
Then I created a chicken foraging area where they can scratch and peck the ground to find bugs or other things to eat. This usually creates a big mess so I used cinder blocks to help contain the sawdust and hay. I give them buckets of weeds and mealworm treats when I collect their 5 eggs every day. I also made a roosting area outside the coop so the hens could hang out and enjoy the views.