Get to Know Coops for Troops

Chickens aren’t just the gateway to the farming world; they’re also a source of joy, a source of food, and believe it or not, chickens can be calming companions.

Therapy animals.

This is why we we are always thrilled to contribute to a Coopdreams.tv initiative called Coops for Troops. 

What is Coops for Troops?

Coops for Troops is a non-profit organization that was born out of the Coop Dreams TV reality show. The creator, Brad Hauter, initially aired the Coops for Troops idea as a single segment on the television show. 

From this show, Coops for Troops took off and developed into a cause worthy of a chicken lover’s attention. 

Brad Hauter

According to their website, “Coops for Troops provides chickens, a coop, and a starter pack of feed and supplies to returning veterans, the families of deployed military personnel, military schools, VA hospitals, and retirement homes.”

It’s their hope that a gift of chickens will help those struggling with depression, anxiety, or PTSD.

And not only is Brad a super interesting guy because he hosts a TV show and helps veterans while spreading the goodness chickens can bring, but he’s also traveled across the country on a riding lawn mower to raise funds for Keep America Beautiful. Cool, huh?

How Can Chickens Help?

Similar to other therapy animals, chickens can provide companionship, promote relationship-building, and bring a smile to the face of someone who suffers from PTSD. 

Chickens have also been known to reduce stress due to their silly antics and due to the fact that they need to be tended to daily. In other words, chickens give those in need something to care for, a way to feel less isolated, and of course never alone. 

What’s more, chickens don’t just give back through entertainment and companionship, they also provide eggs. It’s nearly a gesture of gratitude in itself when a pet provides such a thing to a devoted caretaker. The relationship is mutual.

But the chickens aren’t just for the troops, they’re also for their families and others dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).

Spouses and children of military families are also benefiting from the Coops for Troops initiaitve.

What is Henny+Roo’s connection to Coop Dreams and Coops for Troops?

Since 2016, Henny+Roo has partnered with the incredible folks at Coop Dreams to provide Henny+Roo chicken supply boxes to veterans via the Coops for Troops program. We do this not only because we believe in the healing power of chickens, but because we have very special military veterans in the Henny+Roo family.

We have also participated in fundraisers, like selling our Glory Hen Lapel Pin, where $5 from each sale is donated to Coops for Troops. Get yours here.

We regularly participate in Coop Dreams’ Friday Night Introvert Club, a weekly Facebook Live event full of trivia games and even Chicken Poop Bingo, information, and sometimes even guests hosts. Follow Coop Dreams on Facebook for newsfeed notifications of the next Friday Night Introvert Club.

Back in 2019, we were thrilled to meet The Coop Dreams team in person at their Coop Camp event, which has been held annually since 2014 (except for 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic). Coop Camp is a fun weekend for chicken keepers held in the Indianapolis area and features expert speakers, hands-on classes, games, door prizes, and even goat yoga. Being an internet-based business doesn’t leave much opportunity for us to interact with the chicken keeping community in person, and we were so happy to do so at Coop Camp 2019. We can’t wait for the next one.

How can You Make a Difference for Veterans?

When you love chickens as much as we do, it’s natural to want to share them with others. It’s like we’re in a secret, special, chicken-loving club. And our arms are wide open to anyone interested in chickens. 

That’s why we wanted to share this amazing opportunity with our readers, so you can help make a difference and share your love for chickens with those who could benefit from a happy flock.

So, if you’d like to nominate a veteran, military family, VA hospital, or home simply visit the Coop Dreams website and complete the form provided. 

If you’re interested in sending a donation to help the program continue to provide coops to troops visit their PayPal page here

Chicken lovers know the healing power of these amazing birds. From their goofy behavior to the delicious eggs they provide for us, they’re truly a joy to behold. So let’s spread that joy to those in need. Together, we can make a difference!

You can also follow Coops for Troops on Facebook to get updates and see the inspiring stories of chickens and their new families.



Henny+Roo is the first and foremost monthly subscription service for chicken keepers, providing our members with health treats, products to build their poultry first aid kids, and useful chicken-themed gifts for keepers. Shop our monthly plans and non-subscription items at hennyandroo.com.

Roosters With A Bad Rap (And Why You Might Want One)

Roosters get a bad reputation, but one bad egg in the bunch shouldn’t condemn an entire lot of roosters to the soup pot. 

Roos are often misunderstood because they can be aggressive. Certain individual birds (and some breeds) may be more prone to chasing humans, attacking other critters, and of course, crowing…a lot. 

But the truth is, they’re not all bad. In fact, much of their “aggressive” behavior is actually beneficial for the flock. Moreover, you’ll find that most roosters aren’t actually mean at all.

So, to set the record straight, let’s take a look at commonly frowned-upon rooster behavior and how it’s actually good for the flock. 

Mean Rooster Behavior and What it Means

It’s easy to just write off the following as bad behavior from a bad rooster. But let’s think it through a bit first.

Because, in most cases, there’s a reason for the behavior.

Crowing (Not Just in The Morning)

Roosters crow.

All the time. 

But there’s a reason for crowing, and usually, it’s to either communicate with the flock, warn off predators, or ask something of you. 

Roosters can assert themselves to both predators and other roosters and the point is to show whoever he’s talking to that he’s the boss around here…and these are his hens. 

Crowing can be a good thing if you don’t mind the sound of it because it may keep predators at bay, warn you of impending doom, and help the flock find food or safety (because that’s what roosters often talk about most). 

Roos are keen on finding the best treats for their ladies, and when they find a tasty morsel, he will be the last to eat. Instead, he clucks, crows, or calls to his ladies to let them know there are some good eats nearby!

Lastly, roosters crow if they need something. If your flock is confined and they are out of food or water, you better believe your rooster will let you know about it!

Roosters Chasing Humans

Roosters who chase humans or other animals usually do so to protect their hens.

Unfortunately, they may chase us even though we aren’t a threat. For some reason, some roosters are on higher alert than others and misdirect their aggression toward the wrong person. 

In the wild, roosters who chase off possible threats are a blessing to the flock. Just think about it, if we’re intimidated by a puffed-up rooster booking it toward us then their scare tactics might work on other, less well-meaning, beings as well. 

This behavior becomes a problem, however, when roosters act on their aggression by using their beak and spurs to injure humans or other domestic animals.

Fighting with Other Roosters

Speaking of harming other animals. Keeping more than one rooster in a flock is not always a good idea. 

It can be done, with the right roosters (who were also raised together). And if there are enough hens to go around for both of the boys in the flock, it might be feasible.

But even then, one day, you may find your two favorite gentlemen in a bloody battle for the flock. 

And that’s how things work in the natural world. One rooster is typically dominant over all the hens in the flock, and if the other boys nearby disagree it will most likely end in death. 

Considering natural selection, when referring to this aggressive bird-on-bird behavior, you could think of the winning rooster as the strongest to lead your flock. In that case, choose which roo you’d like to keep on for the job and which you will relocate or process.

Favorite Hens Looking Shabby?

Sometimes a certain hen becomes the apple of your rooster’s eye, and she gets, ahem, most of his attention (wink, wink…elbow jab, if you know what I mean).

And you might think it’s a good thing, but that poor hen needs a break and if your rooster doesn’t lay off of the hen in question, you may need to relocate her. 

Another reason your hens may look a little rough around the feathers is that there aren’t enough hens for your overly zealous rooster in your flock.

Adding a few more (like you need a reason to add more chickens, right?) will help distribute your rooster’s, um, affections amongst the flock more evenly and help his favorites heal.

As a side note: if your hens’ feathers have been ripped out from a well-meaning rooster, they will grow back after their next molt.

Should you need to protect your hen’s backs, consider a hen saddle.

Should You Keep a Rooster?

So, while there are some clear drawbacks to keeping a rooster in your flock, as you can see, some of these behaviors serve a purpose. And in some cases, it’s for the good of the flock. Like protection from predators, foraging skills, and of course reproduction. 

The truth is, most roosters, if they have what they need to be happy and healthy, aren’t all that bad. 

In fact, your years of rooster owning, you may only come across one or two bad eggs. 

And to be honest, the crowing may become an enjoyable part of my homestead. 

Rooster Relocation

All this to say, sometimes we can’t accommodate our rooster’s needs or they really are just a bad egg. 

If that’s the case, it may be time to either process your rooster or pass him on to a farm that is willing to take on his behavior. And who knows, a change of scenery might be all he needs to turn his life around.

Books of Interest

Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics: Lessons for Expanding Your Flock, Understanding Chicken Behavior, Keeping a Rooster, Adjusting for the Seasons, Staying Healthy, and More!

Pokey Jr: Even Roosters Get Second Chances

How to Speak Chicken: Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say

Common Chicken Predators Hanging Around The Coop

There isn’t much worse than counting your flock at the end of the day and finding one less hen in the coop. (Except not knowing what happened to your chicken).

That’s why it’s important to dig deep and learn about the common chicken predators in your area. Knowing what you’re up against can help you protect your flock from the beginning.

To help you get acquainted with your nemeses, we’ve put together this list of common chicken predators so you can plan ahead and keep your favorite hens around for a long, long time.

Raccoons

While raccoons don’t always go directly for the whole chicken, they do love to eat their eggs. 

A raccoon in the coop may introduce bacteria and disease into your flock (and your eggs). So if you see any of these cute little paw prints nearby, you know you’ve got a raccoon hanging around your coop. 

While raccoons are most interested in eggs, in the dead of winter, when they’re extra hungry, they may kill a chicken for supper (and usually won’t even eat the entire bird). 

Opossum

These little tracks come from an opossum loitering around your chicken coop. An opossum would rarely kill a chicken for its meal, but it isn’t rare for them to feast on eggs (just like those little raccoon bandits). 

You might be able to determine which predator is egg-eating by the location of the leftover shells. For example, raccoons can carry eggs a ways from the nest to feast, while opossums will typically nosh on them inside the coop.

Foxes

Foxes are one of the more well-known critters that supplement their meals with chickens from the coop. They’re sneaky, can get into some of the most well-planned coops, and usually come back time and time again.

Fox footprints closely resemble a dog’s footprint. The main difference? A fox has a more narrow pawprint with thinner claw marks. 

If your chickens go missing completely, with nothing but feathers strewn about, you can bet it was a fox or dog. 

Domestic Dogs

Unfortunately, our sweet pooches also enjoy a chicken dinner from time-to-time and if your dog hasn’t been trained to leave your chooks alone, you might have a problem on your hands. 

You’ll know your dog is up to no good because you’ll probably see the massacre happen or the carcass of the dearly departed within your yard. 

On the other hand, if the dog belongs to a neighbor, you may have to investigate the crime scene further and follow the clues to pinpoint the culprit. 

Coyotes

Coyotes are vocal animals, and while their paw prints look similar to most dogs, they can often be heard in the dead of night, calling to one another. 

If you have a coyote problem, you may need to consider a livestock guardian dog or at least upping your security around the chicken coop. 

With that being said, you might be able to determine if your coop has a coyote problem if the tracks left behind are less prominent than a dog.

Cats

If you live in an area where large cats, like bobcats or cougars, hang out, you’ll be in for a real war. These cats are smart, quiet, and quick. It’s difficult to identify a large wild cat unless you catch it in the act. 

If you think you’ve got a wild cat problem, consider putting up a trail came to see if your intuition is right. 

On rare occasions, barn cats may attempt to kill a chicken. However, it’s not a common occurrence. 

Once a barn cat gets pecked at by a chicken or two, they typically learn their lesson. On the other hand, young chicks and tiny bantams are more prone to domestic cat attacks than a full-grown standard chicken. 

Aerial Predators

Hawks, owls, and eagles are also common predators of chickens. You’ll know your chook was attacked by an aerial predator if they appear crushed, carried away, or ripped apart. 

You might see some tracks of these birds nearby, but in most cases, the attack is so stealth that there is little evidence of the attacker. 

Skunks

Skunks, like raccoons and opossums, are more interested in chicken eggs than the whole bird. 

Skunks will enter your coop, feast on eggs, and leave the shells behind. And on rare occasions, they may attack and kill a chicken for their meal. 

You’ll know a skunk is around if you smell them, but also by their 5-toed feet.

Weasels

Weasels are sneaky little critters with the ability to slither into small spaces to get to your unsuspecting chickens. While they’re small, they can pack a nasty punch. 

Weasels are known to kill chickens and eat very little of them. So if your chicken is dead, and looks like it never became someone’s meal, it’s possible the weasel is to blame. 

According to Critter Control, “A weasel footprint has five clawed toes surrounding a V-shaped paw pad.“ 

Snakes

Speaking of slithery critters, snakes are also on the list of common chicken predators. With that being said, they’re most interested in your breakfast…the eggs. 

Some wonder why their egg production has dropped, but soon learn that a sneaky snake has been eating their eggs…whole. Usually, a snake goes unnoticed, but if you suspect this reptile is your culprit, you may find snake skins nearby or a slithery path in the dirt. 

When it comes down to it, there are many predators of chickens and the best way to keep your chickens safe is to know what kind of critters you’re dealing with in your specific region. Then, plan your coop accordingly to keep your flock as safe as possible. Check out our article on why you need hardware cloth for flock protection (hint: chicken wire isn’t enough).

Henny+Roo regularly includes predator protection in our monthly boxes for chicken keepers. Items like predator urine protectants, reflective bird deterrent tape, and even inflatable faux snake decoys have been featured in the boxes of treats, health items, coop products and gifts that our subscribers enjoy monthly. Check out our subscription and non-subscription offerings at: hennyandroo.com

Selecting Spring Plants Chickens Won’t Eat

The deer in our area don’t care for Virginia bluebells, and neither do our chickens.

Chickens love eating plants! Grass, leaves, flowers – they’ll eat everything leaving your yard bare if they like what you have growing.

A rule of thumb that we go by when selecting plants for our yard is to select those that are deer-resistant. We have lots of deer in our area, but also have a fully landscaped yard that the chickens don’t bother because they’re all deer-resistant. We are in gardening zone 5, and are currently enjoy pachysandra, vinca, bluebells, bleeding hearts, pulmonaria, forget-me-nots, geranium, daffodils and various Spring ephemerals.

Your plant nursery or online source for plants will usually indicate if a plant is deer-resistant. You can also Google “deer-resistant plants for zone [your zone] or [your state].”

While chickens might eat anything if they’re hungry or bored enough, selecting plants that deer won’t eat may be your solution to keeping chickens and a beautiful garden.

A look inside the Henny+Roo May Box for Chicken Keepers

Subscribers, take a look inside your May box! Your April box is in transit, and while you await its arrival, we are putting the finishing touches on your May box. First, your chickens will come running for the @exoticnutrition Chicken Treat Variety Pack. And you’ll be able to welcome guests with our cute Henny+Roo exclusive farmhouse-style garden flag!

The April box sold out, and we fully expect the May box to sell out too. Because of the limited supply, the May box will not be available on our website as a non-subscription purchase. You have to be a current subscriber to get it, so it’s a great time to start or reactivate your subscription!

Check out our monthly terms at hennyandroo.com 🐓

The 2021 Henny+Roo Spring Bonus Box is here!

A celebration of Spring chicken keeping: The Henny+Roo 2021 Spring Bonus Box

It’s only February, but we’ve got our eye on Spring! Our Spring Bonus Box features three unique products for your flock, and two for you (because, you deserve them).

  • Spring Hens Tote (matches the Spring Hens Zipper Pouch from the March 2021 Henny+Roo Chicken Keepers Box)
  • The cutest set of tiny wooden hen earrings for pierced ears.
  • Texas Haynet Busy Bag – Designed specifically for poultry, this chicken feeder is the perfect boredom buster, keeping chickens focused on working for food instead of picking on coop mates. 
  • 3 oz. bag of Dried Calendula Flowers – Calendula (marigold) is a poultry super food. It not only promotes healing and is an antioxidant, but it also repels insects in the coop. When eaten, calendula contributes to bright golden yolks. 
  • 8 oz. bag of Grubbets dried grubs. Trust us, your chickens will come running for this high-protein, environmentally sustainable treat!

The Spring Bonus Box is $45.95, and contains over $70 of treats for you and your flock!

6 Things To Know Before Getting Chickens

Getting your first flock of chickens is an exciting adventure. Visions of bountiful egg harvests, peeping baby chicks, and coops full of clucking hens occupy your dreams.

But we’re here to tell you, there’s a few things we wish we had known before we brought chickens into our lives. 

And the good news is, we’re sharing all the dirty details with you so you can be prepared for these otherwise unexpected issues when you start your first flock.

Let’s dig in and get you ready for your chickens!

1. Predator Prevention is Non-negotiable

There’s nothing worse than coming across deceased chickens during morning chores. 

That’s why it’s important to take a preemptive approach to predators in your region.

And when we say predators, we don’t just mean the big ones (like bears of foxes).

Some of the smallest predators are the most deadly.

Snakes, raccoons, and weasels can find their way into even the most predator-proof coops.

So when you’re designing your first chicken coop, always take extra precautions to ensure you’re not leaving your chickens exposed to predators, like making sure every opening in the coop and run is covered in hardware cloth (not chicken wire – it’s not strong enough). Be sure that predators cannot dig under fencing to access your chickens, or fly into your run from above (they will definitely try).

2. You Need a Plan for Roosters

Even if you’ve planned to order all hens, there may come a time that a stray roo gets into the shipping container from the hatchery. No hatchery can guarantee pullets (hens under one year old) with more than 90% accuracy, so it’s best to assume 10% will turn out to be roosters.

On the other hand, if you’ve decided to incubate, prepare for the possibility of more than one rooster in your new little clutch of chicks.

If you’ve got the room and enough hens to go around, you might be able to keep some of those roosters.

With that being said, you’ll need a plan ahead of time for the roosters you won’t be keeping. 

Because more than one rooster means you’ll need more hens for each one, and it also means there’ll be more crowing, more fighting, and maybe even more aggression.

So, what will you do with unneeded roosters?

Here’s a few ideas:

  1. Sell them as chicks as soon as you know they’re roosters to someone who wants to raise them
  2. Raise them and butcher them for yourself
  3. Raise them and process them for sale (check local regulations)
  4. Give them away to a family in need

3. Chickens Don’t Lay Eggs Until They’re Mature

Unfortunately, chickens don’t start to lay eggs until they are a few months old. And depending on the breed you’ve selected, it may even take months to see your first farm fresh egg. 

So it’s a bit of a waiting game, but we’ll tell ya right now when that first egg appears, you’ll be celebrating all the way to the breakfast table!

While you wait for your first eggs, you can spend your free time ensuring your chickens have everything they need to lay quality eggs as soon as they’re ready. 

That includes:

  • Endless amounts of fresh water
  • Oodles of layer feed (formulated for layers)
  • Grit (to help chickens digest their food)
  • Treats (protein treats pack a punch for chickens when they’re growing!)
  • Calcium (this helps chickens lay eggs with strong shells, and it promotes strong and healthy bones)

And if your chickens are happy and healthy, they’ll start laying eggs as soon as they’re old enough, without delay.

4. Chickens Need Plenty of Elbow Room

It’s true! And if your run isn’t large enough to allow all your chickens to hunt, peck, and scratch the earth freely, you’ll soon learn that your beautiful run will turn into a large mud pit. 

So if you’re not free-ranging your chooks, make sure your enclosure is plenty big; it’s just the polite thing to do. 

In general, you’ll need to allow for about 5 to 10 square feet per bird outdoors. 

5. Chickens are Also Predators

Ok, not like the-top-of-the-food-chain predators, but predators to things like mice, frogs, and bugs. 

Never forget that chickens are omnivores and enjoy eating meat. So the next time you see your fluffy butts running across the lawn with a frog in the lead hen’s beak, just know that it’s completely normal and good for them. 

On another note, chickens are predators to your landscaping efforts. 

Nope, your chickens have no idea that your flower garden is not an a la carte buffet created just for them. 

If you want to protect your landscaping from free-ranging beaks, then create barriers to keep your flock from ruining your flower beds…and veggie gardens, for that matter. 

6. The Companionship and Connection

Some will tell you that chickens aren’t pets. And that might be true for the vast majority of them. But from time-to-time, you’ll come across a hen, or rooster, that plucks at your heartstrings. 

Chickens can be friendly; they may even cuddle with you on the porch as you drink your morning coffee in the sun. 

And before you know it, you’ve got a friend or two in the flock. 

The truth is, you’ll see personalities emerge, and you may catch yourself naming your chickens (if we’re being honest, all of the fluffy butts in the Henny+Roo flock have names). 

We’re not ashamed, and that’s one of the reasons we knew we needed to create the Henny + Roo subscription box for chickens (and chicken lovers)!

Dogs and cats aren’t the only companions who deserve a treat for all their hard work (Ummm, egg-making, friendship, and let’s be honest a little bit of pest control too).


So, just know, that your chickens may turn into an extension of your family, and as far as we’re concerned, that’s perfectly fine for everyone involved.

Find Beautiful Plans for Your Next Chicken Coop

Is it time to take your chicken coop to the next level?

When it comes to creating the perfect home for your new flock, you may have something special in mind. 

But if you’re not familiar with planning a construction project, you might be looking for a little inspiration and guidance. 

So we’ve put together this list of ideas that will help get those wheels turning. 

Find Chicken Coop Plans on Instagram

Instagram is one of the most visual social platforms around. And if you follow some favorite chicken-loving accounts, you know there’s usually something beautiful to ogle over. 

Whether it’s pretty little eggs all in rainbow rows or a new chicken coop plan created al la Chip and Joanne from Fixer Upper, all you have to do is hit the right hashtags to get an eyeful of chicken fix-for-the-day.

Type in some of the following to bring up some fantastic chicken coop ideas to spark your imagination:

  • #chickencoop
  • #chickencoopplans
  • #coops
  • #chickencoopideas

And of course, don’t forget to follow us for your daily dose of poultry eye candy.

Find Chicken Coop Ideas on Pinterest

We’ll admit, one of our first places to dig up inspiration is usually Pinterest. And that’s because it’s one of the most visual search engines on the planet with millions of contributors, just like us.

In fact, we’ve got a board set up specifically for new chicken owners looking for coop-building inspiration. 

So go check it out, we’ll wait.

Oh and here’s a special tip: if you search for free chicken coop plans, a bunch of freebies will pop up for you to print out and work off of. 

Our advice? Find a predator-proof plan, use what you’ve got, and then snaz it up once it’s complete. 

Some of the most straightforward designs turn out to be the most beautiful. 

In fact, we’ve seen some pretty impressive coop designs out there (some are jaw-droppingly gorgeous, like this one).

Just remember, the most important thing is safety and functionality, beauty can come later!

Facebook Groups of Chicken Fanatics

Facebook can be like the wild wild west, at times. Everyone seems to have the all the answers. 

And, in truth, there’s plenty of good advice from experienced chicken owners on Facebook. 

But instead of falling down the rabbit hole, here’s what we suggest:

Join a handful of chicken groups and search for the term “chicken coop plans” or “chicken coop design” rather than asking questions or endlessly scrolling the feed.

Who’s got time for that? Not us! We’d rather be with our chickens.

By searching, you’ll avoid the know-it-alls and still get the inspiration you’re looking for when planning your first chicken coop design. 

And be sure to check out Henny+Roo on Facebook while you’re there!

Chicken Coop Planning Books

Lastly, you can always get find inspirational and coop-planning books that walk you through the exact process of building your first chicken coop. 

All you have to do is page through and find the design of your dreams…then head to the lumber yard!

These are some of our favorite chicken coop building books.

  1. DIY Chicken Coops: The Complete Guide To Building Your Own Chicken Coop

2. Building Chicken Coops For Dummies

3. 40 Projects for Building Your Backyard Homestead: A Hands-on, Step-by-Step Sustainable-Living Guide (Creative Homeowner) Fences, Chicken Coops, Sheds, Gardening, and More for Becoming Self-Sufficient

Coop-planning books are great for beginners who need a little extra advice when building their first coop. 

Usually, everything from the nesting box to the dust bath, and the roost is already planned out and included. 

Plus, you know that you’re following plans for a coop that’s been tested against the elements and predators. 

So go ahead, and take the experts’ advice. You can always add your personal touches after the coop is complete, like this coop sign now available in the Henny+Roo Shop:  

Amazon for Easy Peasy Chicken Coops

We know not everyone has the time, or ability, to design and construct their own chicken coop. But, if that’s you, it shouldn’t stop you from making your chicken dreams come true. 

You can find pre-made, semi-started, chicken coops on sites like Amazon. Here are a few that have received good reviews:

  1. SnapLock Formex Large Chicken Coop Backyard Hen House 4-6 Large 6-12 Bantams
  2. GUTINNEEN Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop Large Hen House Poultry Cage, 69in, Waterproof UV Panel
  3. PawHut 114″ Wooden Customizable Backyard Chicken Coop with Nesting Box and Runs

Pre-made chicken coops come ready to snap together, and in most cases, all the designing and safety considerations are all done for you. 

With that being said, it’s still a good idea to review the materials the coop is made from. That way, you can ensure that it will hold up during bad weather and cold conditions (if that’s where you’re located). You may have to fortify premade coops by adding a 2×4 base frame, hardware cloth on any openings, a stronger door locking mechanism, and/or a protective wood finish to lengthen the life and protectiveness of the coop.

Also watch for treated wood and materials that might be toxic to chickens. 

An excellent way to ensure you’re purchasing a quality coop is to read through the reviews of what previous buyers have said about the chicken coop. 

We wish you the best in creating a safe and happy home for your flock!

A Look Inside the Henny+Roo March 2021 Box

The February boxes are being prepared to ship this week, so let’s talk about March!

Our monthly subscription boxes for chicken keepers are intended to be surprise boxes. We love hearing about the feeling you get when you open a box of goodies just for you and your flock!

The Henny+Roo March 2021 Box features our exclusive Spring Hen Pouch! At 9″x6″, it’s perfect for carrying all of your essentials. You’ll get a jump on spring decorating with the distressed silver sitting hen figurine – it’s made of resin and hand painted (4.5″ h x 6″ w). And for the flock, a big 1.5 lb. bag of Henny+Roo Pecktacular Grains and mealworms. Plus, 5 other items to care for your flock, The items in this box retail at over $60.

Not a subscriber? Sign up now or order without a subscription from our Shop.

Start Your Backyard Chicken Flock in 2021

If you’ve been hoping to start a backyard flock, 2021 might be the perfect year to start your first flock of chickens. 

And if you’ve already made the decision to start your flock this year, you’re in luck, because we’ve put together this list of things you can do now so you’re ready to bring your chickens home when the weather is better!

What to Do Now To Prepare for Your Chickens

Thinking ahead puts you in a position to have a smooth beginning to your journey as a proud flock owner. 

One of the best things you can do right now, while you wait out the winter, is to read…like, a lot!

While chickens aren’t a complicated animal to care for, they do have their quirks and special considerations. 

For example, did you know that chickens need grit to digest their food? 

Yup… it’s because chickens don’t have teeth like we do, so they need stones to grind up their dinners. 

You can learn all about a chicken’s dietary needs along with other essential things you’ll need to know to raise a healthy, happy, flock in books like:

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, 4th Edition: Breed Selection, Facilities, Feeding, Health Care, Managing Layers & Meat Birds
The Chicken Health Handbook, 2nd Edition: A Complete Guide to Maximizing Flock Health and Dealing with Disease
Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally

 

Determine Your Budget

Now is the time to think about what you’re willing, and able, to spend on a flock of chickens. 

Because, well, you can’t just have one chicken.

And yes, they are like potato chips, and you’ll almost always want more chickens.

But in reality, chickens need each other. So wanting more than one is perfectly acceptable.

At a minimum, you’ll want at least three chickens in the coop so they keep each other company and so they can cuddle up and keep each other warm during winter. 

You might be surprised at how close a couple of chooks can become. Some will appear to be attached at the hip.

So when determining your chicken budget, think about things like feed costs, bedding, nesting and coop supplies, feeders, and waterers. Then factor in how many chickens you’ll have so you don’t fall short on supplies.

Oh, and don’t forget the grit!

How Many Chickens Can You Have

How many chickens you want to have and how many you can physically keep are two very different things. 

We completely understand how you feel…we’d have all-the-chickens if we could.

But before you place a massive order with your hatchery, other things you need to consider are:

  • Your physical space
  • The buildings you already have and how you might use them to house your chickens
  • How much time you have to care for your chickens
  • Your other pets that may interact with your chickens

These things are important because they directly affect your ability to care for a happy, healthy flock. 

But one of the most important things to look into before you bring a single chicken home is ordinances. 

Yup, each city, town, county, and state may have laws regarding keeping chickens. 

Some cities allow chickens, while others prohibit them, for example.

So make sure you look into the local laws where you live to ensure you can have the ginormous flock you’ve been dreaming of. 

What Kind of Chickens You’ll Keep

There are many different breeds of chickens to choose from. And the kind you decide to raise depends on things like:

Where you live: If you’re in a cold climate, you’ll need to think about choosing breeds that are cold hardy.

Your purpose: Are you mostly interested in layers, or would you rather have a dual-purpose breed and raise your chickens for both meat and eggs. 

Your personal preferences: Do you like ornamental chickens or are you a fan of solid-colored birds?

Availability: Are the chickens you’ve chosen available to you either locally or through a hatchery?

Coop Considerations

Don’t forget to think about the future home of your flock!

Will you buy coops online, at your local farm supply store, or will you DIY a coop castle, for example. 

Think about the kind of space you have available and how much of that space you’re willing to gift to your hens. 

Remember, chickens love to forage, and if you’re planning on keeping them in confinement, make sure you’re willing to part with the lawn you’ll be keeping them on. 

Or, better yet, consider free-ranging your chickens if you have a safe space to do so. 

And, of course, think about what you want your coop to look like…will it be simple, repurposed, or will it be grand and decorative?

Some are really creative when it comes to their chicken coops, and while you wait for spring to arrive, maybe you can spend some time designing the coop of your dreams!

Buy Ahead of Time

Of course, the last item on your list of to-do’s before the spring showers bring flowers is to purchase your chickens. 

While you should make sure not to have chicks shipped to you during the cold months, many hatcheries will allow you to place your orders ahead of time.

Doing so ensures you’ll get the breeds you have your heart set on. 

So once you know what you can handle, go ahead, and start chicken shopping!

Then, go ahead and start shopping for the rest of your supplies. And if you’d like a head-start, don’t forget to check out our monthly chicken subscription boxes.



Henny+Roo is the first and only subscription box supporting new and experienced chicken keepers with monthly deliveries of supplies for your flock, and items to make you smile. Visit us at hennyandroo.com to learn about our monthly plans or purchase past boxes.