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.
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!
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:
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.
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!
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.
You may have noticed that there is an increased interest in backyard chicken keeping, and many first-timers are starting their flock. And while Spring is typically the time for increased chick sales regardless of world events, this New York Times article explains how in times of economic uncertainty, sales of live chickens increase.
If being a backyard chicken keeper has always been a dream of yours, we think now is a great time to start, and here’s why:
You have the extra time. Many Americans are under shelter-in-place orders to avoid the spread of COVID-19. And that means that many adults are working from home (gaining the time they typically spend commuting) or are out of work. If you have extra time and wish to start your flock, set aside ample time to research all that is involved in caring for a backyard flock. When things return to normal (which we hope is soon!), will you still have time to care for your chickens? These are live animals you’re considering, so be responsible and determine if this is the right hobby for you.
What are your chicken keeping goals? Will you raise chickens for eggs? Meat? Stress reduction? Are chickens even allowed where you live? Many HOA’s and municipalities do not allow home chicken keeping. If yours does not, perhaps it’s a good time to get involved and push for more freedom in the ordinance.
Assess your yard and determine the best place for your coop, and what kind of predators inhabit your area. Ensure you’re selecting a sturdy coop and adequate predator protection. Here is a good list of considerations in regard to chicken coops from our friends at My Pet Chicken.
Chicken keeping is good for kids. Most schools are closed, and parents are looking for meaningful and educational activities in which to engage their kids. Not only are chicks super cute, but learning about how to care for them is a great way to teach responsibility. Kids can catch up on their reading and research skills by looking up what it takes to raise a flock. They can sharpen their math skills by calculating startup costs. They can help design the coop if you’re building it yourself, or draw a picture of the coop in the yard. They can practice their instruments by playing to their new pets. Here are 9 tips for keeping chickens with kids from our friends at Tilly’s Nest.
Wider varieties may be available right now. Spring is the best time to get started because you’ll be able to find a wide variety of breeds from hatcheries and breeders (though this year, many will be sold out). Research the breeds that are hardy to your climate and fit your chicken keeping goals. Here is a good article on selecting chicken breeds to get you started.
It’s warmer in spring and summer, and chicks need warmth. Chicks need a warm, draft-free environment, which spring and summer often provide. Be sure to have a proper brooder indoors if it’s too cold to house the chicks outdoors. And you’ll want to start growing chicks early enough in the year to ensure they are full grown and fully feathered before winter, depending on your location. Here’s what you need and what to expect during the first 60 days of raising chicks.
Chicken keeping provides food security. Chicken eggs and meat are excellent sources of protein when grocery store supplies may be reduced or sold out.But it takes an investment of time, supplies, and care to get chicks to the mature laying stage, so don’t rush into this hobby thinking you’ll have eggs right away. Depending on the breed, hens will start laying between 18 and 26 weeks. And no, you don’t need a rooster to get eggs!
You have support. There is a wonderful chicken keeping community out there, and most of us love to help newbies. But don’t expect people on the internet to teach you everything. Learn what you can on your own, and join online chicken keeping groups to ask specific questions. Join us on Facebook at Henny+Roo Poultry Supplies, on instagram @hennyandroo, and in our Facebook group, Chicken Coop Connect.
Henny+Roo offers support for new and experienced chicken keepers, delivered to your door each month. You don’t have to leave your house to get treats,health and first aid items, coop supplies, and gifts for owners. Check out our monthly plans and one-time shop at hennyandroo.com. For a limited time, you can save 15% sitewide with code SPRING15.
We chicken keepers invite you to experience all that we love about this hobby, the least of which is tasty, fresh, and available eggs. But we want you to be sure to consider your lifestyle and resources before jumping in. Take the time to learn all you can, which is a fun activity regardless if you decide to move forward or not. From all of us at Henny+Roo, we wish you and your flock health and wellness. Please feel free to reach out to us with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and check us out at hennyandroo.com.