Your July box is meant for fun, inside and outside of the coop!
Chubby Mealworms – Consider rehydrating this treat favorite in water before serving in hot weather.
Chicken Salad Seeds – For those who really like to spoil your flock! All seeds are non-GMO, and sourced, printed and packaged in the USA. Feed directly to chickens if you don’t wish to start the seeds. For sprouting, consider purchasing our Mesh Mason Jar Lid, which makes the required rinsing of sprouts easy!
Henny+Roo Vanilla Fly Repellant – Hang in coop to keep flies away. Replace every 10 days or so. Available in packs of 5 at hennyandroo.com
Flock Fixer by Strong Animals with Essential Oils: A vitamin-rich additive that helps hydrate, restores vital nutrients and helps support immunity.
Chicks Love This Feed from Green Ribbon Fertilizer: Egg to layer, Chicks Love This! provides a complete, complex, natural, and sustainable feed designed to optimize feed for birds from egg to about 7 or 8 weeks of life.
Tweezers: A must for every poultry first aid kit (because you don’t want to use your own)!
Henny+Roo Chicken Print Beach Towel: Show off your passion for poultry at the beach, pool, or your own bathroom.
Logo Sunglasses: You’ll be the coolest chicken keeper around. Trust us.
Nesting Box Liner: In every box! For use with mature hens.
Since 2016, Henny+Roo has provided chicken keepers with high-quality, fun, and useful products for their flock – delivered straight to their doors monthly. Use code NEWSUB to save 10% on your first subscription!
When the temperature rises, you’re not the only one dealing with the heat and humidity. Your chickens are probably feeling the it too.
The good news is, there’s a lot you can do to keep your chickens comfortable when the summer sun starts shining.
Here at Henny+Roo, we’ve got a few cool recommendations for you to help your chickens in hot weather.
1. Provide Summer Shade
Chickens are super self-sufficient. They know when they’re overheated.
In fact, one of the first things your chickens will do when they’re hot is seek out shade. So, if your chooks are confined to their coop, or run, make sure they have shelter from the sun.
And if they’re free-rangers, they’ll probably seek shade under bushes…most likely where there’s a dust bath.
You can add tarps, shrubbery, or anything you’ve got laying around the yard to add temporary shade on the hottest days of the year.
2. Dig a Dust Bath
If you have free-range chickens, you’ll often see them taking dust baths on super hot days. This is because it helps them chill out.
Help them out by creating a special space in your chicken run for a dust bath. And make sure it’s big enough to hold your whole flock because they’ll all want to get in on the sunbathing.
Dust baths can be made using a shallow bin, a wood frame, a barrier with logs or stones or even just a dry corner or the yard or run. It should be easy for them to get into and large enough to allow your chicken to lie in, spread their wings and flick dust over their whole body.
It can be filled with dry, fine dirt or sand, and can be enhanced with dried herbs, wood ash, or diatomaceous earth if you prefer.
It usually goes without saying that chickens need access to fresh, clean, water 24/7. But when the heat is on, the water might need refilling more often than usual. Your chickens will frequent their watering hole a lot more often when it’s hot outside.
So, monitor your waterers throughout the day to make sure your chickens are never without refreshment.
Additionally, ensure waterers are large and can hold enough water to get your chickens through the day if you’re away at work during a hot spell.
4. Ice Helps Chickens in Hot Weather
Speaking of water, if you’re able to, keep it even colder on hot days. You can do this by adding ice cubes to the waterers.
Your chickens will appreciate the icy cool water, and may even enjoy playing with the ice cubes.
You don’t have to put ice in the waterers, but just think of how you feel when you’re about to take a drink from your ice-cold water glass on a hot day and it’s HOT! In other words, your chickens will appreciate it.
5. Add Electrolytes to Combat Dehydration
As a preventative measure, you might consider adding electrolytes to your chickens’ waterers to hold of dehydration from the heat.
If you’re not sure if your chickens are dehydrated or not, feel free to add electrolytes. It doesn’t hurt to add them, even if your chickens aren’t dehydrated.
Henny+Roo 3 in 1 Vitamins Electrolytes and Probiotics for Poultry helps you meet your flock’s supplemental needs and can be added directly to their water. Electrolytes help optimize health and hydration during hot weather and times of stress. Vitamins are necessary for cellular functions. And probiotics help beneficial bacteria grow in the digestive tract, aiding digestive health.
6. Fresh Food For Chickens in Hot Weather
Give your chickens fresh food.
And when we say fresh food, we mean fresh, FROZEN food. Like frozen treats right out of the freezer. Think: watermelon.
Chickens l.o.v.e. watermelon on any given day, but when it’s scorching hot out, they’ll go crazy for a super cold melon…just for them.
Other water-heavy veggies, like iceberg lettuce, also help keep your chicks cool and hydrated when the heat rises.
7. Easy Breezy
If your chickens are overheating, they’ll appear to be panting, like a dog. But chickens can’t drool or sweat (like us) to keep cooll. Instead, they pant and fluff out their wings hoping to catch a breeze.
In other words, if overheating, your chickens will look as hot as you probably feel on a scorcher. If this happens, your chickens need some relief. Give them a fan and place them in a breezy area with lots of cool water and light watery treats.
A simple breeze will do wonders for your chickens. You can even put a barn-safe fan nearby to keep them cool in the coop.
8. Stress Less
You know it feels when your stressed out and it’s hot out? Yeah, you may sweat, you’re probably uncomfortable, and you just wish you could catch a break. Well, chickens stress…out all the time.
It’s kind of their thing.
So, do your best to keep your chickens calm during hot weather. Make sure they have everything they need (all the creature comforts), keep predators away, and separate bully hens and roosters to keep the stress under control.
9. Kiddie Pools and Sprinklers
Chickens don’t typically enjoy swimming. But some might take advantage of a nearby sprinkler or kiddie pool. If they don’t, they may reap some of the benefits of the coolness of the water nearby, regardless of their swimming abilities.
Henny+Roo monthly supply boxes for chicken keepers have been providing poultry enthusiasts with seasonal supplies and gifts since 2016. See what all the excitement is about on Instagram and visit our website at hennyandroo.com to learn more! New subscribers always save 10% on their first subscription with code: NEWSUB at checkout.
If you’re waiting for chickens to start laying eggs, you may be wondering what to watch for so you can be ready for the harvest!
The truth is some chickens take longer than others to mature. So there is no right answer as to when your chickens will start laying.
With that being said, here are some telltale signs that your hens are ready to start serving up breakfast for your family.
1. It’s Been About Six Months
Chickens are sexually mature around 6 months of age. This means, their bodies are ready to start producing eggs!
With that being said, there are a variety of factors that can influence the exact start of a hen’s egg-laying career, like:
As a rule of thumb, six months is a good timeframe to watch for fresh eggs, but your hens could start laying sooner, or a bit later, than that.
2. Your Hens Start to Squat
It sounds a little silly but squatting when approached by a rooster, or other animals, is an indication that your hen has reached sexual maturity, and is ready to lay some fresh eggs.
This is a behavior that assists the rooster in mating with the hen. Hens become submissive and squat down, allowing the rooster to do his thing.
You can test this behavior by lightly pushing on the hens back to see if she becomes submissive. If so, eggs won’t be far behind!
3. Changes in Combs and Wattles
As hens develop, and near maturity (ie egg-laying season), you may notice that their combs and wattles turn from pinkish to a beautiful bright red!
Combs will also become larger as your hens grow. And, as a side note, a rooster’s accessories become bigger and more red as well but this usually happens much sooner.
4. Hens Begin to Eat More
As most critters do, hens eat a lot more as they grow and develop. But laying eggs requires more energy than simply spending time as a growing pullet. Hens gearing up to lay their first eggs need more protein, calcium, and other valuable nutrients in order to lay healthy, strong, eggs.
With that being said, your hens will start eating more than they did before they were ready to lay eggs.
It can be difficult to determine how much a single hen is eating, but you may notice the feeder needing to be refilled more often than before.
5. Hens May Become Nervous
A hen that’s about to start laying may go through a behavior change. In fact, she may appear more nervous and unsettled. She may even give you a start and pop out of strange nooks and crannies through the coop or barn.
So be on the lookout, because it can be quite startling!
Hens that hide out, nervously search for….something, and hunker down in cozy crannies are often on the verge of laying their first eggs.
6. They’ve Noticed the Nesting Boxes
In addition to nervously searching for their own special space to lay their eggs, hens close to maturity may seek out a nesting box that they’ve ignored for the past few months.
Young hens may curiously hang out by older hens utilizing the nesting boxes. They’re learning from them, and even though they may be annoying to the experienced layer wishing for her privacy, these young pullets are picking up all kinds of tips and tricks.
It All Depends on Your Hen
While the actual date a hen starts giving you eggs will vary, these are the signs that point to fresh eggs in the coop…soon!
So if your hens are happy and healthy, they’ll start laying as soon as their bodies are able to do so. A hen that lays early may develop internal problems, and her eggs may be rubbery or misshapen (which could potentially be painful).
All this to say, your hen will know when she’s ready. And all you need to do is ensure she has the nutrition required to produce those tasty eggs. If you do, you’ll be rewarded handsomely, all in good time.
Summer is here, and we hope you and your flock are taking the time to enjoy the outdoors. We hope that your June selections help you enjoy every moment of good weather and times with your flock and family!
Hydro Hen Drinking Water Supplement: Probiotics, electrolytes, and acidifiers to provide hydration and gut health when your birds need it most. For all species and ages of poultry. Makes 22 one-gal servings.
Rollerball Oil Perfume: Hay Bale is a fragrance exclusive to Henny+Roo featuring fresh notes of clover and aloe.
Chicken Layer Love Feed: Combining proper proportions of protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, amino acids, and biologicals, these pellets and mealworms are lighted coated with secondary and trace elements that have been Ultra Chelated.
Aluminum Treat Scoop: For dishing out feed, treats, grit, etc.
Throwback Logo Sticker: We’re celebrating our 6th year in business with one of our first logos, by request of some of our longest-term subscribers!
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)
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.
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.
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!
The rustic fencing we’ve come to know and love is called chicken wire for a reason, right?
But names can be deceiving, and just because its been used for chickens for a long time, doesn’t mean chicken wire is the safest option for your chicken coop.
The truth is, if you want to crawl into bed at night knowing your chickens are resting peacefully, and safely, consider using hardware cloth for coop construction.
Let’s dig into the differences between hardware cloth and chicken wire, and when each of the two can come in handy.
The first thing you need to know about chicken wire is that its main purpose is to keep chickens in…and not necessarily to keep predators out.
Its signature hexagonal design (now used in many rustic crafter treasures) is sturdy enough to prevent your chooks from escaping their designated living space but it won’t keep the hungry predators out.
If you’ve ever grabbed ahold of the chicken wire we’ve all come to know and trust, you’d know it’s quite flimsy.
Strong predators can bend and flex chicken wire much too easily. And predators with sneaky paws, or claws, can easily kill a chicken from the outside of the pen and drag it through chicken wire for a feast.
But that’s not to say there isn’t a time and place for chicken wire, in fact, we use it in a variety of ways that won’t put our chickens’ lives in jeopardy.
When to Use Chicken Wire
Chicken wire has its place in the chicken coop. It’s best used in spaces you don’t plan to keep your chooks long-term.
For example, temporary cages, used to transport chickens from place to place, are fine uses for chicken wire.
But if you thought you’d rely on chicken wire for anything permanent, you might wake up to an empty coop someday.
With that being said, if you know your local predators well, and plan the location of your chicken wire strategically, you may be able to get away with using it in certain ways, although it is not recommended for predator protection.
Additionally, chicken wire can serve purposes other than protection from predators.
For example, if you’d like to keep two different breeds of chickens separated within your chicken run, you can use chicken wire to do so.
Have some baby chicks that you’re slowly introducing to the flock? Chicken wire can be a fantastic temporary container for your young birds.
Chicken wire can also be used to keep your chickens out of places they shouldn’t be…like your flower beds or garden.
The takeaway here?
Yes, it’s good for some things.
In truth, it’s been around since the 1800s so it’s definitely a timeless farm tool.
With that being said, chicken wire isn’t the end-all be-all for protecting your chickens.
When planning your chicken coop, one of the first things to think about is deterring your local predators.
Unfortunately, our beloved flocks are at the bottom of the food chain, and while some chickens are savvier than others…there’s always one that’s a bit more aloof and easy pickings for predators.
Hardware cloth is the perfect solution because it is much sturdier than chicken wire.
It can easily be buried along the coop border to prevent sly foxes and stray dogs from digging underneath it.
And it holds up to the weight of some of the stronger predators.
Additionally, hardware cloth is available in welded wire which makes it stronger than woven chicken wire. (although some hardware cloth is available in a woven format as well).
As a bonus, you can find different size “holes” in hardware cloth. So if you’ve got snakes, or weasels, as predators, you can find hardware cloth small enough to keep even the tiniest of predators out of your chicken coop.
While you’ll find that hardware cloth is significantly more pricy than chicken wire, your peace of mind is worth every penny. We have used this hardware cloth, ordered from Amazon, on our chicken run.
When to Use Hardware Cloth with Chickens
Hardware cloth should be used as a protective barrier between your chickens and any area in which predators lurk.
In other words, your hardware cloth is the fortress surrounding your chicken coop.
We also recommend hardware cloth for chicken tractors and for broilers being raised for meat. Especially if your tractors aren’t close to your home where you would otherwise hear distress from birds under attack.
In either situation, you’ll be happy you used the stronger layer of protection rather than something easily broken into, like chicken wire.
If you’re unsure of which type of wire to use with your chickens, we recommend going with welded, hardware cloth over chicken wire.
Our motto here is, better safe than sorry!
Remember, there’s a purpose for both types of wire, but if you want that restful night’s sleep, go with the hardware cloth to prevent losses.
And don’t fret, if you’ve already built your coop, you can slowly start to replace your chicken wire with hardware cloth.
We know you take the safety of your chickens very seriously, so take it one step at a time and start doing a little remodeling. Your chooks won’t mind one bit.
Henny+Roo is the first and foremost subscription box for backyard chickens keepers. Each month, we ship high-quality treats, coop products, wellness items and other supplies for your flock, along with useful gifts for you. Our monthly boxes and non-subscription products make wonderful gifts for the chicken keeper in your life, even if that’s you! Check us out at: hennyandroo.com
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!
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:
Sell them as chicks as soon as you know they’re roosters to someone who wants to raise them
Raise them and butcher them for yourself
Raise them and process them for sale (check local regulations)
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.
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).
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!