Vacationing as a Backyard Chicken Owner

Summertime is here, and for many of us, traveling is finally on the agenda! If you’re an active explorer, but also love to be self-sufficient at home, then you’ll be happy to know you can easily maintain both lifestyles! We’ll cover everything you need to have fresh eggs while comfortably leaving your flock members to vacation.

Water & Feed:

One of the most important factors when it comes to leaving your chickens is ensuring they are properly fed and watered during your time away. Our waterer and feeder options can simply be topped off and left until your return. If you plan to be away for a week or more, then you’ll need the assistance of a trusted family member or friend. Anyone unfamiliar with backyard chickens can easily refill your chicken’s food supply from outside the coop without concern of interaction. 


Collect Eggs:

Regardless of the number of chickens you have, you can expect your nest box to be full upon your return. Although your chickens will still lay in occupied boxes, eventually a broken egg becomes a high probability. If your hens are laying frequently in the Spring and Summer months, it’s certainly best to have your caretaker collect eggs. Eggs can easily last in a fridge for 3-5 weeks when refrigerated. To save the responsibility of having your chicken caretaker clean your nest box, consider switching your nesting material to something highly absorbable. For ideas visit our popular blog post, “what to put in your nest box”.


But what if I want my chickens to range when I’m on vacation?

When our suggested range of hens occupies your coop, then there shouldn’t be any concern about leaving your chickens inside their coop with their replenished supply of food until your return. On-site runs are an optional addition to your coops that can be easily accommodated to your coop. Have your caretaker open your bird’s turn-out door or consider a chicken door that programs to open and closes automatically.

We hope you enjoyed reading our tips for vacationing as a backyard flock owner! For more great backyard farming tips, check out our helpful blog posts written to help backyard farmers, like you, succeed. 

Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this blog post? Please feel free to email us at or give us a call at 877-741-2667. We’re real people and are always happy to help.


All about your Chicken Coop Snow/Storm Panels

Cold weather is fast approaching, and if you have a Roost & Root chicken coop, then you may already have your Storm/Snow Panels in stock and ready for use, or possibly already clipped on depending on where you live! Our simple twist and lock panel function is an easy way to prepare for inclement weather. As simple as our product may appear, there are a few special characteristics that make our panels ultra-unique.


Our Chicken coop Snow/Storm panels are made from a semi-transparent material that is made with 100% recycled UV-protectant enriched polyethylene plastic sourced here in North America. Polyethylene is both waterproof and freezeproof and stays flexible. Although similar plastic panels can be found in stores, they do not come with UV stabilization. Added UV stabilization is a custom application only offered directly through our manufacturer per our request. 

Our Twist Lock Storm Panel Clips are used to attach your panels, are 3D Printed from PETG plastic filament, and made here in the USA. The clips are highly weatherable, have great UV stability, and are freeze and waterproof. The clips are also specially manufactured with 3D printers! The plastic is the same that is used in commercial industries and will last many years in the sun. 


Why it’s a better alternative

Chicken coop Snow/Storm Panels are a much better alternative than other wind-blocking solutions. For example, tarps do not fit our coop-wired panels and have a high likelihood of being blown away. Cardboard, although more custom to cut, will easily become soggy with rain or snow. 

As for electrical heat sources, with storm/snow panels attached, there becomes no need for the use of additional heat. Chickens are incredibly cold-hardy and when bundled together, will produce a great amount of heat. The key factor in whether or not your flock stays safe in the cold depends on high wind protection. Electrical heat sources are always to be used with caution and at one’s own discretion with full awareness of the dangers that may occur between electricity and inclement outdoor conditions. 


How we considered your flock

As experienced flock owners ourselves we only recommend tips that we would be okay with our very own flock experiencing. As with all of our products, we safely test our with our very own flock before sharing them with yours. When we created our storm/snow panels, we found that our flock members reacted positively to their wired panels being covered.

A question we have received before is if transparent panels would be better, and the truth is chickens are quite indifferent to a clearer panel. In addition, using transparent material will be quite costly. Through consensus, we have found that a majority of our backyard farmers are in need of chicken coop Snow/Storm Panels for roughly a quarter of the year only. A clearer and higher-priced panel that would be in use for a short period of time did not garner much preference. Clearer panels don’t offer a glass window-like quality either as the flutes between the panels still give a refractive appearance.  

We hope our blog post brings about reassurance that your chicken coop Snow/Storm Panels are perfect for protecting your beloved backyard flock. Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this blog post? Please feel free to email us at or give us a call at 877-741-2667.

Read before Painting your Chicken Coop

To paint or not to paint? Your chicken coop may be seen as an extension of your home’s overall theme. Adding color to your structure may seem like a tempting way to connect your property structures. However, before adding your favorite color of paint, there are a number of considerations to take beforehand.

As with any chicken coop, the wood your coop is built with makes a dramatic difference in longevity and looks. Often times a coop that requires painting is due to its lack of wood strength or unattractive aging appearance. Additionally, painting your coop may not be safe for your flock members either. Therefore, what is a wood that is ideal for chicken coops, especially when left unpainted? 

Cedar is a premium-priced premium grade product and will perform in its natural unfinished state as good or better than any domestic wood. Left natural and unsealed, it will “patina” to that grey finish that we all know cedar to look like when it is aged.

Preserving Color:

When new, cedar has that fresh-cut gold tone that many people want to preserve. To maintain this color, choose a clear or gold-tone transparent product that does not seal the wood, but rather stains the wood and allows the wood to continue to “breathe” absorbing water and drying out. These products will require reapplication every 4-8 years. Maintaining the golden look depends on the service circumstance and quality of the product as well.


Adding Color:

Traditional painting is not recommended for cedar because invariably a pinhole will develop. A crack in the paint allows moisture into the core of the coop’s wood which then becomes trapped. The trapped moisture will then accelerate the rotting of the wood.

If you’re looking to add color, simply get a stain product with color added in a semi-transparent (allows some grain to show through) or “solid” formula which looks more like painting but still allows breathing of the wood.

We recommend a LOW or NO VOC product because of the proximity to the chickens and eggs. There are excellent silicon-based liquid sealant products that “harden” the surface of the cedar and preserve it for an extended service life… but they do not stop the patina from occurring. If you don’t mind the grey coloring but want to extend the service life of the wood, these are the best products to use.



Left natural you should expect to get 8 years on the low side, 10 years on average. In certain regional climates, as much as 15 years of service life from cedar can be expected. Certainly, our products are repairable if for some reason one piece rots faster than another. Cedar lasts a long time.

Sealed and properly resealed cedar can easily last in the 15-30 year service life range depending on the particular climate that you live in.

Wood rots from wet-dry cycling. Sealing cuts down on that cycling and some climates just have fewer annual wet-dry cycles than others.  Lifespan is just a function of cycles.

For more information on why we prefer building our coops with cedar, visit our blog post here that goes into detail on all of the benefits that come with building with this superior wood.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about the alternatives and reasons for painting and not painting your Round-Top Coop. Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this article, please feel free to email us at  

What To Put In Your Nest Box

The nest box is without a doubt one of your coop’s most important features and one that you’ll want your birds to be both comfortable and happy with, requiring both privacy and consideration of space. Additionally, a nest box will need to be in a location that offers convenience for you, especially when it comes time to clean! If you have a Roost & Root coop, then your nest box is already ideally placed with only one significant part remaining…the nesting material!

When it comes to selecting a nesting material for your hard-working hens, it’s important to remember that your hens shouldn’t rely on the nest box as a comfortable location to rest. The nest box should first serve as a place of privacy, prevention of cracked eggs, an easy to clean space, then if desired, a pleasant space for a broody hen. With the following in mind, there are a few material options that our very own hens approve of and that we can certify as being coop-friendly! 


Types of Nesting Material:

Nesting material often comes in two variations, reusable and disposable. Depending on your preference, both options serve as great choices! To decide which may be best for your hens, we’ve listed our top 5 options below!

Reusable Nesting Material:

Plastic Mat 

  • Plastic mats are our go-to nesting material. Not only are they simple to insert and put into place, but they are also beyond easy to clean! Although rare, a hen may accidentally crack an egg in the nest box, or worse, leave leftover droppings. A plastic mat allows you to easily spray down any mess before reinserting the mat into the nest box. Additionally, these mats are perfect for preventing mold and fungal growth!


Grass Turf 

  • Similar to plastic mats, grass turf is a great reusable choice, with the addition of a softer material. An even greater difference to this nesting material is the price. Although a few dollars higher, this material goes a long way in longevity. 


Disposable Nesting Pads:

By now you may be wondering, if I can reuse my nesting material, why would I buy something that I’ll simply have to throw away later on? Disposable nesting material isn’t all that bad, yes, you’ll have to occasionally replace it, but quite honestly it won’t be as often as you may think! 


Excelsior Pads

  • A favorite among flock owners, excelsior pads are an absorbable and mess-free option for nest boxes. Made from woven straw, these nesting pads are slightly less inexpensive than reusable pads and are usually available in a pack. The way these pads are tightly intertwined and attached to kraft paper allows for excellent absorption of droppings. Then, when you’re ready to replace, simply slide out the pad without worrying about messy pieces falling. 


Pine Shavings

  • When it comes to using pine shavings in your nest box, there are some pros and cons. Pine shavings are very inexpensive, roughly for the same price as a grass turf nesting pad, you can get 8 cubic feet of pine shavings. Pine shavings, although loose, are great at absorbing any unwanted droppings. One of the biggest cons of pine shavings is how messy they can become! Your hens are likely to fluff up and scatter their nesting often, however, because pine shavings are biodegradable, you wouldn’t have to worry about collecting and disposing of this nesting option! 



  • A simple and more structured nesting box material, hay is a common choice for many homesteaders who may have a few other livestock/pets around already. Hay is easier to collect than pine shavings and can often be the cheapest nesting box option. However, unlike our reusable choices, hay does have its cons. Unlike pine shavings, hay doesn’t serve as a great absorbent, oftentimes getting matted from leftover droppings. In addition, high humidity or slightly moist hay may cause mold. Hay will also need to be monitored and replaced often to ensure your bird’s health and comfort.


Extra Nest Box Additions:

Potpourri is always a lovely addition to any room, and just like it, you can create a similar scentful option for your bird’s nesting box. If you don’t mind the loose petals and leaves, some flock owners enjoy sprinkling dry herbs into nest boxes, although not necessary, we like to imagine it enhancing your bird’s private egg laying experience. After all, a happy chicken does lay more eggs! For some herb-friendly options to consider, visit our blog post “8 Chicken Healthy Herbs To Grow Next to Your Coop”.


Tips for Getting Your Birds to Lay in Their Nest Box:

If you are transitioning your birds to their coop, then your flock may need some learning assistance before their egg-laying instincts kick in. Birds may first lay their eggs on the ground of their coop, or if free-ranging, they’ll leave you unexpected treasures anywhere! If you are raising your birds from chicks, it’ll take until week 18 for them to begin laying. If you need any assistance on transitioning your chicks to their new coop, visit our blog post, “From Brooder to Coop, When to Transition Your Chickens.”

To help your curious birds, we recommend placing fake eggs in their nest box. Your hens will lay their eggs right next to the mock eggs without concern of the occupancy. Once one hen is seen laying eggs inside, the rest of your flock will almost always follow in suit. 

We hope you found these tips helpful as you decide which nesting material to choose. Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this article? Please feel free to email us at or give us a call at 877-741-2667. We’re real people and enjoy helping others with their backyard farming journeys.

Where to Build Your Chicken Coop

So you just received your new round-top coop and now have to decide where to put it. You may have a beautiful location in mind, but before you begin assembly…it’s important to take a few considerations. Below are 4 tips for selecting the ideal coop location.

1) High Ground is Dry Ground: Be sure to place your coop in an area that does not flood or is prone to runoff during torrential rains. Placing your coop on level solid ground that drains well is ideal! We recommend dirt floors in the runs of coops so that chickens can dust bathe and so that decomposition of poop can occur utilizing natural microbes in the soil. Part sand part soil is great, and in almost all instances, the native dirt in your area will work great! 

2) Water Access: Place your coop in a location with access to a water hose to easily refill your flock’s EZ-Fill Waterer. 

3) Sunlight: Did you know that hens need about 16 hours of daylight? Anything less than 12 can slow down and sometimes even stop egg production from your flock! Make sure your coop faces in a direction where it receives maximum sunlight during the winter months.  Sunlight will allow for any wet dirt to dry quicker. Make sure to view our other blog posts to learn how to properly protect your flock from freezing winters and high summer temperatures

4) Electricity Access: Live in an area that is prone to freezing temperatures? If so, keeping your flock’s water from freezing is critical. Each coop waterer comes with a slot to insert an aquarium heater during the winter. Most aquarium heater cords only extend a few feet, therefore an extension and cord cover is necessary. Wattage will depend on how cold it gets where you live. Generally, something 50-100 watts will work in most locations. If you have questions, just contact us and we will share with you what we’ve learned from 100’s of customers.

Tip: Before you begin predator-proofing your new coop, we highly encourage having your coop in the perfect location. Our coops weigh between 125 – 1,000 lbs once fully assembled. Therefore, choosing the perfect location is critical to prevent future relocation. If you are looking for additional predator protecting tips, visit our blog post “How to Predator Proof Your New Coop” for guidance and examples. 

Live On An Incline?

We understand not all backyards are level. We recommend building out a platform using landscape or cinder blocks to create a level ground for your coop. This in turn serves as additional predator protection as well.

We hope you found these tips helpful as you begin assembling your flock’s future coop. Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this article? Please feel free to email us at or give us a call at 877-741-2667. 

6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy A Cheap Chicken Coop

Are you considering investing in your very first chicken coop or perhaps a new coop? If so, you may find plenty of cheap coops at big box stores. At the time, these low-priced coops may seem like a bargain…but they never remain a bargain for long. Before you choose your flock’s future home, consider a few of the following reasons why we don’t recommend a cheap chicken coop. 

1) Quality

If there is one material that you don’t want to skimp on, it’s the construction material of your coop. The lack of quality in imported chicken coops is why their lifetime never lasts long. Simply because a coop refers to using “real wood” doesn’t always mean it’s an ideal and great wood. Cheap chicken coops will always use flimsy, easily warped, thin wood that can effortlessly be damaged, regardless of being advertised as weather-resistant, these coops will eventually split. Most cheap coops are built with a thin sheet of softwood known as fir, which is far less resistant to decay and wet conditions. Often, big-box store brand coops will have a maximum lifetime of 2 years or less, regardless of the outside elements. 

What we Recommend:

Cedar is known as one of the most rot and weather-resistant woods available. Commonly used for outdoor construction such as decks, cedar is made to withstand harsh outside elements. This wood, however, does come at a premium due to its sought-after qualities. A Cedarwood coop will last outdoors up to 5x longer than your average “bargain” coop. For more information on why we recommend cedar, visit our blog post here


2) Customer Support

Nobody enjoys being left on hold while requesting help from a company. Even when you are able to reach someone finally, the aid you receive tends to be limited. At large brick-and-mortar stores, the staff does not know much about chicken-keeping. Even worse, they often don’t know much about the products they sell! It’s likely that if you order a bargain coop that needs missing or replacement parts, you’re better off fixing it yourself, buying an entirely new coop, or dealing with a return!


3) Safety

A majority of “bargain” chicken coops weigh between 50 to 85 pounds, all unevenly distributed from the nest/roost to the run area. In most cases, these coops can easily be knocked over or shaken up on a windy day. Even worse, a coop under 85 pounds can easily be knocked over by a large and curious pet. When you add in the fragility of the fir wood with the low-cost wire enclosure, your birds are susceptible to a number of unexpected or accidental dangers.  


4) Comfort & Ease of Use

Small bargain coops tend to be constructed narrowly leaving little space for your growing birds as they mature. In addition, adding your bird’s waterer and feeder will only take up what little run space your birds have. 

When it comes to the nest box of these coops, there is little privacy for your birds to lay in comfort as most are not separated and enclosed from the roost bars. When it comes to the roost bars of these small coops, most are in level with that of the nest box. Roost bars should always be placed higher than the nest box or else your birds will sleep in and leave droppings in the nest box instead. 


5) No Climate Consideration


Many of your commonly seen bargain coops won’t come prepared with additional instructions or parts to protect your birds during winter or heavily forecasted rain. You will likely find yourself constructing additional pieces to shield the elements or even using a tarp with the hope that your birds remain comfortable and dry. 


If you live in a state prone to receiving triple-digit weather forecasts, your birds will need a coop that distributes as much heat away from the coop. In addition, you will need a ventilation system that allows adequate airflow all day. Most cheap coops come with an asphalt-like roof that can be hot to the touch. It’s for this reason that we always use galvanized roof metal to reflects heat. Unlike asphalt, galvanized metal stays cool to the touch and reflects heat away, even on the hottest of days. 


6) Ventilation

Ventilation is by far one of the most important features of a coop. Birds will need adequate ventilation near their roosting space to prevent heat exhaustion as well as frostbite. In addition, adequate ventilation will allow for easier and more bearable coop clean-ups. Live in an area that experiences a majority of the year with warm temperatures? You’ll want a coop that isn’t fully enclosed in wood to prevent any overheating. 

We hope you find our blog post helpful as you consider your flock’s future home. Remember, although cheaper, the quality of a coop will always show through the price. For help in learning more about backyard chicken keeping, make sure to visit our other blog posts. Have a question regarding what was mentioned in this article? Reach out to us, we’re real people and enjoy helping new and existing chicken and coop owners everywhere!, phone: 877-741-2667.

From Brooder to Coop, When to Transition your Chickens.

Deciding to raise backyard chickens is an exciting decision and journey to begin. Perhaps you’re debating on which flock members you want to begin with or maybe you already have a few chicks growing happily in a brooder. Regardless of which situation you may find yourself in, you’re likely contemplating how and when you should prepare your flock’s future coop. After all, they can’t live inside your home forever rent-free! 

To help with your flock’s future relocation, we’ve compiled a small blog of helpful information to guide you on everything you need to know when it comes time to rehome and purchase your flock’s new Round-Top Coop. You may find that you won’t need your coop as soon as you believe you do! 


As you may already suspect, your small flock members will eventually outgrow the palm of your hand. In what sometimes seems like overnight, your birds will transition from their fluffy coats to gleaming structured feathers. Chickens will go through 3 stages of growth by the time they are ready to transition outdoors: chicks, pullets/cockerels, and mature hens & roosters. 


As seen on the chart below, your birds are considered chicks when they are 1 to 4 weeks old. At this age, your birds will require the most supervision and care. Chicks are recommended to stay in brooder set-ups to protect them from injury and to help regulate their body temperature. 

If you’re new to brooding chicks, we recommend visiting our following blog post “Chick Brooder Set-Up Guide for Beginners” which shares everything you need to know about preparing a brooding space for chicks. 


At 5-6 weeks of age, most of your bird’s body will be covered by growing adult feathers. At this stage, flock members are much less susceptible to drops in outdoor temperatures.

A rule of thumb to ensure that your flock members can comfortably use their Round-Top coop features is to transition your birds between 6 to 8 weeks of age. Transitioning birds any sooner may lead to an outside risk of safety regardless of their coop. 

Fully Feathered Hens & Roosters:

Pullets and cockerels are not considered to be mature until they reach 16 weeks of age. A pullet is considered a hen when she finally begins to lay, which is around 18 weeks of age. Roosters are recognized as mature once their crow becomes more audible and their spurs are at least an inch long. 

Outdoor Temperature:

Depending on your location and when you begin your backyard farming journey, the temperature should always be considered prior to your flock’s age. Chicks are able to withstand 5° temperature drops each week from the moment they are born, with consideration that they start with supplemental heat of 90°F or if outdoor temperatures are cold 95°F. Your flock is ready to be transitioned outside if by 6 weeks of age temperatures are steadily 70-65°F or higher. If temperatures are lower, we recommend keeping your birds indoors until they reach 8 weeks of age.

Once fully grown, your flock members can be very hardy to cooler temperatures. Temperature considerations are why it’s favored to begin backyard chicken keeping in the Spring and Summer months. Live in a state that experiences longer durations of warmth?  Early Fall can be a considerably great time to start as well! If you often experience snow and freezing temperatures, we recommend utilizing our cold climate accessories.

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Chart for when chickens can move into their coops


Looking to start your flock with bantams? We recommend waiting to transition your bantam flock to our coops once they reach 8 weeks of age. If you need further guidance on how to care for and raise bantams, we recommend visiting our blog post How to Raise and Keep Bantam Chickens

When Should Ducks go in a Coop?:

Considering a Round-Top Duck Coop? If you’re considering ducklings then it’s important to note that ducklings grow much much faster than chicks. Average-sized duck breeds are ready to enter their coops by 4 weeks of age if the weather outside is steadily warm and sunny (65°F). Ducks will fully feather at 7 to 9 weeks and begin laying at 5 to 6 months of age.

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Chart that shares when a duck should be moved into a coop

We hope you find this article helpful as you begin or continue your backyard farming journey! If you ever have questions regarding anything mentioned in this blog post, reach out to us at 877-741-2667 or email us at support@roostandroot.comWe’re real people and are always happy to help!

All About your Coops Roost Bars & Ramp

When it comes to customizing your chicken coop, there are always a few necessities that are a must when it comes to creating the perfect home for your flock. At Roost & Root, the details taken into consideration mean a great deal for your bird’s comfort and overall satisfaction. Although style and size may vary with each coop, there are always two features that are always a must for any coop we build. 

Roost Bars

Chickens, just like smaller bird species, are naturally inclined to perch when it comes time to rest. Creating a similar ability for your birds to do the same in their coop is a necessity when it comes to housing your flock. When it comes to roost bars, it was important for us to construct a semi-flat/rounded surface that brought natural comfort. Every roost bar that comes with our coop models is sanded and rounded slightly to allow for a comfortable and natural grip, similar to that offered in nature. 


Not only does a wooden roost bar best mimic nature and match our all cedar construction, but it’s also a much-preferred material than that of metal and plastic. Unlike plastic and metal, wooden roost bars are not affected during drastic temperature changes and are not slippery. 

Height & Space:

When it comes to the height of your roost bar placement, your birds will always prefer the highest bar. This is partly because of your flock’s pecking hierarchy as well as safety preference. 

Spacing each bar is an equally important factor as well. Not only does spacing your roost bars allow for adequate comfort and room for each of your flock members, but it also prevents any droppings from falling on another resting bird! Staggering roost bars not only prevent the prior situation from happening but also provides your flock with a way to hop to their preferred roost bar. Additionally, our Backyard Coop even allows for roost bar adjustment!

Round-Top Walk-In Coop Hen on Ramp
Mobile Backyard Chicken Coop
Round-Top Chicken Loft™ Dropping Board System
Two 33" roost bars




For a few of our models, ramps are sometimes necessary to access roost space or bars. This is particularly true for bantam-sized birds as well as larger/heavier breeds. More often than not, regular-sized birds do just fine jumping on and off roost bars without a ramp. 

Round-top models that have amps include the Round-Top Walk-In Coop, Backyard Coop, and Mobile Coop. Although necessary for the Walk-In and Backyard due to higher placed roost bars and roost/nest box entry, many of our other models don’t require ramps at all! 

Models such as the Stand-Up and Loft don’t require ramps due to their short distance (Ft? For both?) between the ground surface and bars. If birds are of 6-8 weeks of age, chances are they are old enough to reach the bars with ease.

Cleaning Roost Bars & Ramps

Roost bars and ramp are bound to collect droppings, however, it’s not like your chickens do this on purpose! Chickens actually drop the most waste during hours of sleep. To help clean off droppings, we always recommend using an all-natural cleaning solution, scrapper, and an optional bristled brush. For more tips on how to clean your coop, make sure to visit our blog post “How to Clean Your Round-Top Coop” for more great tips!


Construction Insight


It is equally important to ensure that the area your flock rests in would be ventilated during warm and cold months. All coops come with ventilation holes to allow for adequate airflow to reach both roost bars and nest boxes.  

Nest Box Height:

Although it may initially seem like a more comfortable sleeping arrangement, it’s important to not allow your birds to sleep in their nest boxes. This is why all Roost bars are placed higher than your flock’s nest box to naturally attract them to sleep at the highest spot. 

Fun Fact:

Did you know that chickens can, on average, jump/fly at a height of over 5 feet?! Depending on whether or not your flock’s wings are clipped, this may be a shorter height. Your flock’s physical capability allows for ease of movement to and from roost bars.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about the design of some of the most essential features in our Round-Top Coops. Have questions or comments regarding anything mentioned in this article, please feel free to email us at 


EZ-Fill Waterer Advantages & Training Tips

If there is one thing that flock owners can attest to, it’s how easily a flock can make a mess when it comes to their waterers! Keeping your flock hydrated shouldn’t mean settling for frequent and messy waterer cleanings. Additionally, traditional waterers can be an invitation to frequent cleaning and unwanted bacteria growth for your flock’s main water source. 

Poultry nipple water systems, however, are used by a number of farmers everywhere to hydrate not only their chickens, but turkeys, ducks, and newly hatched chicks as well! There are a number of advantages to using a poultry nipple watering system for your flock, that’s why we’ve compiled together a list of our favorite features of our very own Round-Top Coop EZ-Fill Waterers.

Disadvantages of a Traditional Waterer: 

Constant Cleaning 

    • For years traditional waterers have been the norm for flock owners everywhere, even despite their tedious maintenance. In order to maintain a clean water system for your flock, these waterers must be cleaned every other day. Even if slightly elevated, dust and algae will soon start to take over your flock’s only water source. 

Elimination in Run Space

    • If you have a traditional waterer, chances are you have a chain hanging from the top to elevate it, or you have it placed in the middle of your coop’s run space. The constant entering, cleaning, and take-up in your flock’s run space may eventually become tiresome.

Cold-Weather Disadvantages

    • If you live in an area with yearly snowfall, you may already be considering how you will maintain your flock’s waterer from freezing. To ensure your flock’s water source does not freeze, you will have to invest in a costlier separate, heated waterer. Although there are heated waterers similar to that of the traditional red channel dish, you’ll likely still have the same repetitive routine of maintaining the cleanliness of the waterer.


Advantages of an EZ-Fill Waterer:

Low-maintenance Cleaning & Use

    • By far one of our favorite advantages of our EZ-Fill Waterers is the low-maintenance! The opaque, food-grade, and UV-resistant plastic that our waterers are made from will reduce or in most cases eliminate algae growth. The overhead design of this coop saves run space while eliminating any poop or dirt that your flock may introduce. Rather than cleaning multiple days a week, EZ-Fill Waterers only require cleaning up twice a year. When it does come time to clean your flock’s waterer, no scrubbing is necessary! Simply add distilled white vinegar and slosh the water in the tube. Once complete simply turn the waterer’s upward-facing tube down into a bucket or the ground. If desired, you can wipe away any dust that may naturally collect on the outside of the PVC.

Cold-Weather Advantages

    • One of our favorite advantages to our waterers is their simple freeze-proofing steps. In addition to the slotted cap that we include with the 4″ EZ-Fill Waterers, to freeze-proof your waterer you will need a submersible fish tank-style water heater and a cord cover that may be bought at Amazon. Heaters must have a thermostat and be designed to be fully submersible. When you see an upcoming freeze in your forecast, simply insert the submersible heater inside the tube. Generally something 50-100 watts will work in most locations. ***Immersion style coffee and soup heaters will not work.  

Submersible Fish Tank-style Heater:

Cord Cover:

    • Our Freeze-Guard³ Poultry Drinker™ is also an essential part of freeze-proofing our watering system. In extremely cold conditions, standard poultry nipples can freeze even if you heat the water. With our freeze-guard poultry drinkers, no water is stored in the body of the device so there is nothing to freeze, additionally, the copper drink pin extends into heated water to conduct heat. Furthermore, the red shape of the outer drinker provides a windbreak for wind-freeze protection. ***Please note that our Freeze-Guard Poultry Drinkers are not recommended for juvenile & or bantam small breeds as they will have problems pecking hard enough to cause flow. Regular Poultry nipples are suitable for any age and breed of chicken.




Coop Specific Training Tips:

It’s pretty easy to teach your chickens or ducks how to use the poultry nipples of your waterer. Either method mentioned below is enough to teach them what to do. Once one chicken or duck figures it out, they all follow suit. You will also want to remove any other waterers while they are learning. 

Roost-Over-Run Waterer Training:

If you own a Round-Top Backyard, Mobile, or Duck Coop, the best method to train your flock on using the waterer is to utilize a stick or a kabob skewer to activate the nipple and cause it to drip when a flock member is near. Teaching your flock with a Roost-Over-Run coop may take some time, but it only takes one flock member to learn and teach the rest. 

Walk-In Waterer Training:

Our Round-top Walk-in coops allow for the ability to offer more training assistance to your flock members on how to use the waterer. You can either activate the nipple and cause it to drip when the chickens are near or hold a chicken and gently tap its beak against the waterer. 

We hope you find this article helpful as you start or continue your backyard farming journey! If questions regarding anything mentioned in this blog post, reach out to us at 877-741-2667 or email us at

We’re real people and always happy to help!

70+ Coop Name Board Ideas

There’s no better way to personalize a coop than to name it! That’s why we offer the ability for all of our future coop owners to add their own personal touch with our free customized name board option during checkout. On a regular basis, we use our CNC Machine to carve out numerous personal name boards for our future backyard farmers, to help make your coop just a bit more special. If you’re looking to add a new Round-top coop to your backyard soon, we’ve got all the name board ideas you need. Find inspiration through these popular coop names chosen by our coop owners this year!

Add your Name!

What better way to personalize your coop best than to include your very own name! 

  • Huxley’s Hen
  • Jen’s Hen Den
  • Kristy’s Coop for Cluckers
  • The O’Brien Fluffy Beauties
  • Frazier Henitentiary
  • Janson Egg Company
  • Chan’s Hen Hub
  • Paul & Meg’s Egg Machine
  • Bodhi’s Little Farm
  • Savanah’s Scratchers


Chicken, hen,….Hähnchen?

Looking for a better way to name your coop that is unique and different? Look to Google translate to search for a more exciting and unique way to name your coop! Here are just a few examples of how our customers have used a different language to personalize their own coops!

  • Palais de Poulet         (Chicken Palace – French)
  • Hühner Haus      (Chickens House – German)
  • Hönshuset     (The Hen House – Swedish)
  • Das Hühnerhaus     (The Chicken House – German)
  • Välkommen     (Welcome – Swedish)
  • Maison de Poulettes     (Chicken House – French)
  • Le Shâteau Eggcellenté     (The Eggcellent Shâteau – Norwegian)
  • Höna Palats     (Chicken Palace – Swedish)
  • Hønsehus    (Chicken House – Danish)
  • Kokeyahula     (Chicken – Lakota)
  • Hale Moa     (Chicken House – Hawaiian)
  • Le Poulailler     (The Hen House – French)
  • Case de huevos     (House of Eggs – Spanish)
  • Coop de Mer     (Sea Coop – French)
  • Korero Heihei     (Chicken Talk – Maori)
  • Gran Casa del Pollo Loco     (Grand House of the Crazy Chicken)


Location Inspiration!

Let’s be honest, your Round-top chicken coop is a sight to see! So why not give it a name to resemble its beauty just like these backyard farmers.

  • Cluckingham Palace
  • Chicken Kingdom
  • Chicken Mart
  • The Eggcellent Inn
  • Henway Park
  • The Egg Drop Palace
  • Golden Yolk Lane
  • Fort Cluck
  • Best Little Hen House in Durham
  • The Silkie Suite
  • Patricia’s Hen Hilton
  • Chick Hilton
  • Coop de C’ville
  • Mount Ever Roost
  • Cluckleberry Inn
  • The White Hen Inn
  • The Chicken Manor
  • Taj ma Cluck
  • Casa de Pollo


Looking for a Good Laugh?

Share your humor with your flock and backyard farm visitors by engraving something that will give you a good laugh for years!

  • The Breakfast Club
  • Fowl Play
  • Beware Mini Raptors
  • The Crazy Chicken Lady Ranch
  • Clucking Good Time
  • The Chook Nook!
  • Bok Bok Farm
  • Fancy Flock
  • No Roosters! Ever!
  • Here There Be Chickens
  • Go Girls
  • Chick Chick Hooray!
  • Chickenvision
  • Home of Tiny Raptors
  • Cluck a Doodle Doo
  • Eggs by Eggers
  • Fluffy Butt Hut
  • The Eggplant
  • Cash Cluckers
  • Chick-Shall-Lay
  • Mutha Cluckas
  • Happy Hen House
  • Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
  • Bakury
  • Hen’s a Flyin’
  • We’re making eggs in here!
  • Chicken Noodle Coop
  • Huevos Rancheros
  • Huevo Frito
  • The Cluck Hut
  • The Over Easy Shack
  • The Hen Den
  • TownsHENs
  • The Chicken Shack
  • Coop! (There it is)


Duck Coop Name Inspiration

Chickens aren’t the only cool birds around. If you’re looking for some Round-Top Duck Coop inspiration, here are a few that will leave you “quacking” up. 

  • Duckton Abbey
  • The Quack House
  • Waddle Inn
  • Quack Shack
  • Duckingham Palace
  • Duck, Duck, Coop
  • The Aristoquacks


Our Available Coop Font Options Include:

Note: The maximum number of characters for each coop is 30.










We hope you find these coop name board ideas helpful as they are funny! If you ever have any questions regarding anything that is mentioned in this blog post, reach out to us at 877-741-2667 or email us at

We’re real people and always happy to help!

How to Clean Your Round-Top Coop!

As with any pet or livestock, cleaning is a necessary task that can guarantee a nice and healthy environment for both you and your outdoor companions. The good news is cleaning your coop doesn’t have to be complicated, or hard work! By following a few simple steps and recommendations your Round-top coop can continue to remain tidy and look almost as new as the first day you assembled it!

Recommended Supplies & Tools

When cleaning your coop, we recommend using natural chicken friendly cleaning solutions. For a natural wood friendly, water-based formula you can use a spray bottle filled with half water and half distilled white vinegar, feel free to use as-is or add a touch of rosemary or lavender to your solution for a natural scent boost. As for tools, a long-handled wire brush (especially for our backyard coop), an optional plastic bristle brush, and a rake will be all that you will need. 

Nesting Material Options

Providing nesting material for your coop nest box will not only make cleaning much easier, but it will also lessen the likelihood of eggs being broken! Our preferred nest box materials include plastic nesting pads, pine shavings, and excelsior nest box bedding. Looser nesting material like grass clippings or shredded paper will be more difficult to clean and will likely be fluffed away by your hens. 

  • Plastic nesting pads often come precut and are a great way to create a soft landing for eggs. The plastic will also make for an easy and quick way to sanitize. A great choice if you prefer to limit waste and cleaning time!


  • Pine Shavings are a great inexpensive choice that drys quickly while offering a slightly aromatic smell for your flock’s nest box. For a longer-lasting aromatic scent, we recommend sprinkling dried herbs that offer health benefits for your flock! For a list of coop friendly herb ideas, visit our blog post 8 Chicken Healthy Herbs To Grow Next to Your Coop.


  • Excelsior nest box bedding is a great option as they provide a soft landing for eggs while also absorbing any smell and droppings from your flock. Many come precut and ready to place inside your coop.

Note: If you have a hen who seems a bit too comfortable in her nesting box and is behaving territorial, she may be broody! 


How to Clean Waterers

When cleaning your coop waterer, we recommend pouring regular white distilled vinegar inside the tube with water to disinfect. Turn the EZ-Fill waterer where the upward tubing faces downward into a bucket to empty. For best results, we recommend only cleaning your EZ-Fill waterer bi-annually. 

Note: Be careful not to introduce dirt to your waterer that may be transferred via your watering hose.


How to Clean Feeders

To clean your EZ-Fill Feeder, we would recommend using a rag to wipe down all sides of the square tubing. Please note that we do not recommend using a fermented wet feed in your EZ-Fill Feeder. 


How to Clean Roost-Over-Run Coops



Round-Top Backyard Coop:

We recommend utilizing a long-handled wire brush to clean off any accumulation in your Round-Top Backyard Coop’s wired roosting area. If you have a detachable run, simply unhook and lightly rake the run area. Nest Boxes can be easily cleaned via the outside egg box door. 


Round-Top Mobile Coop:

One of our favorite abilities with our Mobile coop is the ability to move your coop to a new area. This ability makes it even easier when it comes time to clean! Simply relocate your coop to clean your designated coop area, or choose to move it wherever if you prefer to rotate it around your backyard. When cleaning the nest box of your coop, we highly recommend utilizing a plastic nesting pad to make sanitization easier. For a deeper clean, we recommend having assistance in tilting one side of your coop by its handlebars to scrub any missed areas in the nest box and any roost bar accumulation. 


Round-Top Duck Coop:

Each duck coop comes with a plastic scoop that works great for not only scooping feed for your flock but also scooping out excess water out of the duck pool and into the sun pad drain before removing it entirely. Pools can dirty up quite easily and may need to be rinsed and refilled every other day, depending on how quickly the water loses its transparency. Your duck coop should be placed on even ground with native dirt and/or a sandy loam run area. To clean the run, detach the run and use a rake to activate the natural decomposition properties of the dirt/sand. 



How to Clean Walk-in Style Coops


Round-Top Chicken Loft™ Dropping Board System
Roost & Root - Stand-Up Chicken Coop
Roost & Root - Stand-Up Chicken Coop


Round-Top Stand-Up Coop:

Our favorite part about walk-in coops is their feasibility to clean. The ability to stand in your coop makes it easier to rake out the run area and clean off any roost bar accumulation. Easily access your coops nest boxes from outside to replace or sanitize bedding. 


Round-Top Loft Coop:

The walk-in style of our Loft Coop design is ergonomically friendly. Requires little or no stooping or bending over to clean. The unique and removable dropping tray included below your hen’s roost area allows for any droppings to be emptied on or outside your coops run area. As an optional choice, you may line the droppings tray with pine shavings to make cleaning easier and simpler. As with the Stand-up coop, cleaning the nest box is quick and easy by collecting and cleaning inside the coop.


Round-Top Walk-In Coop:

The substantial space inside our grandest coop makes run space cleaning easy and simple. Requires little or no stooping or bending to manage your hens. Our Walk-in coop is also roomy enough for you to get out of any inclement weather too. For nest box cleaning, simply lift and hook your egg box doors by using the included eye hook. To clean the roost area, simply unhook the roost area doors and brush off any accumulation.

Tip: Looking to spruce up your walk-in coop with some aromatics? Try hanging dry herbs inside your coop!


Why Dirt/Sand in the Run Area?

A common question we often receive is why we prefer using dirt/sand in the run areas of our coops. We recommend dirt floors in the runs of coops so that chickens can dust bathe. Dirt floors also allow the decomposition of poop to occur utilizing natural microbes in the soil. Part sand part dirt is great, and in almost all instances, the native dirt in your area will work great! We recommend simply raking the run area to accelerate the process of the poop decomposition.

Note: Placing your coop on cement will make it difficult to clean and will leave stains. 

We hope you find these coop cleaning tips helpful as you begin your backyard farming journey! If you ever have any questions regarding anything that is mentioned in this blog post, reach out to us at 877-741-2667 or email us at

We’re real people and always happy to help!

How to Predator Proof Your New Coop!

As a new or experienced chicken owner, you may be anticipating the day you can relocate your flock to their new Roost & Root Coop! Whether your backyard is located in an urban area or in the tranquil countryside, your new feathery friends are certain to be well protected in their new predator-safe coop! However, depending on your backyard space…you may be subject to attracting some unwanted attention from curious predators. 

Predator Proofing

After you have located an ideal location for your coop, you can begin by preparing one of these predator protection methods before or after you have assembled your new coop. Regardless of which coop you may own, these optional predator-proofing methods offer great protection that won’t take away from the beauty of your new coop. 

Method 1:

Bury CMU/Cement Blocks around or under the perimeter of your coop. You may choose to bury these blocks completely from sight or allow them to be slightly exposed above ground. If you choose to have your cement blocks exposed slightly above ground level, make sure that you make it flush to the ground to prevent any issues when cleaning your coop’s run space and opening your coop’s door.



Method 2:

Bury mesh wire around the perimeter of your coop just underground and up under the edge of your coop. This simple and hidden alternative will allow for grass to grow through the wire making it an ideal alternative if you prefer to maintain a grassy area around your coop. You can place small stakes to hold the wire mesh close to the ground until the grass grows enough to hold the wire. We suggest extending the wire mesh to be at least a foot or more wide around the perimeter of your coop.


To further ensure that predators are not being attracted to your coop, always make sure to lock your coop at night and collect your hen’s eggs frequently. We hope these helpful tips help you as you begin your backyard farming journey! 

Need more help or explanation on how to predator-proof your coop? Contact us via email at! We’re real people and enjoy helping our coop owners before and after every purchase.  

Our Process for Building Chicken Coops

Every handcrafted coop we make here at Roost & Root matters to us.  

We pride ourselves on using the best materials to make the best coops, but the very best materials in the wrong hands still won’t produce a great coop. From cutting materials to fabrication to packaging, everyone at Roost & Root plays a vital role in producing a great chicken coop.  No one role is more important than the next and without quality at each step it would be impossible to build a great product.

Cut Shop

At Roost & Root, we largely hand build your coop from scratch.  Each week, a shipment of raw cedar lumber is delivered to our location.  The folks in the cut shop handle every piece of wood – literally. They pick up each and every piece of lumber that is delivered and do their very best to ensure it is free from weird knots, cracks or ugly bits.  Once a piece of wood is deemed “coop worthy” it is then cut to size for use in a coop. 

Fabrication Shop

Once the wood is cut, the next step in the coop building process is the fabrication shop.  Once again, each piece of wood is inspected to make sure it is “coop worthy” and then our talented carpenters get to work fabricating the various components that go into making each coop.

Is it ALL built by hand?  Great question! Some of the parts that go into our coops are fabricated on a CNC machine. CNC stands for computer numerically controlled machine which means that a computer is guiding a cutting machine which makes for some very precise parts. 

But, the CNC machine is operated by a human, a super dedicated human that is making sure the computer is doing what a human has asked it to do! Have you seen our custom carved name boards?  Those are done by a CNC machine.

Quality Control

Next stop is the quality control department.  Basically a fancy name for couple of REALLY detail oriented folks at Roost & Root that pick up, measure and inspect every single part that goes into a coop. Luckily, not many errors are found, but handcrafting means humans and that sometimes means something is just a little bit not right.  


After QC it is time to get the coop packed up and shipped out. Sounds like a simple task doesn’t it? Not really. Our coops are heavy and must be able to withstand the….uh….rigors of sending it across the country in as few boxes a possible.  It’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle getting a big coop to fit in the boxes and show up on the other end intact and undamaged. Guess what? Our packaging department also looks at every part before it goes into the box which means it goes through yet another quality control check!  Be sure to check out our coop unboxing video to see what we’re talking about.  

Obviously, so much more goes into your Roost & Root coop than is detailed above.  Important tasks like purchasing, design and customer service, but building a quality coop is critical to us here at Roost & Root. 

We’ve made chicken-keeping convenient with easy-fill waterers and feeders

We believe urban chicken keeping is good for the soul. Chickens ground people to the natural world in unexplained ways; a welcome, enjoyable thing in this hectic, high-tech world. To make it as enjoyable as possible, we knew we needed to do all we could to make it hassle-free and stress-free for our customers.


Chicken keeping is good for the soul
When designing our Round-Top Coops™, a huge focus was to incorporate a quick and easy way for our customers to refill chickens’ food and water AND to make sure that the food/water supply was safe from chicken droppings. We did this by designing a “no poop”, easy-fill system that can be added to any of our coops. Here’s why this system works and is hands-down better than others out there:


Fill Urban Coop Company's Easy-Fill Feeder from outside the coop
1. Our feeders/waterers allow you to refill food and water from outside the coop, which is convenient when you’re on the go or do not want to interrupt the goings-on inside your coop…


Urban Coop Company's Easy-Fill Waterer
2. Each system protects food and water from chicken droppings, which means your chickens will have a longer-lasting fresh supply, and you’ll have less of a food/water mess to clean…


Urban Coop Company Easy-Fill Feeder
3. Supply will last a long weekend on any of our coops, allowing you to get away for a few days without worry…


Poultry nipples
4. Since the feeders/waterers are secured to the coop, there is more run space for your flock…


Safe from harsh weather
5. Lastly, both are highly weather resistant… so rain, wind, snow or hot sun, your flock’s food and water is kept safe and fresh.


If you’re in a place with harsh winter weather, call us to discuss how you can freeze-proof your Easy-Fill Waterer… we’ll help you out!

10 reasons Round-Top Chicken Coops™ are worth more…

Bargain brand Chinese coops are not a bargain for long. Cheap materials and carpentry won’t hold up. Roost & Root chicken coops are made to be durable, which means they’ll last. But it also means they’re predator safe strongholds for chickens to live in. And they make keeping chickens less of a hassle with their unique feature sets. Here are 10 things you should know about Round-Top Coops™ that make them better.

1. Western Red Cedar – Cedar wood costs more because it will last outdoors many, many years. It’s not chemically treated yet naturally resists rot and bugs. We use strong thick full dimension cuts of cedar. And, its native to North America. It’s the premium outdoor rated lumber. Flimsy chinese coops use wood that just can’t stand-up to day-after-day outdoor exposure. And make no mistake, there’s no such thing as “Chinese Cedar”. It’s fir… and a low grade fir. Treating or painting it can help, but Western Red Cedar, just the way nature made it, will last much longer and is much tougher.

2. Exterior Grade HD Galvanized Hardware – Heavy gauge exterior grade hardware is much more predator proof than the hasps, latches and hinges found on cheap coops. Your coop is only as safe as the hardware that keeps doors and access points closed.

3. Welded Galvanized Livestock Wire – Cheaper coops use cheaper wire. Our livestock grade wire is at least 4X stronger than hardware cloth found on bargain brand chicken coops. The vast majority of coops use “hardware cloth” but try to trick you by calling it some other name. It’s just not as strong.

4. Old School Carpentry Techniques – No one uses more robotics in making your coop than we do. They add repeatability and accuracy to cutting parts for your coop that are industry leading. But we use these machines in conjunction with hand assembling your new coop using beautiful, strong, outdoor-proof methods that will hold up over time… and we guarantee it. Cheaper coops take shortcuts in the joinery that just can’t hold up to the pressure of large predators that go after chickens, like foxes, coyotes, coons and the most popular predator of all… domestic dogs.

5. Galvalume™ 5V Crimp Roof – Our signature style rounded roof is both functional and beautiful. Patented Galvalume™ won’t rust, reflects radiant heat and stays cooler… even in direct sunlight. We use the thicker grade metal for strength and rigidity. Cheap coops most often sheets of composite roof material that provide no structural strength and wear down quickly.

6. Beautiful & Practical Designs – We get it that your coop has to look cute. But you’ve locked up your chickens and now you’ve got to take care of them too. We use our coops, every day. We lean towards highly ventilated, roomy, minimal opening designs with weatherproof roosts and open sunny runs. Sunlight is a disinfectant and stimulates egg production too. Our coops have features that are proven over time to take less… of your time.

7. Multi-Climate Versatility- Fact is that most places people keep chickens, sub-zero and 100+ days are only a few months of the year. Chickens need a versatile habitat that can provide shelter over a wide variety of conditions. Strongly attached Storm Panels protect in sub-zero freezing winds and snow yet are translucent and let sun in. Highly ventilated roost and run areas allow chickens to stay cool on the hottest of days during summer months.

8. Customer Support- Buy a chicken coop from an online big-box store and you’re pretty much on your own. Buy your coop from Urban Coop Company and gain access to national caliber chicken keeping experts who are excited to answer your questions and help you succeed.

9. Optional Integrated Waterers – Convenient overhead no poop waterers allow for outside fill and can be freeze-protected. We even offer a unique patent pending Freeze Guard™ freeze resistant poultry nipple. All of our waterers are made from food grade pipe, hold multiple days of water and take up no run space. They save time and make sure that your hens have access to a clean plentiful supply of fresh water.

10. Optional Integrated Feeders – Our convenient, vertical no poop design allows for ez-fill of either pellet or crumble feed. Weather resistant food grade plastic tubes are CNC cut to present the feed in a protected area inside the tube. EZ-Fill feeders hold multiple days of feed and take up minimal run space. They save time and make sure that your hens have access to a clean plentiful supply of fresh feed.

And, we are year-after-year improving and tweaking our designs based on the feedback of the customers who house literally 10’s of thousands of chickens in our coops in all 50 states. Nobody is more dedicated to building superior coops and providing unmatched customer service than Roost & Root.


Update March 2020: As of Spring 2020 the cedar market for 1×6 board lumber in the US is predominantly Japanese sourced cedar. This wood performs identically to a domesticate sourced cedar. We are told later in the year that the supply of 1×6 cedar may indeed return to the Western Red Cedar species. Our dimensional board lumber in our products remains Western Red Cedar.

Why We Build Your Chicken Coop With Cedar

Why we use Cedar in your Round-Top Chicken Coop™

Cedar Chicken Coop WoodIt’s certainly not the cheapest wood coop builders could use, in fact, its one of the most expensive. But just like a fine chef, its impossible for a coop builder to end up with a great product if the ingredients aren’t the best.

Cedar (more accurately what we use is called appearance grade rough cut Western Red cedar) is one of three woods commonly found in North America that without chemical treatments are suitable for exterior use. The other two are redwood and cypress. Here are some of the reasons cedar is desirable for chicken coops…

• Cedar is lightweight and dimensionally stable. It lies flat and stays pretty much straight, which means it resists the natural tendency to crack and bow as you might find in many other wood species if used outdoors. Its special cell structure fights moisture rot by allowing it to dry out faster than almost any other wood, time and time again.

• Western Red cedar is incredibly thermally efficient, meaning even on hot days it is cool to the touch and does not transmit heat to areas inside the roost, or for that matter, cold either. Its warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

• Cedar is naturally bacterial and fungal resistant. Cedar is 80% the strength of oak which one of the strongest hardwoods. These facts coupled with its rot resistance make it the most desirable wood to build outdoor structures from… like coops!

• Western Red cedar fibers contain oils that act as natural preservatives to help the wood resist rot and decay making it excellent even in humid climates. Even without special treatment, cedar will easily last outdoors 10-15 years and in some circumstances, much longer.

• Naturally occurring organic compounds called (thujaplicins) give off that distinct cedar aroma that is pleasant to humans but a deterrent to insects, moths and other wood pests. These oils are locked into the boards and are what makes the wood so resistant to bugs and also rot. Don’t confuse western red cedar lumber with eastern white cedar (aromatic cedar) shavings. Western Red Cedar Lumber is absolutely, 100%, NOT DANGEROUS TO CHICKS or FULL GROWN HENS.

And the advantages go on…

Unlike Chinese fir, plastic or painted pine coops, Western Red cedar will not bow or sag over time and will stay looking great. Your cedar chicken coop will hold its handsome appearance year after year with very little maintenance. Cedar products are an all around safer, healthier, natural material for coops and better than almost any other wood in the world. CEDAR PRODUCTS ARE A GREAT NATURAL ALTERNATIVE TO CHEMICALLY TREATED WOODS. The only other woods that are even close to cedar in its suitability for use as a chicken coop, are redwood and cypress. However, since cedar is more commercially available it is the most cost effective of the three.

Want to paint it? Great… cedar holds paint better than almost any wood you can find and better than any other outdoor rated wood. Just pick any Big Box available semitransparent, transparent, or solid wood stain of any color you like, and it will last 8-10 years or more before you have to even think about repainting it. Buy the lowest VOC rated stain you can find.  We do not recommend products like Thompson’s Water Seal around chickens.

Don’t want to paint it? Great… no domestic wood outperforms cedar outdoors, even outdoor ground contact conditions. Left unsealed and unpainted, cedar will patina to that natural grey/silver look that people are familiar with over time and last up to 10-15 years or more depending on your locale.

Want to seal it? Great… If you like the fresh Golden look of unweathered cedar, put a transparent non-colored wood stain on and slop it into the wood. Repeat every 6-8 years or when you see it fading.  Wash up your coop before resealing, and it will come very, very close to looking brand new again, like the day it arrived.

Update March 2020: As of Spring 2020 the cedar market for 1×6 board lumber in the US is predominantly Japanese sourced cedar. This wood performs identically to a domesticate sourced cedar. We are told later in the year that the supply of 1×6 cedar may indeed return to the Western Red Cedar species. Our dimensional board lumber in our products remains Western Red Cedar.