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.
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!
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gardening doesn’t have to be an activity to admire and enjoy only in the spring and summer months. Whether you wish to start your garden early or keep your prized plants away from any outside pests, greenhouses have a number of advantages! Learn below 7 ways that greenhouse gardening can increase your gardening success, year after year!
Longer Growing Season
A longer growing season is one of the biggest advantages to greenhouse gardening, especially if you experience shorter warm seasons. Gardening in a greenhouse allows anyone to garden well into winter despite any freezing temperatures. Starting late into a season will also have no effect on your indoor crop. Interested in knowing what crops work best in your gardening zone? Make sure to refer to this gardening zone chart!
Fewer Pest Problems
Live in an area prone to visits from hungry pests such as deer, moles, and squirrels? Keep your favorite crops protected inside your greenhouse and away from any tempted pests. If seasonal visits from insects are common in your backyard environment, you may easily relocate your favorite plants inside. In addition, if found, you can easily eliminate any bug from your Greenhouse through the use of simple traps.
Expand your Variety
Choosing what to grow in your greenhouse all comes down to preference. Greenhouse gardening will allow you to successfully grow even your most delicate plants, such as roses or orchids. Looking for more inspiration on the extensive number of plants that can thrive in a greenhouse? Refer to this list of vegetables and ornamental favorites!
Greenhouse Weather Protection
An unfortunate, but common occurrence that arises when gardening is inclement weather. Whether in the form of hail or flooding, one unforeseen day in your forecast may cause you to reconstruct your garden completely. Rather than having to look outside your window and endure the inclement weather pouring down on your sprouting flowers and vegetables, you can rest more easily knowing that the time put into growing your crop is safeguarded in a greenhouse.
Save Money on Produce
Have you ever noticed how out-of-season fruits or vegetables tend to be higher priced? This is partially due to weather conditions in the state or country of import as well as transportation costs. Instead of paying out-of-season prices, recoup your savings by growing your own fruits and vegetables year-round. Never worry about out-of-season favorites and continue enjoying your favorite vegetables regardless of environmental factors that are out of your control.
Higher Gardening Success
Developing gardening skills can be timely yet rewarding, however, practicing and elevating your craft can be difficult, especially when you’re limited to the outdoor conditions in your area. Greenhouse gardening allows you to test your green thumb with a myriad of flowers and vegetables, regardless of your forecast. Greenhouse gardening also allows for you to successfully sprout your seasonal favorites before transplanting them outdoors for their optimal seasons.
Control Plant Health
When it comes to producing high yields of plants or flowers, some agricultural farmers will depend on fertilizers and sometimes pesticides to ensure that crop yields are met and protected. When it comes to being conscious about what ultimately makes its way to your dinner table, you may prefer to organically grow your own food. You can make a decision on how your favorite vegetables and fruit are produced and have a greater impact on your plant’s health by choosing to garden in a greenhouse.
We hope you enjoyed learning the various advantages that come with investing in your very own backyard greenhouse. If you ever have any questions regarding anything mentioned in our blog post, reach out to us! We’re real people and are always happy to help.
If you’re new to backyard chicken keeping, a broody hens tendency may be an amazing addition to your flock if you are looking to expand your flock with new hatchlings. However, these maternal instincts in a hen may not always be favorable, especially if the eggs she’s laying on aren’t even fertile! If you are new to backyard chicken keeping, there are key identifiers to help spot a hen’s behavior change when her instincts have taken over. A few noteworthy signs of a broody hen may include the following 3 identifiers.
Defensive Reluctance to Move
Once a hen has determined that the collection of eggs in your coops nest box deserve to be hatched, her behavior will radically change. A broody hen will ruffle her feathers, perhaps “hiss”, and even resort to pecking your hand when collecting eggs.
Missing Feathers and Nest Box Accommodations
Finding an occasional feather in your nest box is no surprise, however, when an accumulation of feathers appears along with identifiable bare skin on your hen, do not be alarmed. A hen will remove feathers to transfer more direct body heat to eggs. If you prepare your nest boxes with straw or excelsior nesting then you may notice some accommodation adjustments.
Missed Meal Time or Snacks
Ever notice how your flock gets excited about feeding time? Flock members will oftentimes pick up on their feeding time schedule and follow you with excitement when you appear, even more so when presenting an occasional treat! If a particular hen suddenly and continuously refuses to leave a nest box regardless of being presented with a meal or flock favorite snack, check the nest box!
Stopping a Broody Hen
Now that you may have identified and confirmed whether or not your hen is broody, the next step of action would be one of two decisions. If you have a rooster or two, allowing her to nest for the entire 21 day incubation period may be an option that does no harm. However, if you find yourself in the predicament of a broody hen with no fertile eggs, breaking your hen out of her maternal instinct may require a trial of different methods.
Physically Remove your Broody Hen
Simply grabbing your hen and taking her out of the nest box may not be as simple, especially if she is acting defiant. This choice may require a bit of precaution, we suggest using gloves when doing so.
Closeout the Nest Box
A broody hen exerts a great deal of energy and commitment, even so, that she will rarely leave her nest to hydrate, quickly eat, and relieve herself. If you are quick to notice when she leaves her claimed nest box, we suggest utilizing a solid item such as a small board to block her return.
Although it may make sense to make your hens nest box comfortable and ideal for laying eggs, too much comfort may be an easier temptation for a broody hen. If you eliminate your hens broody approved set-up, she may have a change in behavior and snap out of her broodiness.
Relocate your Hen
Accommodating your coop to break one hen out of being broody in a flock of non-broody hens may not seem fair. That’s why having a location set aside for your hen may be a more preferred choice. Oftentimes flock owners will use a dog kennel with no nesting and only food and water, (commonly referred to as a “chicken jail”), to separate and discourage a broody hen. Keeping your hen separated from the rest of the flock may seem unreasonable at first, but if you have one nest box, then your broody hen will refuse to allow the rest of your hens to nest comfortably and provide you with eggs. For more information on how to set up a “chicken jail”, follow the tips mentioned here! Broody hen jail may require confinement for up to 21 days, the same amount of time it takes to hatch a nest of eggs.
We hope our tips for identifying and stopping your broody hen help you along your backyard farming journey. If you are new to backyard chicken keeping and have any questions in regards to anything mentioned in our article, reach out to us via call or email! We’re real people and are always happy to help! Support@roostandroot.com
The new year calls for new and exciting goals and changes to strive for! However, if you find yourself often times falling back after the first few months of the year, adding backyard farming focused goals can be the missing addition needed to help make this year transformational. Incorporating Backyard Farming can help in a number of areas, such as; increasing time outdoors, practicing patience, recycling, eating healthier, and maintaining a workout regimen. As you plan to tackle your new year resolutions, consider adding a few of these exciting backyard farming ideas!
Composting and Recycling:
Did you know that in the U.S. more food ends up in landfills than plastic or paper1? Before throwing away any leftovers or moldy food in the trash, consider composting your food waste or recycling it to create treats for your flock. Depending on where you live, our Grubcone can be an excellent and simple addition to your recycling regimen.
Share Eggs or Vegetables:
If you found yourself with an abundance of vegetables or eggs last growing season, consider sharing your bountiful crop with those around you! Not only will you gain inspiring recognition from your neighbors and family, but you’ll also feel great knowing that every bit of your harvest was enjoyed.
Add More Medicinal Plants:
Medicinal plants can bring forth a number of health benefits that will help inspire and maintain your goals of a healthier you. Use these following herbs for both their aromatic benefits or dry a few of your favorite leaves to create your very own herbal tea blend.
Lavender – Use lavender to help you relax or sleep during a long day
Mint – Mint is available in a number of flavors and dries wonderfully for future teas
Lemon Grass – A refreshing and anti-inflammatory plant that makes a great addition to any diet
Chamomile – Similar to the use of lavender, this plant creates a nice calming effect and can also be used in combination with honey to help ail a sore throat
Add Native Plants to Your Garden:
Bees are the helpers of any garden, encourage visits from these busy pollinators by planting native plants among your vegetables. Make your garden a bee-friendly inn by incorporating native plants as well as bee favorite herbs such as rosemary, mint, lavender, oregano, and bee balm.
Encourage a Friend or Family Member to Join You:
They say sharing your goals creates accountability! For an added bit of motivation, try encouraging a friend or family member to join you. Not only will you both inspire each other, but both of you will likely exceed your gardening goals. Additionally sharing your gardening passion with the family will encourage more involvement and outdoor bonding time for everyone.
Add New Flock Members:
Looking to have insta-worthy eggs this year? Consider adding new colorful egg layers to your backyard flock. Make sure to plan ahead which egg layers you’ll want to add to ensure that you place your order in time before the Spring rush. For a few ideas, consider the following 3 chickens as possible future flock additions!
Marans – Looking to create a gradient range of brown egg layers? Marans produce beautiful deep-brown eggs that are sure to amaze you each time you reach inside the nest box.
Easter Eggers – It’s no surprise that a chicken named after a holiday of colorful egg decorating is known for producing a variety of egg colors. Each Easter Egger is likely to produce a specific color. Finding out what color your hen may lay is always an exciting guessing game.
Araucanas – The beautifully blue-hued eggs laid by this chicken is sure to amaze your neighbors and family members.
Enjoy Your Garden:
As simple as it is to put more focus on our indoor environments, focusing on making our backyard a relaxing oasis this year can be a great investment. Allow your backyard to be both a retreat for you and your family, as well as a productive source for nutritious and organic food.
We hope you find this article helpful as you begin the New Year with new and exciting backyard farming resolutions! For questions regarding anything mentioned in this blog post, reach out to us at 877-741-2667 or email us at email@example.com.
Whether you’ve recently committed to ordering your very first flock or your incubated eggs are nearing their hatch date, preparing your future flock’s temporary home will certainly be the next step on your to-do list. If you are new to backyard chicken keeping, your brooder will serve as a safe space as your flock continues to fully develop before being old enough to transition to their future coop. Fortunately, your brooder can be easily put together by following a few simple steps and safety precautions listed below!
Brooders can be fashioned out of a number of large containers, some of which you may already have at your disposal. You may also follow our dimensions guides to easily construct a brooder of your own as well! Below are a few ways to repurpose a few items as a brooder for your future flock.
Galvanized or Plastic Stock Tank:
Often found in most local feed stores, galvanized stock tanks may range in a number of sizes. Although often used as a water system for livestock, stock tanks can be a great brooding container for chicks. Tanks are available both in a circular and oval form and can be easily repurposed for years. Additionally, it’s important to note that as your flock grows, you’ll need to create a simple wire covering to prevent your flock from jumping out once older as well as to protect them from any surprise pet visits.
Doggy Playpens are a great, inexpensive, and space-saving brooder option for growing chicks. Most playpens come with a detachable top and are easily moveable. We suggest going with a fabric or plastic option as opposed to a metal pen. Before selecting this brooder option for your flock, it is important to note that this brooder choice will not be as strongly structured like that of a stock tank or wooden set-up. If you have a concern with anything that may disturb your brooder set up, we would suggest going with a more stabilized structure.
Plastic Storage Bin:
Plastic storage bins similar to those used to store items are another great alternative! A plastic storgae bin will require a few customized adjustments prior to being used for your chicks. Although this repurposed option works well for chicks, it is important to note that when selecting a plastic storage bin, the bigger the better to accommodate your birds as they age. Additionally, depending on the breed you are brooding, this easy brooder alternative may serve as an excellent option for up to 3 to 4 weeks. For tips on how to repurpose a storage bin as a chick brooder, we recommend visiting the helpful tips shared here.
Repurposed Baby PlayPen:
Have a stored away baby playpen that you’ve been meaning to sell? Before putting it on Facebook Marketplace, consider repurposing it as a chick brooder!
If you’ve recently purchased a Walk-in Model Roost & Root Coop (Loft, Walk-In, Stand-Up), we suggest repurposing your shipping crate and following along on our simple step by step video shared below!
Have a few pieces of plywood to repurpose? If you are considering building your very own brooder at home, we suggest building with the following recommendations in mind.
Once your flock members reach 3 weeks of age, the possibility of them jumping out of their brooder becomes almost inevitable. To prevent any escapees we suggest building with a depth of over 12 inches.
Again this all depends on the number of chicks you plan on raising. For beginning flock owners, we always suggest starting off with 4 to 6 chickens. Depending on the season in which you plan to raise your flock, you may need to build a brooder to account for more. In the Spring season, many hatcheries will allow for minimum orders of 3 chicks, however during non-hatch seasons such as Fall & Winter, minimal orders range from 20 to 25 chicks.
When you’ve chosen your ideal brooder container, it’s time to select the right location for placement. Chicks are easily susceptible to a number of environmental factors and dangers, and as a new flock owner, it’s vital to prepare the safest space for your flock to mature. We highly suggest placing your flock’s brooder in a space that is free from pets, high moisture, and low-temperature drafts.
It is also best to take into consideration the noise surrounding your chicks, although you may want your flock to be near as to supervise their safety at any time, it is best to select a location with the least commotion to allow for your flock members to rest peacefully. As chicks slowly transition out of their fluffy plumage, you may notice a significant amount of light dust, this is in part due to the turnover of feathers and skin cells.
Regardless of the number of baby chicks in your brooder, it’s important to be aware of the consistent cleaning of your chicks brooder that will be required for the next 6 to 8 weeks. To make cleaning up less bothersome, it’s helpful to select the right kind of bedding for your flock. Selecting moisture absorbing and non-slip bedding is ideal for your flock’s health and comfort. It is also important to select bedding that is non-aromatic to prevent any respiratory harm to your chicks.
One of the most popular bedding options, untreated pine-shavings serve as great moisture absorbing, inexpensive, non-slip option for brooders. If you plan to use a container with a slippery bottom surface, consider adding a base layer of non-slip material. When using pine shavings, we recommend using a layer of 1 to 2 inches.
Construction Grade Sand:
When chosen correctly, sand can be a great absorbent in your brooder. It is important to ensure that the sand in your brooder is not fine-grade sand, such as that used for children’s sandboxes. Brooder sand should have large grains to create traction and prevent dust accumulation. When used correctly sand will act similarly to that of cat litter, allowing you to sift any waste. For tips on how to implement sand in your brooder, consider the following method visit the following link.
***Health Note: Non-slip bedding becomes vital as to prevent your chicks from getting Spraddle Leg. Spraddle leg is an injury or birth complication that affects the tendons of your young chick’s legs. Although simple to correct, Spraddle Leg will leave a chick unable to walk correctly, resulting in a chick being unable to carry its own weight. It is for this reason that we only recommend shredded newspaper and never full sheets as a bedding option.
A heat source for your chicks is one of the most important necessities when it comes to brooder preparation. The right heat source is best chosen with the consideration of your chick’s bedding and brooder container in mind. Two of the most common and recommended heat sources include a heat lamp and a heat plate.
Heat lamps work well with shredded newspaper and untreated pine shavings. For the best cautionary care, it’s best to avoid this heating method when it comes to the use of sand. Lamps should always be securely clamped to a brooder wall or arranged overhead with a secure and adjustable chain. Most brooder specific lamps will have a metal guard around the lightbulb for safety and have a recommended wattage capacity.
To select the correct lightbulb, it’s important to consider the size of your brooder as well as the number of chicks you have. To adjust the heat each week of your heat lamp, simply raise the heat lamp and or switch to a lower wattage bulb. It is best to evaluate the conditions of your chicks heat lamp a few days prior to placing chicks in their brooder to ensure accurate heating. Oftentimes you will be able to immediately note your chick’s comfort by their behavior. If chicks are panting or are very quiet, your heat lamp is drastically too warm. If your chicks are huddled together, then your chicks are cold and you will need to adjust your heat lamp’s height or bulb.
250 Watt Infrared Light Bulb: Recommended for brooders holding over 25 chicks. 125 & 175 Watt Heat Bulb: Recommended for brooders holding 13 or fewer chicks. To ensure that your brooder is acclimated correctly, place a thermometer at the bottom of your brooder. Newly hatched chicks should have a heated space of 95 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week. Temperatures will need to be decreased by 5 degrees as each week passes until your chicks reach their recommended coop age of 6 to 8 weeks. When beginning, we suggest adjusting your heat lamp to 18-20 inches above your brooders bedding.
For reference, make sure to refer to the following temperature recommendations.
Newly hatched – 95 degrees F°
1 to 2 weeks of age – 90 degrees F°
2 to 3 weeks of age – 85 degrees F°
3 to 4 weeks of age – 80 degrees F°
4 to 5 weeks of age – 75 degrees F°
Although more costly than heat lamps, heat plates can be a much safer and well worth investment. Heat plates are suitable for every bedding choice and brooder container option and can be easily adjusted. Heat plates will often come in various sizes and will have adjustable heights to accommodate your chicks as they age. A good rule of thumb to ensure that temperatures are accurate is to once again observe your flock’s behavior. Chicks should be able to easily enter underneath the heat plate to lay. If chicks are standing and chirping often, your heat plate needs to be adjusted lower. If your chicks cannot enter underneath or refuse to remain under their heat plate, a height adjustment will be needed.
Cleaning your chick’s brooder will depend on the bedding you select and the amount of waste and odor. Maintenance may be minimal in the beginning, but may increase to a daily regimen as your flock grows older. Once your flock grows old enough for their coops, frequent cleaning will become a thing of the past.
When it comes to your flock member’s nutrition, it is important to start your chicks with a Starter crumble feed. Starter feeds provide a high content level of protein that will aid in your chick’s growth by including a number of minerals and nutrients needed to develop their immune system. Starter feed may come as a medicated or unmedicated option. Medicated feeds are chosen as supplemental and optional protection for chicks as a means of preventing any chicken specific illnesses. Oftentimes unmedicated feed will be fine, especially if your chicks are raised from your very own flock members.
Chick waterers can come in two popular options: a waterer nipple and a poultry jar with a screw-on poultry waterer dish. These two waterer options are quite inexpensive and can easily be put together and maintained over time. Poultry nipples are common in large hatcheries and are helpful when transitioning your flock to a larger poultry nipple watering system. Poultry nipples can also become a cleaner and space-saving alternative compared to the commonly seen red dish poultry jar. To ensure that your chicks do not scratch bedding and waste in their poultry jars, we suggest slightly elevating your chick’s waterers either by using a thin cement block or a block of wood.
Most feed containers for chicks will either be available in a circular or long rectangular form. All chick feeders are made with small openings for chicks to peer inside and eat without dispersing feed everywhere. Include links to both options.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re real people and always happy to help!
Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds? In this case, chickens and ducks. Two similar yet very different birds that are loved by a number of backyard farmers everywhere. If you’re a beginner flock owner looking to add ducks to your existing chicken flock, then there are a few key tips that are important to learn beforehand.
Ducks can be messy.
For a bird that LOVES water, it’s no surprise that they will leave a muddy puddle. A pond or small water bath is necessary for ducks to be able to maintain healthy plumage, maintain body temperature, digestion, as well as clean both their eyes and nostrils. It’s always best to have a designated area separate from your duck’s pond and your chicken’s run to prevent any muddy disasters. Additionally, duck poop does not dry as quickly as that of chickens, thus making it more of a hassle to clean. To minimize the hassle of cleaning duck poop, ensure that you do not use hay or any moisture collecting bedding in your duck’s run, instead make sure to simply use sandy dirt that may be easily raked.
Although you can feed ducks the same chick or layer feed as that of a chicken, it’s important to know that your ducks will consume a greater amount of food. Having space for your ducks to forage for other sources of protein will be helpful in supplementing their diet. Additionally, ducks will need Niacin (Brewers Yeast) to aid with development. When feeding your two flocks, it is important to separate their feeds if you choose to implement Niacin or any special medicated food.
Ducks laying eggs.
When it comes to collecting duck eggs, ducks will often lay in the same place that they sleep or elsewhere that they deem secluded and predator safe. Similar to chickens, you do not need a male duck (drake) in order for your female ducks to lay eggs.
Duck Gender Ratio.
Although an even amount of both female and male ducks may seem reasonable to begin with, it can create a great deal of complications sometimes. It is important that you have a ratio of more female than male ducks. A ratio of 1 male to 2 – 5 females is suitable if you are beginning. A high ratio of male ducks will be a danger to female ducks as the males may attempt to over mate and severely injure your females. If you have a drake, but no rooster in your chicken flock, then it may cause your hens to be vulnerable to any injury the drake may inflict, and vice versa. Again, you can easily choose to only have all-female ducks and chickens, but if you are certain you want a rooster or drake, then it is important to take your flock ratio into account.
Ducks are chatty, especially at night.
Unlike chickens, ducks only need a safe space on the ground to rest. Ducks also put themselves up at night a few hours after chickens. Although you may choose to have your ducks sleep in the same coop, is it important to note that ducks can be noisy at all hours, especially at night, making it difficult sometimes for your chickens to rest. If you are looking to have a special coop for your ducks only, then our Duck coop may be of consideration, with a built-in pool, drying mat, and nesting space, your ducks will be well protected.
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 email@example.com. We’re real people and always happy to help!
For the longest time, chicken keeping was considered as an activity only possible in wide open, large acre spaces. Eggs were something you only sourced from the grocery store and waking up to a Rooster was something that only happened in the countryside. The idea of keeping chickens is now evolving and with it are many misconceptions that are easily debunked when it comes to raising these feathery friends in the city! If you’ve been hesitant on how to welcome a flock to your backyard space, then we encourage you to follow along as we share everything you need to know to begin your backyard chicken keeping journey in the city!
If owning chickens has been crossing your mind lately…then it’s important to first know if your city will be accepting of your future flock first. To find out if your city codes allow backyard chickens, we recommend visiting https://library.municode.com/. Simply select your municipality and search for the term ‘chickens’ to see if there are any restrictions in your area. Sometimes you may find that some locations will allow hens, but prohibit owning roosters, which is okay if you don’t want fertilized eggs! It is also important to speak with your HOA to further ensure that your backyard flock will be allowed.
Note: A common misconception is that Roosters are needed in your flock in order for your hens to lay eggs. This is not true!
Unlike the countryside, predators are not much of a concern in the city. The most common and curious coop visitor will likely be your dogs. Although they may pose a danger to your flock at first, with a little bit of training your pet can become one of your flock’s best protectors.
If raccoons are an issue when it comes to your trashcan, they may also pose an issue to your flock. Raccoons are curious critters and will not hesitate to visit your backyard flock. A secure latching system is crucial to protecting your flock from a nightly visit from your curious neighborhood raccoon.
Note: Worried about predators digging around your coop? Visit our Predator Proofing blog post for great ideas and solutions.
Best Chickens for the City
Depending on your backyard farming goals, you may choose to start with a small flock. For most beginners, a beginning flock of 2-6 birds is a great start. Before you start putting together your dream flock, it’s important to know which birds will best be suited for their backyard environment. Below we’ve put together our favorite and most popular beginner birds that are perfect for backyard spaces. If you prefer to raise your flock as chicks, visit our blog post “Your Guide to Ordering Your First Backyard Flock” for help on how to begin.
Barred Rock: Excellent brown egg layers with a calm temperament
Easter Eggers: Colorful egg layers that are quiet, yet active
Speckled Sussex: Cold climate strong and calm
Australorps: Quiet and gentle breeds that don’t mind staying inside their coop for long periods
Brahmas: Beautiful large chickens with feathers on shanks and toes
Rhode Island Reds: Hardy, curious, and friendly to be around!
Silkies: Known for their fluffy plumage, will happily raise ducklings and even poults
Note: Chickens will always make some noise. Especially when they lay an egg or see a possible danger.
If you plan to let your flock out to forage, then it’s important that your backyard space is safe. Do you have any plants in which you would prefer your flock to avoid? Does your entire backyard have a fence or a majority of cement? Do you have a pool?
If you have a growing garden, having chickens can be both a great and complicated addition. Your flock will help eliminate any gardening pests, like grasshoppers, who can wreak havoc on your precious greens. If you have fallen fruit, your flock will clean up before the fruit can turn into mush. If you need an extra boost of fertilizer, your flock’s run area can be a source of organic help. However, it’s important to note that your flock also enjoys a good flower and vegetable salad if available. Therefore creating a protected space is necessary to maintain a balance between your chicken and gardening goals.
Having a fenced-in backyard is a must to prevent any nuisance calls from your neighbors. Although chickens can fly, they will stay in their backyard space if kept occupied. If your flock’s curiosity worries you, then we would suggest training your flock to understand when treats are available. You can train chickens, like other livestock, to immediately return when you call them, encourage this behavior with treats and you will have a flock that comes at your command.
Chickens love to dust bathe, therefore leaving areas of sandy dirt is necessary to allow your flock to do what they love. Additionally, keeping chickens near your cemented space may prove to be a hassle when cleaning their stained droppings. If you have a pool, make sure your flock doesn’t have unsupervised access, although they are able to swim, chickens, unlike ducks, do not have feathers that secrete the oil needed to remain dry, causing them to become waterlogged and drown.
Our chicken keeping experience says 4 ft2 per hen is an acceptable number for healthy averaged sized hens that are caged 100% of the time and for things not to get too smelly. Space for chickens is a very, very personal decision that takes in factors of perceived humaneness which we of course cannot measure. If you plan to consider free-ranging your flock, then it is important to think about the mentioned space precautions and considerations. Additionally, each of our coops has a recommended coop space that can be found on our coop and egg capacity chart.
Pros of Keeping Chickens in the City
Aside from enjoying fresh and organic eggs from your backyard, there are a number of positives that come from raising chickens in the city.
Often times we forget where our food comes from, especially when it comes to the foods we often enjoy. Owning a backyard flock brings a certain awareness and appreciation for nature that is provided by owning and raising a backyard flock.
Depending on your neighbors, your backyard flock may spark some interest and curiosity for those who have never considered raising something other than a dog, cat, or fish. Sharing what you’ve learned with them can be both inspiring and interesting to them. Additionally, if you ever find yourself with excess eggs, you can always share them with your neighborhood friends.
Have you ever wanted to encourage yourself or possibly your children to enjoy their time outdoors more? Chickens will create a type of environment that is both peaceful and entertaining. You’ll quickly find that not all chickens are the same and that each flock member will have a unique and fun personality. Watching chickens catch grasshoppers or use a chicken swing is something so simple yet entertaining to watch.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall time is here and with it are a number of seasonal treats that your birds will flock to! Serve these autumn favorites as is or combine a few of these extra snacks to make an ultimate Fall feast.
Note: We do not recommend any canned variations of the foods mentioned below.
Pumpkin is rich in vitamin E, zinc, and potassium, all healthy additions to your flock’s diet that will boost their immune systems and support healthy growth development. Additionally, we recommend leaving pumpkin seeds intact because of the extra minerals and vitamins they provide! You can also choose to dry pumpkin seeds for your flock as a later snack.
When it comes to preparing a pumpkin for your flock simply cut a small hole in either side to encourage and allow for your flock to begin pecking. Enjoy preparing any colored pumpkin or squash for your flock to enjoy! If you have a small flock, then we recommend gradually feeding pieces of pumpkin for your flock to share gradually. You may also opt to simply give your flock a smaller sized pumpkin as well. Make sure not to leave any pumpkin remains overnight in your flock’s coop as it may attract unwanted rodents or mold.
Corn is a great source of potassium for your flock, but should be accompanied by higher protein feeds to help with egg production and molting.
When preparing corn on the cob for your flock we recommend removing or pulling back the husks. Corn husks pose no danger to your flock but it is not a treat that your flock will prefer. You may also hang the corn husk using twill for a fun hanging snack that your flock will enjoy. In addition to the fresh corn on the cob, you may also consider and see a dried whole and cracked corn, both of which are loved by flocks. If you choose to give your flock dried corn, we recommend no more than a handful.
Apples are a great snack-able option for your flock, offering vitamins and minerals, as well as pectin and amino acids. Since apples do not contain protein, we recommend it only as a treat.
When preparing apples for your flock we recommend leaving the peel on but removing the core. The core may create a choking hazard for chickens, in addition, the seeds are seen as toxic if consumed in excess by your flock. You may choose to hang the apple on a string for your chickens to peck and enjoy or cut the apple into sizable chunks.
Fall Treat Combinations:
Looking to combine more than one Fall treat? Try these fun food combinations that your flock will enjoy! For both corn on the cob and apples, you can add peanut butter. Peanut Butter is a great source of protein as well as a great sticky substance to add on additional toppings such as grubs, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds.
As you may have picked up on with each treat, protein is a necessary nutritional factor in your flock’s diet! To help boost protein intake for your flock, we suggest adding grubs to your flock’s feed and especially to their treats!
Looking to add protein-rich grubs to your flock’s diet by utilizing your very own leftover food waste? Your leftover food waste isn’t always healthy or recommended as a part of your flock’s diet, but there is a way to convert that food to a treat that your flock will love! The Grubcone offers an alternative to disposing of your food waste through a biowaste process that encourages the growth of grubs. This creates a perfect way to have a consistent and fresh source of protein for your flock while helping you reduce organic food waste. To learn more about this unique solution, make sure to visit our Grubcone product page!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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!
Jen’s Hen Den
Kristy’s Coop for Cluckers
The O’Brien Fluffy Beauties
Janson Egg Company
Chan’s Hen Hub
Paul & Meg’s Egg Machine
Bodhi’s Little Farm
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)
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.
The Eggcellent Inn
The Egg Drop Palace
Golden Yolk Lane
Best Little Hen House in Durham
The Silkie Suite
Patricia’s Hen Hilton
Coop de C’ville
Mount Ever Roost
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
Beware Mini Raptors
The Crazy Chicken Lady Ranch
Clucking Good Time
The Chook Nook!
Bok Bok Farm
No Roosters! Ever!
Here There Be Chickens
Chick Chick Hooray!
Home of Tiny Raptors
Cluck a Doodle Doo
Eggs by Eggers
Fluffy Butt Hut
Happy Hen House
Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
Hen’s a Flyin’
We’re making eggs in here!
Chicken Noodle Coop
The Cluck Hut
The Over Easy Shack
The Hen Den
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.
The Quack House
Duck, Duck, Coop
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Shavingsare 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
Raised vegetable gardens are loved by new and experienced backyard gardeners everywhere, and the reasons are plentiful! Feasibility of harvesting, soil control, and drainage are just a few of our favorite raised vegetable garden aspects. If you are new to raised bed gardening, there are a number of important factors to consider before beginning! Follow our helpful beginner raised vegetable garden bed recommendations below to help start and reach your backyard gardening goals!
Garden Bed Depth:
Common garden bed depths will come in at either 6” or 14-16” deep. Deep-rooted plants will require more space for roots to expand. Shallow garden beds will do just fine for shorter root systems. To ensure you have enough depth your raised garden bed, it’s important to plan which vegetables you will be growing. Make sure to plant the following options according to their recommended planting depth.
If planting in a 6” inch deep garden bed, aim to plant low rooting herbs, leafy vegetables, or small root vegetables in these more shallow garden beds. Our favorite plant recommendations include Arugula, leeks, lettuce, onions, radishes, spinach, basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, and thyme.
If planting in a 14-16” inch deep garden bed, you will have more choices as to which plants you can grow. If you have a wide base model garden bed, you can grow popular vine plants such as beans, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and summer squash around the edges of your garden bed to allow vine plants to hang over the edges of your bed or climb any structured wire fencing. Among other plants, we also recommend beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, garlic, kale, swiss chard, turnips. If you are looking to add some chicken loved plants, you can include Lavender, Rosemary, and Sage, all of which provide excellent health benefits to your flock. For more chicken friendly options, visit our blog post 8 Chicken Healthy Herbs To Grow Next to Your Coop.
Take into consideration any compatible companion plants, especially when considering vined vegetables which will overtake any fragile neighboring plants. Companion planting will allow your plants to share nutrients and ward off any unwanted pests. Some planting flowers, such as Marigolds, can help deter particular beetles and worms that are planted near the right vegetables, such as potatoes, squash, and tomatoes. However, if not careful some plant considerations can stunt growth or spread both diseases and pests to your crop. For example, planting herbs near cucumbers will oftentimes impede growth!
Choosing a Location:
Make sure to place your Raised Vegetable Garden Beds carefully in one permanent location. Place your garden beds in a flood-prone area that receives 8 or more hours of full sun. Additionally, make sure to place your garden bed in a location that is easily accessible by a watering hose.
Prior to filling in the area with dirt, make sure to remove any grass and loosen the dirt to improve drainage. Loosening the dirt will also allow your deeper rooting vegetables to grow deeper without difficulty. You can choose to leave the bottom of your newly loosened dirt as is before adding your soil mixture or you can place a flooring to keep burrowing animals or weeds out. Flooring options can include landscape fabric, cardboard, or wire mesh.
Before you begin planting any seeds or transitioning any potted plants, establishing your soil composition is important in creating a healthy ecosystem for your plants to grow in. There are a number of soil ingredients available and recommended to build the right soil mixture for your growing garden. The top-recommended soil combinations always include 50% of high-quality topsoil, compost (either homemade or store-bought), and a low percentage of an optional potting soil or a mixture of organic material.
The soil recipe you choose will come down to your preference, price range, and local availability. Once you’ve decided on a soil mixture, make sure to add a light layer of mulch to the very top, this can be from 1″ to 3″ inches. Depending on the mulch material you use, too much mulch will prevent water from reaching your crop and too little won’t keep weeds away or keep your soil cool.
We hope you find these first-time backyard gardening 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chicken Keeping doesn’t have to be complicated for a first-time backyard flock owner. Whether you’ve found yourself dreaming of looking out your backyard to see a feathery flock of your own roaming around, or if you’ve committed yourself to purchase your first chicks, we’ve put together a list of 5 of our best and helpful First Time Backyard Chicken Keeping Tips to help you along your new backyard farming journey!
1) Begin with chicks or mature birds
For new or future backyard chicken keepers, we always recommend starting off with either chicks or mature birds. If you have a preference for raising baby chicks, you can easily order your future flock by visiting a reputable online hatchery such as idealpoulty.com or murraymcmurrayhatchery.com. Baby chicks require extra care and need to remain in an enclosed area until they reach a recommended coop age of 6-8 weeks.
If you have a friend or know of a sustainable and reputable farm that may offer pullets, this will also serve as a great way to begin your chicken keeping journey. Keep in mind that chickens will typically begin laying eggs at 18 weeks of age. For more information on how to properly order your first flock, visit our blog post Your Guide to Ordering Your First Backyard Flock where we mention breed recommendations that are great for beginners!
2) Establish a Routine with your chickens
Make sure to establish a dailyroutine with your flock to ensure good health. Our daily routine always includes checking to see if the flock has clean water and plenty of food. Make sure to also schedule regular times to check your hen’s nest box to collect eggs, if eggs are left uncollected for long periods of time, this may result in broody hens (a hen that will sit on eggs in an attempt to hatch them), unwanted predator attention, or a broken egg in the nest box. To make this routine simpler, our coops feature optional EZ-Fill Waterers and Feeders with a simple, no-poop feeding system.
For a weekly to monthly basis, make sure to clean your hen’s nest box area by replacing or cleaning the bedding. You can also add chicken safe nest box herbs that your hens will love! To view a list of chicken healthy herbs that we recommend, visit our blog post 8 Chicken Healthy Herbs To Grow Next to Your Coop. Additionally, it’s important to always schedule a time to rake the dirt or sanded run area of your coop to ensure that the natural microbiomes in the dirt work their magic in decomposing your flock’s poop. For Roost Bars use a plastic bristle brush and/or a wired brush for wired panel sanitization. For a natural wood friendly, water-based formula use a spray bottle filled with half water and half distilled white vinegar, feel free to use as-is or add rosemary or lavender to your formula for a natural scent boost.
3) Plan for the Seasons
Depending on where you are establishing your new backyard flock, your weather characteristics may require some seasonal coop preparation. Almost all chickens are fairly cold hardy and can withstand temperatures below freezing as well as snowfall. To assist with the cold temperatures in your area we always recommend using an aquarium heater and Freeze-Guard Poultry Drinkerthat will prevent waters from freezing. For open airway style coops, like our Roost&Root Coops, we always recommend preparing during wintertime with our Snow/Storm Panels, made to allow airflow while protecting your flock from snow and harsh rains that may reach 50-60 MPH+.
* DO NOT attach a heat lamp to your coop during the cold, this is a very high fire risk.
Compared to winter, the summertime proves much more of a precautionary season as chickens may get heat exhaustion. We always suggest providing your flock with loose topsoil to allow for dust bathing. Rolling around in dust will not only help cool chickens off, but it will also help eliminate any mites. As an optional choice, you can also include a separate natural electrolyte water formula for your flock. For more summer flock care tips, visit our blog post How to Keep Chickens Cool in the Summer Heat.
4) Have an Out of Town Plan
A common misconception that comes with having chickens is being unable to plan vacations. Chickens are by far much easier to care for during long stays away from home. A trusted family member or friend can easily maintain your flock’s feeding system with our EZ-Fill Watering and Feeding System, which allows for easy outside coop feedings. Many of our coops allow up to 3-4 days of feed and water before having to replenish. Additionally, having your flock inside their coop during the time of your vacation will not cause any harm.
5) Have Fun!
Chicken keeping doesn’t have to be complicated, once your routine and flock are established, the work required to maintain your flock’s health and safety will seem minimal compared to that of a cat or dog. You will find that each flock member will have recognizable characteristics and quirks that will set each one apart, and make them a part of your family. The responsibilities of keeping a flock are simple to remember and will soon become a new and fun task on your backyard farming journey.
We hope you find these first-time backyard chicken keeping tips helpful as you begin your backyard farming journey! Have any questions regarding anything that is mentioned in this blog post? Reach out to us at 877-741-2667 or email us at email@example.com.
Buying your first chickens is an exciting moment, that at the same time, can bring up a lot of questions! That is why we decided to create this helpful resource to help answer some of the biggest questions you may have when purchasing your very first flock. We’ll help answer questions such as which birds to choose, where, and how to order your birds, as well as important housing considerations once you receive your first chicks.
1) “What Birds Should I Get?”
It’s easy to immediately get overwhelmed with the various breeds available, each with unique characteristics that set them apart, from the color of their eggs and feathers to the nature of their temperament and hardiness. To help make your decision easier, we’ve listed below 10 of our favorite breeds loved by beginner backyard flock owners everywhere for their excellent egg production, their calm and docile temperament, as well as the color of their eggs.
Rhode Island Red – Brown Egg Layer
Barred Rock – Brown Egg Layer
Easter Eggers – Green/Blue/Multi-Color Eggs
Orpingtons – Brown Egg Layer
Australorp – Brown Egg Layer
Wyandottes – Light to Rich Brown Eggs
Gold Comet – Light to Rich Brown Eggs
Buckeye – Light to Rich Brown Eggs
Speckled Sussex – Light Brown Eggs
Maran – Chocolate Brown Eggs
*Listed in no specific order.
Not listed, are Bantam chickens, although not recognized for their egg production, are still favorable among beginners for their excellent temperament, some of which include Polish, Frizzle, Sizzle, and Silkie Chickens. Note that although these chickens are known for their kind temperament, roosters may show some slight aggression by nature.
2) Where to Order/Find Birds
We recommend ordering your birds either in person at a local feed store, over the phone using a catalog, an online hatchery (Murray McMurray Hatchery & Ideal Poultry), Craigslist, or a sustainable and reputable local farm. If picking up a bird online from Craigslist, make sure to note any unhealthy signs such as any breathing abnormalities (rasping, sneezing), swelling or lesions, physical impairment (limping, hunching, excessive feather loss), or odor. These may be signs of illness and should often be avoided.
3) How to Order Your Birds
If you plan to order through your local feed store, be certain to reach out and ask when they begin accepting orders for chicks. Often there are two seasons for ordering chicks, the Spring season and the Fall season. For the Spring season, chicks will arrive late January up until May, Fall season chicks will arrive around September to October. To ensure your birds are ready to handle lower temperatures, we recommend ordering your chicks 6 weeks before your first freeze.
Minimum orders vary based on the hatchery you select and the time of year. Spring chicks tend to sell out faster therefore we recommend placing an order as soon as you learn when the shipping dates are established by the hatchery of your choice.
Sexed vs. Straight Run Birds: When ordering, you may be required to select between sexed or straight run birds. Sexed birds mean a hatchery will do their best to give you the gender you prefer. Straight Runs are an assorted gender and may result in having roosters.
* Note that you do not need a rooster for hens to produce eggs, a rooster will fertilize eggs thus leading to the possibility of baby chicks if you have a broody hen in your flock.
The majority of post offices accept mail-order chicks, however, it is best to call your post office first to ensure that they do, as well to learn how they require you to go about pick-ups, often at-home deliveries are available as well. Ordering via a local feed store will allow you to pick-up your orders in person or pick and select from the available chicks they often bring in during the season.
* Most hatcheries offer a live arrival guarantee with a time-frame window in which you will need to report a loss so that a hatchery can credit you.
4) Housing Chicks
One important factor when ordering your first flock is the consideration of the nightly temperatures of where you are located. 6 Week Old Chicks should not be let outdoors if nightly temperatures are below that of which are shown in the image below. As you raise your flock, we recommend keeping your chicks indoors until they reach their recommended coop age. For more information on how to house your baby chicks until they reach their recommended age, reference our blog post-SimpleWays to House Chicks While Your Chicken Coop Is Being Built.
We hope you find this guide helpful as you begin your backyard farming journey! Have a question regarding what was mentioned in our blog post? Reach out to us at any time, we’re real people and enjoy helping new and existing chicken and coop owners everywhere! firstname.lastname@example.org , phone: 877-741-2667.
As a backyard chicken keeper and current or future gardener, you may notice that your flock simply can’t refuse the temptation of a backyard garden. However, if not cautious some plants you may be interested in can cause some accidental harm for your flock if ingested.
To help achieve your garden goals, while making sure your backyard garden is chicken safe, we’ve compiled together a list of chicken healthy herbs that you can grow next to your coop for a happy and healthy flock. Use these following herb recommendations as a way to freshen up your coop after coop clean up days or to provide a healthy boost to your flock’s diet.
If your flock is prone to stress or if your backyard has attracted visits from mice, consider planting lemon balm as a natural rodent deterrent for your coop. Although mice typically cannot easily enter our coops, you may find that if found…your flock will likely get rid of a mouse exactly as a cat would. Try drying this herb and leaving it near your coops nest box to create a calming scent that both you and your flock will appreciate.
Although used as a popular herb for cooking, you can also use this aromatic plant to strengthen the immune systems of your birds while helping prevent diseases such as e.coli, salmonella, or avian flu. Feed this herb as is or dry it to mix in with your flocks feed.
Looking for a natural deodorizer for your chicken coop? Enjoy the natural scent of rosemary in your garden and coop by drying and hanging twigs inside your coops or generously sprinkling the clippings in nest boxes. This herb naturally repels insects and can also help in strengthening the respiratory health of your flock. The best part about this herb is how easy and inexpensive it is to grow as well!
To help build the respiratory health of your flock, mix this aromatic healthy herb in your flocks feed or use it as a natural insect repellent in nest boxes. This herb will act as a great antioxidant and antibacterial that is highly beneficial for your flock.
Use this popular herb to add an overall health boost for your flock that will work to prevent both diseases and parasites from harming your flock, add it fresh, or dried to your flock’s feed.
An amazing herb that will not only taste great to you, but also to your flock. Use this herb as a way to strengthen your flock’s immune and respiratory health by sprinkling it either fresh or dry to their feed.
This aromatic herb is a favorite among chickens in the summertime! Add it to ice cubes and serve it as a treat to help regulate your bird’s temperature and improve their digestive health. It can also be used in an array of other herbs mentioned to repel insects and give off an aromatic scent for your coops nest box.
Share the relaxing aromatherapy benefit of lavender with your backyard flock. Use this herb to calm your flock and protect them from pesky insects. Let this herb dry before placing it in feeds and the run or nest box areas of your coop.
To ensure your chickens reap the benefits of these herbs, make sure to first establish the plant elsewhere, allowing it to mature before relocating it near the coop, this will ensure your hens don’t eat the seedling before it gets a chance to mature. To prevent any overgrowth that may come from a few of these herbs (Rosemary, Lavender, Dill, Lemon Balm, and Mint), we recommend using a Basic Cedar Raised Vegetable Garden to control growth. Additionally, a cedar made raised vegetable garden can help the longevity of your garden by giving off a distinct cedar aroma that is a deterrent to insects, moths, and other wood pests. These oils are locked into the boards and are what make the wood so resistant to bugs and also rot.
We appreciate you reading through and hope that you found this blog post helpful and enjoyable as you begin or continue your backyard farming journey. For questions and customer support reach out to us at email@example.com. We are real people and enjoy helping our past and future customers!
If you are looking into starting your very own backyard farm, you may be contemplating the best way to begin. Depending on where you live, you may be uncertain about using your existing ground soil or investing in a Raised Garden Beds. Both of which have positive results, however depending on where your home is, you will likely find that Raised Garden Beds will offer long-term gardening success and look aesthetically pleasing. To further share the benefits of using raised garden beds, we compiled 5 ways Raised Garden Beds can increase your gardening success in your backyard farm.
1.Reduced Weed Growth
Nobody likes having to pull weeds from their garden. For ground plants, weeds may be native to your soil and can be a never-ending battle unless you invest in a weed killer or pull them out yourself. Raised garden beds allow you to keep weeds at bay due to their inability to thrive in deep soil. If you do see some weed growth in your raised garden beds, we suggest adding a layer of mulch to block out sunlight that may encourage unwanted weed growth.
2. Faster Planting
One of our favorite abilities with raised garden beds is the ability to see faster growth in your garden. This is partly due to the ability to better control your plant’s growth if you are transitioning them from plastic store-bought containers to the ground or growing your garden from seedlings. Additionally, the soil in your raised vegetable garden will warm up faster leading to bigger and better growth, however, we also suggest adding a layer of mulch to the top of your garden bed once daily temperatures begin to rise in your area to prevent your soil from getting too warm.
3. Better Drainage and Soil Control
If your backyard has poorly draining soil, you may risk having the soil erode from heavy rainfall, combine that with warm summer temperatures, and you will begin to see fungal growth that will damage your beautiful garden. Raised gardens can additionally help you if your garden is filled with tree roots and clay soil and will help you control the PH levels in your garden for growing particular veggies and fruit.
4. Reduced Wildlife Damage
Wildlife damage can be a foreseeable possibility if your backyard garden is near the countryside, hungry critters, such as deer, and sometimes domestic pets can uproot and begin enjoying your garden before you do! Also, raising your garden bed will likely lead to a reduced risk of finding unwanted snakes that may be hiding in the shade of your large leafy plants. If you live in an unfenced area, you may benefit from Wildlife Covers as a cheaper alternative than fencing in your property, ensuring that your hard work will last season after season.
5. Less Stooping
Overtime bending down to plant or harvest your garden may eventually lead to some joint and muscle discomfort. Raised Garden Beds assist in minimizing the added pressure and strain on your body by reducing the constant up and down movements that come from harvesting your garden from ground level. Additionally, Stacked Raised Gardens may eliminate the need to bend entirely, allowing you to harvest and plant your garden from a standing position instead.
We hope that you found this blog post helpful and enjoyable as you begin or continue your backyard farming journey. We appreciate you reading through and look forward to offering any assistance to your backyard farming journey! For questions and customer support reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are real people and enjoy helping our past and future customers!
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.
Where to Place Your Coop
Before you begin predator proofing your new coop, we highly encourage having your coop in the perfect location. Each of our coops weighs between 125 – 1,000 lbs once fully assembled, therefore choosing the perfect location is critical to prevent future relocation.
To ensure you choose the perfect spot, we recommend following these 3 recommendations when choosing where to place your coop:
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 harsh rains. Placing your coop on level solid ground that drains well is ideal! We also 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 an area 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 sits in a direction where it receives maximum sunlight during winter months. Make sure to view our other blog posts to learn how to properly protect your flock from freezing winters and high summer temperatures.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com! We’re real people and enjoy helping our coop owners before and after every purchase.
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.
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.
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.
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 worked hard to understand the needs of our customers all over the United States, and with the cooler weather season approaching, we’ve asked our resident chicken expert to weigh in on best practices for cold weather backyard chicken-keeping.
Chickens, with the notable exception of Silkies and Frizzles, are by nature much more cold hardy than they are heat tolerant.
The design concept of Roost & Root coops provides for three basic spaces for your chickens. (1) Roost Area (2) Egg Box Area, and (3) Run Space. Each space has its design goals, taking into consideration cold and hot climates.
#1 Roost Areas
The Roost area will be used by your chickens primarily at night to sleep. Exceptions to this will be when your birds feel they need additional shelter because of inclement conditions. They will seek shelter in the roost. Roost & Root coops feature enclosed roosts made from thermally neutral cedar (neither transmits cold or hot) and use updraft passive ventilation so that hens in the roost are protected from stagnant air issues. In hot or cold weather, air circulates from low to high and out the tops of the roosts even though they are enclosed and protected, making sure your chickens stay healthy year-round.
By nature, chickens have a good way to deal with inclement weather. Chickens are very temperature hardy, much better at dealing with extreme cold weather than extreme heat. Poultry experts agree that a dry, wind protected adult chicken allowed to feather up prior to the winter season, can do just fine in freezing temperatures… even sub zero temperatures.
Oddly, overheating of your chickens and frostbite issues have a common root cause…poor ventilation. Frostbite is driven by sub freezing temperatures and overly humid coops that are too enclosed. In the worst coop designs, humid sub freezing temperatures exacerbated by the chickens poop moisture (common with poop trays) and respiration can cause frostbite on exposed combs and leg skin even on a dry chicken. Heaters and light bulbs must be used with great care as they introduce the risk of electrical fires and can actually cause fowl to not “feather-up” the way they otherwise would, and in a power outage, it potentially leaves them without their full natural feathering to keep them warm.
#2 Egg Box Areas
For a different reason, egg box areas are enclosed too. Darkness. Chickens will naturally want to lay their eggs in the darkest most cozy areas of the coops. Our egg boxes, for the same reasons as our roost, afford your chickens refuge from poor weather conditions while they are laying yet keep critical fresh air circulating around them.
Runs are just that, a run area for your chickens, and a place for them to get outside and forage around. Our run areas have roof areas over them to provide some shade and some protection from normal rain and snow accumulation. At the same time, our runs allow sunlight to shine in too. Sunlight drys up your coop areas, the ultraviolet light disinfects your coop and helps control odors, and in fact as with most animals, chickens need sunlight. So they are necessarily more open than roosts and egg box areas. In extreme stormy conditions (wind driven snow and rain), your chickens even though it is daytime, will seek shelter in their roosts. They’re now out of the storm, but confined to a smaller space. So that the run areas can have both the openness that’s appropriate the vast majority of the time, but to extend use of the run in seriously stormy weather, we’ve introduced optional Storm Panels™ that will add temporary additional inclement weather protection to run areas. You don’t have to have them, but it’s a smart choice as they offer more sheltered space to your flock when it’s stormy outside.
For many of us, chickens have become pets. Leaving Fido out in inclement weather is just not usually an option. With that said, pets or not, chickens are still livestock. An adult chicken given good choices for different shelter areas (roost, egg box, run) can figure out what areas they need to be in to deal with the weather. Depending on your world view, they’ve been doing it for somewhere between 10,000 and 10 bizillion years. We’ve only had electricity for a little more than 100 years and chickens have certainly done well for much longer than that all over the world.
The fact is that cold isn’t as big a problem for chickens as heat. They can withstand very cold temperatures (even subzero) as long as they are fully feathered adults. Generally a chicken is fully feathered out by the age of 12 weeks, but does sometimes depend on the breed. If your chicken has full wing feathers and feathers over it’s neck and middle, it’s safe to consider them fully feathered. If you have a Round-Top Backyard Chicken Coop™ make sure to place your roost door away from the prevailing or coldest North winds just to give them a bit of extra protection, or you could get a Snow / Storm Panel kit which includes a cover for that door. Lower your roost wings on your Mobile Coop and the roost area becomes a great place to get out of the weather. Likewise, the Walk-In Coop has a giant enclosed roost area where your chickens can seek refuge if they think they need it.
The problem with cold and chickens actually comes from moist cold air. Moist cold air causes respiratory problems and can cause frost-bitten combs and wattles in very cold temperatures. The roost-over run design of the Round-Top Backyard Chicken Coops™ takes this into account and provides ventilation through the roost floor and allows the cold moist air to dissipate out the top round vents. The roost bars are positioned to allow the chickens to roost near the top where the air is warmest, but out of direct wind.
Keep water from freezing by using some sort of a submersible heater or heated chicken waterer. If you have the Easy Fill Waterer, we have designed it for a particular heater and all that is needed is the slotted cap.
Extra shavings in a sloppy coop run bottom can absorb water and help keep your girls feet dry. Do not use straw or hay as it holds moisture and turns into a mildewy matted mess.
On really cold sub-zero days, you can use a bit of Vaseline to coat combs , waddles and exposed leg skin to protect from frostbite.
Cold birds will huddle up together to keep warm and in the heat, the opposite is true.
Be careful if you decide to use a light-bulb or a heater. The electricity presents an electrocution and fire hazard and you may in fact be doing harm. IF you provide too much supplemental heat, a bird’s natural reaction is to not feather up as much. IF you were to lose electricity in a cold spell, your birds would be without some part of their best natural defense against cold…their feathers.
Keep unfrozen fresh water available to your hens. Hydrated birds deal with cold better.
Dry, fully feathered chickens that can get out of the wind are very, very cold hardy. They will be fine in freezing temperatures (even sub zero temperatures) so long as they have access to fresh water and stay dry. Some particulars may vary breed-to-breed, for instance Silkies and frizzle-feathered chickens are less cold hardy. The above points will certainly give you a safe place to work from.
Contact us if you have winter chicken keeping questions. While we live in Central Texas and only have 30 or so freezing days each year, we have thousands of customers in places like Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado and many other very cold places. We literally get NO reports of cold weather related chicken deaths with our coops. We’re happy to share with you what we know.
At Urban Coop Company, we’re here to be your guide on all urban chicken-keeping matters.
For summer, we wanted to give you our TOP 3 useful tips on keeping your chickens cool, comfortable and healthy during hot months. As we’re located in Central Texas, summer days tend to be well over 100 degrees so we have a ton of experience in this area, and have seen first-hand what works best in keeping your chickens from overheating. Read through our tips below or scroll to the bottom to watch the full Urban Coop Scoop episode!
TIP #1: Make sure your chickens have a consistent amount of cool, fresh water
There are a ton of watering systems and methods for chicken coops, but we definitely have our favorite… In order to keep water fresh and “poop-free”, we designed an integrated, easy-fill waterer that can be purchased with each of our coops. These keep chickens from being able to dirty the water, ensuring it stays fresh longer.
If you don’t have a watering system that protects the water from dirt and droppings, make sure to check the water supply a couple times each day to ensure there is enough clean water for your flock.
TIP #2: Provide chickens with loose top soil
Chickens really enjoy what we call “dust bathing” in order to keep themselves cool in the heat. This is where your chickens will lay around in loose, dirt top soil. If your chickens do not already have some, it’d be worth it to provide them with some. Rolling around in it may not only help cool them off, it could also help them eliminate any mites that may be in their feathers.
TIP #3: Create frozen ice treats for your chickens.
For the summer, we like offering our chickens strawberries and blueberries, as well as a bit of fresh mint (for an extra cooling effect.) However, any fresh fruit will work. Once you’ve chosen the fruit, cut your ingredients into small pieces that will fit in ice trays. Next, fill the trays with clean water and place in the freezer. Once your trays have frozen solid, dump the ice treats into a bowl with water outside for your chickens to enjoy.
This is a nice treat that will keep your flock hydrated and give them something to do.
If you have chicken-keeping questions, please email us and we will answer them, as well as possibly feature your question on one of our upcoming blogs!
Subscribe to our Roost & Root Scoop™ Newsletter to receive more chicken-keeping tips, tricks and resources for all seasons. Lastly, if you’d like to speak with our resident chicken expert about any of our products, don’t hesitate to give us a call!
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.
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:
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…
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…
3. Supply will last a long weekend on any of our coops, allowing you to get away for a few days without worry…
4. Since the feeders/waterers are secured to the coop, there is more run space for your flock…
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!
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.
Urban Chicken Keeping is growing and our coops are very popular, for good reason! Your coop is lovingly hand built from premium materials and will look great for years to come. During some parts of the year we get up to six weeks back-ordered. As a company policy we take orders and deliver weekly batches of coops in the order in which they’re purchased. We’re so grateful for your patience while we build your new coop. Here are some ideas on how to house those stinky chicks while they’re growing up. Here are two popular temporary chick pens other than your spare bathtub 🙂 which is by far the MOST popular…
Available at PetsMart or Amazon. Comes in bigger sizes too. Line the bottom with pine shavings that can be cleaned out periodically or also can be used with straw. We don’t recommend newspaper. Keep in a heated outbuilding or your garage until it is warm enough.
You might still have one in the attic or a friend that has an old one. Can usually be found for less than $20 at 2nd Hand Stores like Salvation Army. Line the bottom with pine shavings that can be cleaned out periodically or also can be used with straw. We don’t recommend newspaper. Keep in a heated outbuilding or your garage until it is warm enough.
It’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.