5 Beginner Tips for Raising Ducks with Chickens

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.

Duck appetites.

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. 

 

Fisheye View of the Run Area
Duck Coop Pool Picture
Duck Coop Drain Pan
Fowl Weather ;-) Hangout

 

 

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

 

Beginners Guide to City Chicken Keeping

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!

City Ordinances

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! 

Neighborhood Predators

Dogs:

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. 

Raccoons:

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. 

Backyard Space

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.

Food Appreciation.

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.

Community Education

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.

Entertainment

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 support@roostandroot.com.

We’re real people and always happy to help!

Fall Treats Your Flock will Love

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 

Health:

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. 

Preparation:

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

Health:

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. 

Preparation:

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.

Apple

Health:

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. 

Preparation:

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!

 

 

EZ-Fill Waterer Advantages & Training Tips

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

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

Disadvantages of a Traditional Waterer: 

Constant Cleaning 

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

Elimination in Run Space

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

Cold-Weather Disadvantages

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

 

Advantages of an EZ-Fill Waterer:

Low-maintenance Cleaning & Use

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

Cold-Weather Advantages

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

Submersible Fish Tank-style Heater: https://a.co/d/9HEHUSD

Cord Cover: https://amzn.to/3m835N8

    • 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.

 

 

feeders

 

 

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 support@roostandroot.com.

We’re real people and always happy to help!

70+ Coop Name Board Ideas

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

Add your Name!

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

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

 

Chicken, hen,….Hähnchen?

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

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

 

Location Inspiration!

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

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

 

Looking for a Good Laugh?

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

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

 

Duck Coop Name Inspiration

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

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

 

Our Available Coop Font Options Include:

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

Script

Modern

Helvetica

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 support@roostandroot.com.

We’re real people and always happy to help!

How to Clean Your Round-Top Coop!

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

Recommended Supplies & Tools

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

Nesting Material Options

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

How to Clean Waterers

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

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

 

How to Clean Feeders

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

 

How to Clean Roost-Over-Run Coops

 

 

Round-Top Backyard Coop:

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

 

Round-Top Mobile Coop:

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

 

Round-Top Duck Coop:

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

 

 

How to Clean Walk-in Style Coops

 

Round-Top Chicken Loft™ Dropping Board System
Urban Coop Company - Stand-Up Chicken Coop
Urban Coop Company - Stand-Up Chicken Coop

 

 

Round-Top Stand-Up Coop:

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

 

Round-Top Loft Coop:

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

 

Round-Top Walk-In Coop:

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

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

 

Why Dirt/Sand in the Run Area?

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

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

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

We’re real people and always happy to help!

Raised Vegetable Gardening for Beginners

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. 

 

 

Plant Companions:

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. 

Soil Composition:

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 support@roostandroot.com.

For more raised vegetable gardening help, visit our blog post 5 Ways Raised Vegetable Gardens Can Increase Your Gardening Success.

We’re real people and always happy to help!

5 First Time Backyard Chicken Keeping Tips

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 daily routine 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

Winter:

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 Drinker that 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.

 

 

 

Summer:

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 support@roostandroot.com.

We’re real people and always happy to help!

Your Guide to Ordering Your First Backyard Flock

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. 

  1. Rhode Island Red – Brown Egg Layer
  2. Barred Rock – Brown Egg Layer
  3. Easter Eggers – Green/Blue/Multi-Color Eggs 
  4. Orpingtons – Brown Egg Layer 
  5. Australorp – Brown Egg Layer
  6. Wyandottes – Light to Rich Brown Eggs
  7. Gold Comet – Light to Rich Brown Eggs 
  8. Buckeye – Light to Rich Brown Eggs 
  9. Speckled Sussex – Light Brown Eggs 
  10. 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-Simple Ways 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! support@roostandroot.com , phone: 877-741-2667. 

8 Chicken Healthy Herbs To Grow Next to Your Coop

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.

Lemon Balm:

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. 

Oregano:

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. 

Rosemary:

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!

Thyme:

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. 

Sage:

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. 

Dill:

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.

Spearmint:

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.

Lavender:

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 support@roostandroot.com. We are real people and enjoy helping our past and future customers! 

5 Ways Raised Vegetable Gardens Can Increase Your Gardening Success

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 Vegetable Garden. Both of which have positive results, however depending on where your home is, you will likely find that Raised Vegetable Gardens will offer long-term gardening success and look aesthetically pleasing. To further share the benefits of using a raised vegetable garden, we compiled 5 ways Raised Vegetable Gardens 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 Vegetable gardens 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 vegetable garden, 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 vegetable gardens 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 Vegetable 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 Vegetable Gardens 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 Vegetable 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 support@roostandroot.com. We are real people and enjoy helping our past and future customers!