Products & Supplies

 

Winter’s coming!

Friday, October 26th, 2018

Extend daylight in chicken coop during the winter
Winter is on the way in the Northern Hemisphere. These 3 resources will help you get your coop and flock ready for the coming season:

  • Chicken Keeping Buyer’s Guide – This is our selection of curated links to tools, materials, accessories, books, and art that make coop building and chicken keeping easier and more fun. Specific to cold weather, the guide points you to options for adding light to the coop and heat to your chickens’ waterer (and henhouse, if needed). Have ideas to add to the list? Please let me know.
  • Winter Coop Care Series – This four-part series is our go-to reference for how to prepare your coop and flock for the winter. Please add any tips directly to the comments sections of those posts.
  • All of our “winter”-themed posts – See everything we have that’s winter-related, including a many coop profiles from customers who’ve built our designs in some fairly cold and some truly extreme environments.

Happy wintering!

How to heat your chickens’ nipple waterer in the winter

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Heater for poultry nipple waterer

Just a quick post to share what we did last winter to keep our chickens’ nipple waterer from freezing. We bought an immersible birdbath heater (see our Buyer’s Guide for more details). Because the element rests at the bottom of the bucket, near the nipples, the warmth not only kept the nipples from freezing, but also kept any drops that formed on the outside of the nipples from freezing.  (more…)

Introducing the Peck-It-Clean Veggie Feeder for Chickens

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

We feed our chickens lots of loose greens, veggies, and garden scraps. They love them. But since chickens eat by pecking and tearing, loose foods like these can get tossed about in the coop, trampled in the run, and sometimes not eaten at all.

So we looked around for a device — something like a hay feeder for larger animals — that would hold loose veggies in place, providing enough resistance to allow chickens to eat more naturally and efficiently. We didn’t find anything, so we set about to create our own DIY veggie feeder, something that would be easy to make and would work in any coop or run.

The final product was so simple and so perfect for the job. It’s now our favorite thing in the coop (after the chickens, I’m obligated to say):

Chickens eating from Veggie Feeder

How it works

To see how it works, take a look as our flock makes quick work of a large zucchini in the veggie feeder. The video is at 20x speed, actually, so this one piece of fruit kept them active for a full 20 minutes:

Make your own, or get one from us

You can easily make your own veggie feeder if you have the supplies on hand (a grill/grate/grid or a section of heavy-gauge wire mesh with openings of around 1″ or 1.5″; a weather-proof elastic cord and toggle; and outdoor-rated zip/cable ties).

If not, order one of ours — the Peck-It-Clean™ Veggie Feeder for Chickens. It’s priced right, ships free and fast, looks nice in matching black, and goes up in minutes. And while it’s a handy accessory to have in your coop year round, it’s particularly useful for helping your chickens stay active and well nourished in the colder months.

Check it out, leave a comment or question below, and pass the idea along!

Introducing The Basic Coop

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Our latest coop design is ready! It’s called The Basic Coop, and plans and hardware kits are now available. Take a look. . .

The Basic Coop Chicken Coop Plans

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How to make a simple nipple waterer for your chick brooder

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

In this tutorial, I show you how to make a clean, efficient nipple waterer for your chicks using a push-in poultry nipple and a couple of easy-to-find items. If you’d rather not do this yourself, you can purchase one of our ready-to-use Brooder Bottles here.

Simple chicken nipple waterer for a chick brooder.
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NEW: Chick Brooder Cages

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Wire cage chick brooder.I’m gonna miss hearing the “cheep, cheep, cheep. . . “ of baby chicks this spring. Our current backyard flock is still healthy and laying strong, so it could be another couple years before we get to raise another batch of chicks.

I’ll be ready for them, anyway.

The first time we raised chicks, we rigged up a large cardboard contraption as their brooder and kept them in the garage. It did the trick, and as new chicken owners we had a lot of excess energy to put into making it work. Daily cleanup was a process, and the final cleanup (dust everywhere) was even more involved. 

This last go-round, we brooded them outside in the hen house of The Garden Ark, then graduated them to The Garden Coop hen house. That worked out really well, since keeping them outside also kept the dust outside.

But next time, the coops may still be occupied, so we’re gonna start them in one of these wire cage brooders that we now offer at TheGardenCoop.com. [UPDATE: Please see our Buyer's Guide for brooder options, including getting this cage direct from the manufacturer.] Take a look.

How do you brood your backyard chicks? What’s worked and not worked for you? Leave a comment below and let us know!

DISCOUNT CODE: $5 Off Large Nipple Waterer

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Discount code for The Garden Coop 3.5 gallon poultry nipple waterer.UPDATE: This discount code expired on 2/28/13. If you’d like to be notified of new posts as they happen, including sale announcements like this one, subscribe to Coop Thoughts. It’s free, ad-free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Keep your backyard chickens’ water clean and lasting longer between changes with one of our 3.5-gallon nipple waterers.

Through February only, save $5 on each waterer you order (3.5-gallon size only). Your waterer comes ready to use with lid, hooks, and changing base. Literally, just add water!

Click here to order. To get your discount, simply add a large waterer (or two, or more. . .) to your cart, then enter code FEB35.

Good through February 2013.

NEW: Original Chicken Art Notecards

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Broody Brahma original colored pencil chicken art notecards.My wife, Angie, has been doing these beautiful colored pencil chicken portraits over the past year or so. Now she’s chosen her five favorites and had them professionally printed as notecards.

We’re excited to offer sets of these chicken notecards (with matching envelopes) at TheGardenCoop.com. They make great gifts, thank yous, or notes for any occasion.

Hope you like them! Use discount code NEWCARDS  for 10% off all our cards. Good through December 31, 2012.

NEW: Quick Kits for The Garden Coop and The Garden Ark chicken coops

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

They’re here! Our new chicken coop hardware Quick Kits for The Garden Coop and The Garden Ark let you build your backyard chicken coop even easier and faster.

In one box you get all the screws, staples, nuts, bolts, washers, nails, roofing screws, latches, hinges, braces, and more that you need to build your coop. All that’s left for you to shop for are the bulky items: wood, roofing, hardware cloth, pier blocks (Garden Coop), and stain/paint. (more…)

NEW: Chicken coop hardware Quick Kit for The Garden Ark

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

The Garden Ark is a fun to build, portable chicken tractor, ideal for 3 hensYou can now build The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop easier and faster than ever, thanks to our new chicken coop hardware Quick Kit.

* UPDATE (11/14/12): We now also offer a Quick Kit for The Garden Coop.

In one box you get all the screws, staples, nuts, bolts, washers, nails, roofing screws, latches, hinges, braces, custom-cut tubing, and wheels you need to build this modern mobile tractor design.

All that’s left for you to shop for are the bulky items: wood, roofing, hardware cloth, and stain/paint.

The Quick Kit is the perfect companion to The Garden Ark plans for a number of reasons:

  • It’s got just what you need — the right parts in the right amounts. So you can dive right into your project.
  • It’s priced at what you’d expect to pay if you bought these items locally.
  • It includes only high-quality parts, so you don’t have to settle for what your nearby hardware stores might carry.

Kit contains all the hardware you need to build The Garden Ark chicken coopI build a Garden Ark or two each year and began thinking of these kits as a way to streamline my own shopping. Now you can enjoy the same efficiencies — I’ll shop, you build!

Learn more and order your chicken coop Quick Kit here.

If you’ve already built The Garden Ark — or The Garden Coop, for that matter — please leave a comment and let me know if something like this would have come in handy for your coop build.

Poultry nipples for making your own chicken waterer

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

These push in style nipples let you make a DIY chicken waterer easilyIn addition to fully assembled chicken waterers, we’re now also offering the push-in poultry nipples you need to make your own.

These are the same push-in style nipples we use to make our waterers, sold separately in packs of five. They are made of quality stainless steel parts inside a durable, hard, red plastic casing, and they’re sealed with a long-lasting silicone grommet. Made in China.
Use a 3/8″ drill bit to make a hole in your tubing or container. Insert the grommet first, then the nipple. Moistening it may help it go in easier. If you are going to seal your container, be sure to create a separate hole near the top (above the water line) so that air can enter as the water goes out.
These are the same push-in style nipples we use to make our waterers, sold separately in packs of five. They are made of quality stainless steel parts inside a durable, hard, red plastic casing, and they’re sealed with a long-lasting silicone grommet. Take a look.

New nipple waterer for chickens

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Several months ago on the advice of a customer, I decided to make a DIY nipple waterer for our backyard chickens. Our birds were just chicks at the time, and keeping them supplied with fresh, clean water with their jar-and-saucer waterer was a frequent chore.

So I fashioned a simple waterer from a used plastic jug and a poultry nipple I bought online. The chicks took right to it, and the difference was remarkable.

No more spilled water. No more poopy water. No more worrying that their water had run dry.

When the flock graduated to the coop, their makeshift waterer went with them, and I started working on a more permanent solution for their larger space.

Here’s the nipple waterer I came up with — which I now also make to sell — and some videos showing you what you get and how it works. (more…)

Which wood is best for a chicken coop?

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Chicken coop with log roosts in run area.

[Post updated Dec. 2017] Most chicken coops are made of wood, and all wood eventually rots. Our coop designs feature overhanging roofs to protect the structures and their occupants from rain. But your coop will still get wet and be exposed to humidity, insects, and UV light. To protect the wood from the ravages of being outdoors you have a few options:

  • Build with wood that’s infused with pesticides (pressure-treated)
  • Use a naturally rot-resistant wood (like cedar, redwood, or tropical hardwoods)
  • Choose a softwood (like Douglas fir, hemlock, spruce, or pine) and apply a nontoxic sealer or treatment
  • Choose a plywood designed for exterior use and stain or paint it

In this post, I’ll go through each of these options, weighing the pros and cons. I’ll start with my least favorite and end with my preferred approaches. For a quick overview of our 10 tips and takeaways click here.

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