Chickens roosting in the run at night rather than in the henhouse?

Chickens roosting in The Garden Loft chicken coop at night

Three of our chicken coop designs (The Garden Loft, The Garden Coop, and The Garden Ark) have an integrated henhouse and run. So your chickens are free to move between the two areas as they wish. (You can add a door between them if you like.) In some cases, this means that your flock might choose to roost in the secure run at night, rather than inside the henhouse.

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Extend daylight in chicken coop during the winter

Winter’s coming! Is your chicken coop ready for the cold weather?

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 Chicken 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!

Heater for poultry nipple waterer

How to heat your chickens’ nipple waterer in the winter

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.  Read More

Chicken coop from The Garden Ark chicken coop plans

How to predator proof the open floor of The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop

How to close floor of chicken tractor coop

I’ve been working for some time on a solution to predator-proof the open floor of The Garden Ark mobile chicken tractor. The challenge has been finding a way to secure the floor without closing it off completely or permanently. After all, you need the open floor for mobility, cleaning, and access to grazing. After much trial, I finally came up with an elegant solution (essentially a version of one of these turned upside down) then put it to the test. It works perfectly, and now I’m excited to share it.  Read More

Winterized chicken coop built from The Garden Coop plans

Make It Your Own: Nate’s Winterized Wisconsin Garden Coop Walk-in Chicken Coop

Winterized chicken coop built from The Garden Coop plans

With extremely cold weather dipping into the U.S. this winter, I thought I’d share some detailed notes I got from a customer in Galesville, Upper Wisconsin. He’s taken several steps to winterize his Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop and run and reports that his flock of seven has stayed active, healthy, and laying — even as the mercury dips to 20 below. Read on to see what he’s done. The rest of this post comes directly from Nate. . .  Read More

nine hens sitting on roost in chicken coop

Keeping your New Year’s resolution to keep chickens

nine hens sitting on roost in chicken coop

You’ve made it your New Year’s resolution to finally get chickens. Good for you. Chickens are low-maintenance pets that give so much in return. On top of the amazing compost, free entertainment, and fresh eggs right from your backyard, you’ll also gain the skills and confidence to tackle more projects down the line.

Here are 10 steps to help you stay focused so that your chicken keeping resolution becomes chicken keeping reality:  Read More

NEW: Chick Brooder Cages

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!