BEST NO MAINTENANCE CHICKEN COOP DESIGNS

Two Barred Plymouth Rock Hens
A lot of suburban coops have the deep litter method. Its a good idea in retrospect but its not efficient. 

The deep litter method is when you fill the floor with a bunch of bedding (in most cases pine shavings). This allows the coop to not stink as much because the poop is being absorbed and covered to hide the stench. However, this system doesn't let you reap in ALL the benefits. 

CONS

COST-

Since the bedding doesn't go anywhere you have to keep buying more to clean it out. This adds an unnecessary cost to your wallet.

LABOR-

Since the bedding will become dirty every week you have to clean it out which can take up to an hour... ain't NOBODY  got time for that.

PROS

COMPOST MATERIAL-

With the bedding saturated in poop it makes the perfect equation for extremely rich soil. I know this sounds gross but its actually not. It's what the earth loves. The poop nd bedding makes the perfect percent of carbon and nitrogen to make rich soil. All you have to do is put it and a pile and leave, eventually you'll get what your looking for. There are of course ways to speed up the process, but this isn't the most efficient... pine shavings expensive!

Chicken Coop With Deep Litter Method

THE PERFECT CHICKEN COOP

The perfect chicken coop needs to cost nothing to keep running and with no maintenance needed. Free materials is idea an obvious choice to be sustainable. Depending on what you specifically need: like size, material, color. That's all up to you.

FLOORING

Unlike the deep litter method having a grate floor will require no bedding needed and allows the poop to travel straight to the ground, where it will mix in with the soil. 

The best part (besides not spending money) is no labor needed. About once a year you will have to clean out anything that got stuck falling throw, like excess hay kicked from the nesting boxes can be a blockage.

POSITIONING

Having a stationary coop might be your only option if your in the city; though it is better to have the ability of easy transportation. 

Chickens like to make anything green go away. You can either boost this supper power or discourage it to your advantage. By encourage there scratching behavior in a small plot they will create the perfect gardening area. All you have to do is move the chickens so you can plant.

If you didn't want them ripping up your grass you could always give them more space or even free range.

Automatic Feeder
FOOD SETUP
You can just throw the grain on the floor but its not that efficient as you will end up losing some in the ground. I use a feed pan so if I want to soak the grain for an immune boost or have some spoiled milk I can give it to the chickens instead straight into the ground. If the feed pan get dirty you will have to flip it over to get all the dirt/sand out. 

Some people use automatic feeders that require little maintenance. They also cross the opening on the outside of the fence so when you fill it so don't have to go inside the coop area.

Automatic Waterer
WATERING SETUP
You can easily use a simple waterier at the feed store. You can also just use a water through (which I use) and it works just fine.

The other option is to have an automatic waterier, for little messes (as see in the picture above). These project will have to be DIY as its hard to find online and buy, but its definitely a good investment!

DOOR

We all know that chickens need a safe area to sleep in. To be most efficient you have to close the area off so no predators attack your birds. Every morning and evening the birds will instinctively go outside and inside the coop for free ranging and bedtime. Those are the times you need to open and close the coops door.

To make it easier on your self you can always attach a pulley system to open and close the door on the outside of the coop area. This will be easier has you don't have to go INSIDE the coop enclosure.

Another method is an automatic door. These doors have a timer that slowly opens and closes the door to not squish your chickens. These timers can be manually set at your designated times. That means you don't have to wake up early YAY!

COMPOST

This has to be the best secret to raising chickens easy, cheap, AND efficient. Everyone likes a good compost pile, you get black gold... the end all be all. Making a compost pile right in your chicken area provides: heat, free food, free black gold, free labor. Free EVERYTHING.

Putting your food scraps and carbon material together in a pile (like grass clippings and dried leaves)  starts the decomposition process of your materials. The compost pile will internally heat up which is great for your chickens in the winter... NO NEED FOR A HEAT LAMP!

Earthworms and other bugs will become attracted to your decomposing material where your chickens will scratch and eat them. This pile will become a breeding ground for them. Meaning more free food for your chickens.

Seeds will also love your compost pile as the heat makes them germinate, a great treat for your chickens (aka Free food).

Compost piles require turning every week or so for good aeration. That requires work that you have to do. Unless, you get the chickens to do it for you... and they will. The chickens will scratch for the yummy treats hidden underneath, turning the compost pile for you.

At the end of the process you get good rich black composted dirt perfect for your gardens for free. Where originally less quality dirt is sold for $10 at the store.

COOL ADD ONS

WATER COLLECTOR

Instead of having to refill the water by dragging a long hose are carrying a heavy bucket you can add the installment for an easy life. By positioning the roof at an angle or strap up a tarp you can easily funnel the water into your automatic waterier without stress.

NIPPLES

Adding on water nipples will keep the messes low. The chickens won't be able to spill the water or make it dirty. Though it will be an extra setup, it is a good investment to buy.

At the end of the day the coop that works best for you is perfectly fine. Whether it DIY or store bought, I'm sure the little ladies will be just as happy!

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