I realized recently that I haven’t posted any pictures of the inner-workings of our coop. Granted its no showcase out of Better Homes & Gardens, but it has been functional for our chickens.
Most people who keep chickens get creative about the housing for their birds and even more creative about the inside “furnishings”. On the inside of a coop you need to provide food, water, roosts and nesting boxes (at a minimum). I have pretty limited carpentry skills but a good amount of creativity. To solve the roost issue, instead of building fancy roosts I decided to use old wooden “A” style ladders. I have 3 of them in our coop right now and the hens seem to select their level based on the pecking order, how convenient! The beauty of using ladders as roosts is that they are easy to fold up and remove from the coop when I’m doing a full clean-out. I can hose the ladders down and let them dry in the sun.
Here are a few of the hens settling in for the night. There is a definite "pecking order" and they nearly always sleep on the same step each night. Roosting is important for the chickens. By their nature they curl their “toes” around the roost to grasp and hold onto their resting spot. Keeping them off of the ground also keeps them off of their manure which in turn keeps them healthier.
Speaking of "off the ground".....
Chickens are excellent at making messes of anything on the ground, so both the feed and water are raised up off of the floor. It keeps their food and water cleaner and generates less waste.
Their nesting boxes are also raised off of the floor (a minimum of 18 inches is recommended). This can help prevent broken eggs, keeps the eggs cleaner and limits the chickens from developing bad egg-eating habits!
This hen seems curious about the camera. :)
Another look at the coop and the hens eating.