Spring Coop Refresh
by Cheryl F
Published May 31, 2021
Spring is in the air. Birds are chirping, chicks are pipping and our outdoor projects are stacking up. We’ve all been enjoying a bit of downtime in the winter months and now we are ready to tear up some outdoor projects. At this point, you’ve wondered if you ever want to do the deep litter method again. But it did provide our hens with some extra heat during the decomposing of the litter so I guess it is a win win, until you grab a shovel and a pitch fork. It’s back breaking work to do that big spring clean out, but my garden is going to be amazing though. Lots of piles of manure to rototill up.
Just like you, the sunshine and milder temps make me want to clean everything that’s not nailed down. As I was cleaning my coops this weekend I thought about the products that I use in my coops. Why do I use them? Did these products meet all of my needs this year? Would I do something different? Do I need something new?
Being the purchaser here at Meyer Hatchery, a lot of people ask me what I have and use in my coop and why I chose them. I definitely have a lot of options to pick from. To start, I want to clarify that I am a depression era soul in a 40+ body. Waste not want not. I’m an “only buy something once” kind of girl. The products I choose are definitely high quality and will also take you through all the stages of your chickens’ lives.
Blenheim Is Better
To start in the feeder department, I love the Blenheim feeder. It holds 13 lbs of feed which is nice for a medium size backyard flock. The legs are removable, so while you start your chicks in a brooder, as they get bigger you can add the legs to make their feeder “grow” with them. Once your birds are laying size you can hang it to your desired height. This great feeder also has a lid and a grate. The Blenheim meets all of my needs in my coop. I feed organically and I do not want my flock wasting their feed. The grate helps this issue immensely. Give it a shake once a day to keep your feed flowing well.
Go With Galvanized
The galvanized trough feeder is another great option for a flock. I love everything about galvanized products. As it’s 36” long, legs to raise it up and a roll bar to keep your flock from soiling their feed. It makes a great feeder in or out of your coop. Tons of room for your birds to eat all at once. This feeder works well for meat birds and grow out pens too. It is easy to clean and will last. It also works well as a great centerpiece on a farmhouse table or a planter on your deck. That’s the best part of galvanized products, they stand the test of time and can be beautifully repurposed down the road.
The galvanized hanging feeders are also an amazing option for a coop. It holds 12 pounds of feed. I love galvanized products if you can’t tell. I use mine for grit in my coop. It’s pretty fantastic to be able to keep the grit up off the floor and hang it up. This feeder also has a nice lip that keeps the girls from scratching it out. As the winter months drag on, the less grit they are able to find on their own. I love the sturdiness of this feeder. If you need a bigger option depending on your flock size we have a 22 and 44lb option also. Even though I use this for grit, it is amazing also for feed. These really are great products all around.
If you live anywhere that has a climate like Ohio, you know the weather is pretty trying even on a good day. We can literally go through all four seasons within a 12 hour period. You always have to be prepared for anything and any temperature. I typically like to keep my waterer outside of my coop and in their run. Fall, winter and spring just don’t always make that possible. That’s where the heated waterer comes in to play for me. Three gallons of no freezing for the day. It is thermostat controlled and will just keep your water from freezing. What a glorious thing to not switch out your water multiple times a day due to freezing. This does need to be in your coop for it to work correctly. Unfortunately chickens are not always the tidiest girls on the planet so please be mindful of keeping feces out of their drinking water.
I love to use the galvanized double walled waterer. This is the waterer I have in my runs. As you know, I love galvanized products. This is sturdy, easy to clean and top fill. That in itself is worth it. I use the galvanized pan turned over with this to keep it raised for my layers. It keeps most of the gunk out of the water tray and I can keep it pretty level as the litter builds up. While I was brooding some chicks in my coop with a broody hen, I did leave it down so everyone could drink. Please remember the galvanized waterers are not meant to hang. I know the top handle is a bit of a misconception, but, it’s there just to turn and unlock or lock the second wall onto the base. If you try to hang you will break the seal and your whole area will be a mucky mess. If you happen to do this and break your waterer, at least you have a cool planter for your yard. I have a very old one that has a tiny hole and potted some lavender and ivy in it. It’s beautiful. Again, repurposed farmhouse chic.
Last but not least, I love the screw on 1 gallon waterer. This waterer is small enough to fit anywhere in the brooder, coop or run. This is enough water to get through your day for a smaller backyard flock. It’s easy to fill and securely lock the base prior to flipping it over. It is also clear so you are always aware of your water levels and consumption. This is helpful especially when you have chicks. I love that my smaller coop has a supply of fresh water that isn’t stagnant from sitting for too long. I only have a handful of girls in this coop and it works well.
Happy spring, enjoy your girls! I’m sure they all can’t wait to find the worms in the spring rain and all the tasty treats around your yard. I hope these options have been helpful to you and you find some new products to meet you and your flock’s needs.
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