Can you believe that I am already starting to think about winter and the girls' comfort? Unbelievably, despite this heat, fall is just around the corner. In the Northeast, we stick out into the Atlantic on our man made island. This leaves us subject to various winters with many different conditions. Some are mild, never having temperatures drop below the 20s and others are brutally cold, reaching below zero. This had a lot to do with my coop selection.
Some people are not advocates of small coops. They believe that small coops can overheat in the summertime and stress the chickens. Many feel they do not come with adequate ventilation. My small coop has solutions to every naysayer's concerns. I have three windows in my 3'x4' coop. Above the nesting boxes is a transverse window that runs the length of the coop and in both of the front doors are windows. These windows are covered with hardware cloth allowing for great ventilation during warm days and evenings. In colder times, plexiglass inserts are available to keep the girls away from drafts. The best part is that my girls stay nice and warm in the winter with their body heat. They never need to be heated by an outside source and they have yet to experience frostbite. Thank goodness.
|Click here to see the girls' coop|
The only difficulty, in my opinion, is creating food and water solutions inside of the coop. As space is limited compared to walk-in coops, I have had to be practical and creative when it comes to keeping food and water inside the coop. Selecting a feeder was easy. Currently, I use the Little Giant 3 pound feeder. This feeder hangs off the coop's floor and holds 2 days worth of food for my 8 girls. Its compact size is great and it seems to have been made for the coop.
|Little Giant 3 pound feeder|
The waterer on the other hand has been very challenging. It is difficult to find something that the large Buff Orpingtons do not bump into and knock over, leaving the wood shavings soaked. I have tried the 1 gallon poultry waterers that I use outside without success. I currently use a stainless steel dog water bowl with a large rock in the center to prevent the girls from tipping it over. It never tips, but the water gets very dirty quickly. It also takes up precious floor space. Then, while searching the internet, I found this:
|Little Giant Piglet Waterer|
This was perfect for my girls! It is 9 1/2"deep, 6 3/4" wide and 13 1/8" high. It holds one gallon and slides into a metal tray that mounts on the wall. I ordered it online and can't wait for it to come in the mail. I am hoping that this solves some of the issues I had with waterers as well as maybe some of yours too.
If you have creative solutions, please share them in the comments. We are listening!
This post is linked up to Deborah Jean's Dandelion House Farm Girl Friday Blog Hop.
Update: The waterer arrived! You can read more here.
Photo Credits: Miller Manufacturing, Tilly's Nest