Chicken coop essentials

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Before you bring your chickens home, know what the time and money investment will be. This list of Chicken coop essentials will get you off to the best start, so you are ready to go.

Get the tools you need for raising chickens in a coop that will help them lay amazing eggs for you year round!

essentials for raising chickens

Having a space set up for raising chickens that will work from day one is a great to start raising chickens. There is nothing more stressful than not having the right setup and your animals struggling to adapt because of it.

Chicken coop essentials

This list will walk you through each item you will want to have. How to DIY it or what you can look for if you decide to purchase instead.

1. Chicken Waterer

Having a place for your chickens to get water that is clean and free of dirt and debris will help to keep everyone healthy. You can purchase a waterer specifically made for chickens or simply use a shallow rubber bowl.

Best waterers for chickens to buy:

DIY Chicken Waterer

If you have a rubber bowl like this one, you can easily use it to water your chickens. I prefer this waterer as it is easy to clean and fill at chore time. It also stands up the best in the winter and allows me to remove frozen water more easily.

  1. Fill a rubber bowl with water.
  2. Place a rock inside to keep it from tipping over. Chickens will try to stand on the edge and can easily tip a bowl on it’s side spilling the water.
  3. Put up on a cinder block to keep bedding out.
a rubber bowl filled with water on a cinder block with a rock inside

DIY Rubber Bowl Feeder

2. Chicken Feeder

Another important item to have installed and ready to go inside of your chicken coop. Since feed is dry you can use plastic or metal for your chickens. You will need to hang your feeder up off the ground to keep the feed free from bedding and debris.

Best chicken feeders to buy:

DIY Chicken Feeder

To make a chicken feeder you will need a plastic bucket and lid. Most homesteaders have a nice collection of these lying around just waiting to be turned into a project.

  1. Cut holes about 1″ from the bottom of the bucket around the perimeter. These are the holes that will allow the chicken’s feed to flow out of.
  2. Set this bucket inside of a feed bowl that is larger than the bucket. The extra room will be where the feed will flow into.
  3. Place the bucket up on a cinder block to keep the feed clean and free of bedding.
  4. Fill the bucket 1/2 way full of chicken feed and call your chickens in.

As the chickens eat the feed that has fallen into the bucket, more will take it’s place. This is a great DIY continuous feeder that will work great and cost little to no money.

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3. Chicken Roost

A roost is where your chickens will perch at night after dark. Chickens have little to no sight in the dark and for that reason prefer to sleep up off the ground. A perch is where they can do that.

You can have a perch made for your coop or you can DIY one quickly by putting a small step ladder inside.

a ladder in a chicken coop with a chicken near the bottom

If you have a larger flock of chickens you will want to make one that is bigger. You can do a ladder style giving plenty of room for everyone to perch comfortably.

You can also hang a board around the perimeter of your coop. This DIY chicken roost is helpful if you are short on space.

a group of chickens perched on a board in a chicken coop

Another option is two cinder blocks with a 2×4 fed through the openings. This is not the best option as it isn’t very far off the ground, but it will work in a pinch.

2 cinder blocks with a 2x4 fed through the openings in a chicken coop

4. Nesting Boxes

Nesting boxes are an important part of your chicken coop essentials list. They are where your chickens will lay their eggs each day. They are meant to protect your chickens and help them to feel safe while laying.

Chicken Nesting Boxes to Buy:

DIY Chicken Waterer

You can also DIY your nesting boxes again using extra supplies you have lying around. Buckets work great as well as wood boxes or kitty litter containers.

We made our nesting boxes out of old plastic milk containers. Not only did they work great but they have been in our coop for over 10 years now and have held up really well.

a chicken coop with nesting boxes, a metal feeder, and fresh bedding on the floor.

5. A chicken coop

This goes without saying but you will need to have a place to house your chickens. One that is secure and will keep the weather and predators out.

You can purchase plans to make your own coop, buy one that is ready-made or DIY one yourself.

We converted an old shed into our chicken coop, and it we have been using it successfully for over 10 years. Buying a coop can be pretty costly, so if you have a small shed that is not being used, you can update it into a coop.

You can also use chicken coop plans to build a coop that fits where you live.

6. A chicken run

You will also want an area outside that your hens can access during the daytime. Again, your main goal here is to keep them protected. Even if you choose to free range your chickens, and enclosed and protected chicken run is still a good idea to have.

Raising chickens is a great way to add livestock to your home. Not only are they good for producing eggs they are great teachers as well. Exposing our young children to chickens teaches them how to care for animals and where part of the food comes from that we eat.

Now that you have this list of chicken coop essentials, you can get started with confidence, knowing you have what you need for a healthy flock.

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