A full-color introductory guide to providing a flock of chickens with their very own digs, Starter Coops addresses the needs of every chicken owner, analyzing what kind of accommodations will best serve the ladies’ needs. Author and chicken enthusiast, Wendy Bedwell-Wilson offers commonsense advice and money-saving tips to get new chicken keepers off to the right start.
Starter Coops begins with the necessary elements of every chicken coop—safely constructed, predator-proof, ideally sized, draft-free, and weather-proof—and then goes beyond to personalize the coop to the needs of the keeper and his or her flock. The author discusses power sources, water stations, nesting boxes, and dusting boxes in addition to architectural and design elements.
The chapter title “Tour de Coops” discusses the pros and cons of the various approaches to keeping chickens: free range, confined housing, yarded housing, and a chicken tractor. The author keeps the focus on the convenience for the keeper as well as what’s best for the girls in terms of behavior, safety, comfort, and so forth.
From planning for the future coop and the purchase of the needed tools and materials to the actual construction, this book offers detailed step-by-step instructions to the beginning keeper. Color drawings assist the reader with building a confined coop, chicken tractor, nesting boxes, portable perches, expanded brooders, A-frame hide, and lean-to hide.
In “Finishing Touches,” Bedwell-Wilson offers some useful and fun advice for chicken keepers as they complete their starter coops. Planting a chicken garden for the birds to forage, building a play area, and adding feeding stations to the coop are some the author’s suggestions. She also discusses the importance of regular cleaning and maintenance—along with shortcuts and tips to simplify every chore—plus advice about managing pests and predators and seasonal management for the flock.
A glossary of terms, resource section, and index are provided.