Chicken Coop Needs for People Who Flunk Chicken Math

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If you keep chickens, chances are good that eventually you will flunk chicken math. And when you flunk chicken math, your chicken coop needs change because that’s when the trouble starts. Considering the different type of housing you will need as your flock grows is key to keeping a happy, healthy flock.

bcp wooden chicken coop

*Thank you Better Choice Products for gifting me the 80″ wooden chicken coop to facilitate this post.*

Chicken Coop Needs for People Who Flunk Chicken Math

When I got my first flock of 18 chickens, I never considered all the different needs my chicken coop would eventually serve. In fact, I didn’t begin to understand the ins and outs of chicken keeping until the first 18 chickens turned into 36. That’s when the problems started and I realized just how fluid I needed to be in my chicken coop housing options. 

chicken math

What is chicken math?

You know chicken math, right? If not, here’s how it works. You start an original flock with a few chickens. You’re so proud of your chickens that you start posting on instagram.

Suddenly a whole new world opens before your very eyes. Rainbow eggs?? Gotta get that bird that lays the dark chocolate eggs. Ooooh – olive eggs? Speckled eggs? Must. Have. All. The. Chickens. Eventually your small, manageable flock numbers more chickens than you can count.

Congratulations!! You just flunked chicken math! And just so you know, flunking chicken math means you might eventually flunk bird math of all sorts and end up with guineas, turkeys, geese, ducks, and even peacocks. Around here, we don’t keep up with the Joneses. We keep up with the homestead instagrammers. 

To keep my flock healthy and safe, I have to be flexible with housing. Here are a few of the overflow chicken coop needs I have to manage.

chicken hospital

Four Different Chicken Coop Needs to Keep Your Flock Happy & Healthy

In addition to my main coop where the chickens sleep and lay (most of) their eggs, I have to have overflow options at the ready for any number of issues that arise with my flock.

Before I got this wooden chicken coop from BCP, I had quite the motley collection of containers to house birds. I put to use any and all wire cages, fence panels, and / or dog crates. We have them spread all over our yard for any number of animals who need them. While I’m not able to retire them all, I really do like how my new chicken coop ups my special needs chicken game.

Chicken hospital

Chickens can be very brutal to one another and predator attacks are always possible. If chickens see any red spot on a fellow chicken, they will peck and peck and peck causing great injury to their friend. Sometimes you need to a safe spot to isolate an injured or sick chicken so they can recuperate in peace and quiet.

stubby the little rooster

We currently have a little rooster named Stubby housed in the chicken hospital. Mama chicken injured Stubby because she thought he was too big to snuggle with her little chicks, and then his age group saw blood and pecked him with a vengeance. He’s doing ok, but he needs a safe spot to heal up so the other chickens can’t make his injuries worse.

Chicken grow out shelter

Another very important need when your chicken flock starts to increase, is a safe way to integrate new chickens. Chickens have an established pecking order and when new chickens are added to the mix, that order is thrown off balance.

Chickens can be downright brutal and integrating new birds into a flock takes time. Once chickens are too big for the brooder, they need safe housing apart from your existing flock. If you don’t have a separate area inside your main coop, a completely separate coop is a must have.

Chicken isolation ward for chickens who need AA (attitude adjustment)

Sometimes chickens need AA. Most recently I had two broody mamas who each hatched two chicks. Unfortunately, the two mamas couldn’t get along and started fighting – stepping on chicks and not being careful around the babies. 

To keep everyone safe, I chose one mama to be the chicken mother and locked the other mama up until she decided maybe mothering wasn’t for her.

It took three days in isolation, but she’s back to being a happy chicken now and glad to be relieved of her mothering duties. Some chickens just aren’t natural mothers and she’s happily reintegrated into the flock now after a mini-vacation in the over-flow coop.

Broody hen station

Another type of coop need is a place to keep broody hens safe and secure while they sit on nests to incubate chicks. Unfortunately, my birds seem to pick the post dangerous spots to sit on nests, so being able to relocate them to a safer area is a real plus. 

I haven’t used my new little coop in this manner yet, but I do have a broody hen who I plan to relocate here once my little rooster heals up and I can put him back with his friends. 

After years of complaining that my birds never go broody, so far this year I have had three broody chickens, three broody ducks, and one broody guinea. When it rains it pours!

chicken coop

What you need to know about the 80″ Wooden Chicken Coop from BCP

This little chicken coop came delivered to my door in two boxes. My husband and I assembled it in about an hour using only a cordless drill. Like the mobile raised garden bed I received previously, it assembled easily and hassle-free.

I like that this coop has an enclosed chicken yard, two cozy nesting areas that you can access from the outside, a removable bottom board for easy cleaning, and a little house too. It also has two roosting bars and a little door you can open for venting. 

showing off the size of the bcp wooden chicken coop

We also sealed the chicken coop with an outdoor wood sealer to better protect it from the elements. This is a really important step you can’t skip if you want the coop to last in the weather. In reviews I’ve read about it, I’ve also seen people paint their little coops cute colors, add window boxes, weather vanes etc. They turn out to be pretty cute little coops.

What I like about this chicken coop is that in addition to a dedicated chicken house, it also has a screened in chicken yard. This makes it easy for the chicken to be in or out, which I like a lot.

How big is this wooden chicken coop?

The most common question I’ve seen about this coop is how big is it. Make no mistake – this is a small chicken coop. It really only works for  2-3 full size chickens IF your chickens can also free-range. If they don’t have access to any other area than is protected by the coop, it’s not big enough for that many chickens, in my opinion.

It might also be a great hutch for small bantam chickens or even quail.  We plan to use it for all of the purposes listed above and we’ve also put rabbits in it as well. It makes a super cute rabbit hutch!

I’d love to hear how chicken math works for you! Thanks so much to BCP Products for gifting me with a new wooden chicken coop to help me manage my flock. Please consider their products if you are in the market for a new coop too!

Here are more chicken posts you may like:

How to keep chickens cool in the summer without electricity

Keeping chickens warm in the winter without electricity

How to prepare for mail order chickens

7 Tasty and entertaining food treats for chickens

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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