By Cindy A
I really like your information, Elizabeth! My parents grew up on farms but lived in a small town where I was born. We moved to a farm when I was 12. My dad had some small variations on your suggestions: he had a wide shelf with small trees on shallow wedges for the perch. That made it easy to just remove the perch and use a hoe or shovel to scrape the manure into a bucket and carry to the garden. Because of the shelf, we didn't have any flooring - the coop was built on top of concrete foundation. (Wear shoes when walking inside!) He also had a smaller coop than you recommended, but we had a larger area for the chickens to roam as well. One thing you didn't mention is that the owner might need to trim some wing feathers to keep chickens from flying over fences when chasing grasshoppers or other insects! I can say that I enjoyed the chickens as a kid -- I learned to imitate all of them -- cluck, crow, and peep, so now my kids just think I'm weird!