Because we have made many design innovations, our coops are different than regular coops. Not only is our coop predator proof, but also it is specifically made for urban backyards. Here are some of the differences and how they work.
How do the hens stay safe if you have no floor?
We make our coops safe by putting 12 inch pavers (about $1 each at home improvement centers) under the coop’s walls. Research and experience show that 12 inches is wide enough to prevent digging. Pavers also extend the life of the coop because the wood sits on the pavers instead of directly on the ground. So, you don’t cover the entire area with pavers, but just where the coop walls meet the ground.
I’d rather have an enclosed wire floor. Can I do that?
Sure. You can either make one yourself or purchase our wire floor in accessories.
How do the hens stay warm in your coop?
As long as chickens’ feathers don’t get ruffled by breezy drafts, they can keep themselves warm by puffing out their feathers. In short, coldness doesn’t affect hens. But, should it be cold AND moist in the coop, hens may get frostbite. Moistness gathers from their droppings and some from their breathing. That is why it is important to have ventilation in the coop.
Our roosting poles are located in the solid part of our coops, so the hens are protected from breezes. In particularly cold areas, people sometimes put covers over the screens or purchase our Winter Covers.
How do you access the eggs?
Both sides of the roof are hinged and easily lift up. You can either just reach in and grab them or prop the roof open with the included rod.
Why don’t you have a window to let light into your coop?
The screens along the lower foot of the coop, as well as the roof vent, allow a lot of light into the coop, so there is no need for a window.
How many hens does the coop REALLY hold?
The coop is perfect for 2 to 4 hens regular sized hens. There is roosting pole space for 6 hens, but it will be crowded. Usually, that isn’t a problem because the hens are like puppies and sleep right next to each other. In the summer, though, they may sleep farther apart. Sometimes a few hens don’t get along. In that case, you’ll find them more than 12″ apart on the roosting pole, or on a different pole. The Smart Coop has 74″ of roosting pole space and 12″ per hen is the rule of thumb. Thus, it holds up to 6 hens.
What about the hinged roof and the hooks? Are they predator proof?
This was something we sought expert advice on because we have a lot of raccoons in our neighborhood. One of our customers runs a raccoon rescue. She said as long as the raccoon cannot get it body weight involved, in this case because the roof is above the coon’s head, then they could not lift it. Now, if you live where lions and bears are an issue, then use a “positive hook and eye” (has a locking slider to hold the hook in place). Positive hooks are what we use to keep the cleanout screens locked on our coop.