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Today I’m sharing our favorite tried-and-true chicken supplies that we use to care for our flock of (currently 17) chickens. These items meet the needs of our flock while helping us keep our routine simple and our coop and run low-maintenance.
Your Setup Will Be Unique to You
Whether you are new to chicken keeping or not, the way you set up your coop and run will be a very personal decision–and that’s how it should be! Although chickens do have basic needs, there’s not one right way to meet those needs.
The manner in which you keep your flock, the size of your flock, and your climate will be some of the factors that influence which chicken supplies and chicken coop accessories you purchase.
Bearing this in mind, I wanted to share what has been working well for us for our backyard chickens and why. You might find some suggestions here that would work perfectly for you as well.
Our Chicken-Keeping Philosophy
We like to keep our setup pretty straightforward and low maintenance when possible, and our choices for chicken supplies reflect that. We keep chickens primarily for eggs.
I’ve previously shared our Our Brooder for Chicks and Basic Chick Care. I go over our favorite products for raising chicks in this post.
If this year is your first time keeping chickens, you may also be interested reading my post 8 Things the Internet Didn’t Tell Us Before Raising Chicks.
Our backyard flock is confined to an enclosed run for now. We have a lot of potential predators in the mountains where we live.
Our Favorite Chicken Supplies
1. Hemp Bedding
We use the deep litter method which is a very low-maintenance choice for keeping a coop clean.
Hemp bedding is more absorbent and less-acidic than pine bedding allowing it to decompose even better than pine shavings would. It is also known for deterring parasites like mites and lice.
It has worked very well as deep bedding in our coop, and we’ve recently found we love it in our run as opposed to bare dirt.
After I shoveled last-years coop bedding out to the run to allow it to decompose further, we were excited to find that our challenges with manure smell and mud are greatly reduced! It’s as if our run is a large compost pile of sorts.
Our chickens stay busy scratching thorough the bedding, and it’s much more gentle on their feet than our rocky soil was. We still provide a dust bath with dirt in a fire pit ring for them to enjoy rolling in.
We’ve seen hemp bedding at some feed stores, but it’s usually sold in a small amount and is fairly expensive. For this reason, we have purchased bales on Amazon in the past.
Most recently, we have found a local distributer for the most reasonable price!
We have loved this waterer for many reasons:
- I don’t have to fill it that often because it has a 3-gallon capacity.
- It plugs in so it doesn’t freeze in the winter (most winter nights are below freezing here).
- It doesn’t use much energy since it heats only when it needs to, and I can detach the power cord in the summer months.
- I like the heavy-duty handle for carrying (which can also be used for hanging).
- The nipple waterers prevent our birds from spilling any water and our crested and bearded birds don’t get wet/frozen feathers.
I’ve found it to be completely practical and easy to clean. I would highly recommend it.
I’ve linked to Amazon here, but it was cheaper for us to purchase it directly from Premier 1 Supplies.
This feeder has worked wonderfully for us for the following reasons:
- The ports keep feed from being wasted which saves money and deters pests.
- The feed has stayed completely clean and dry for us, even though the feeder is outside in our run.
- I don’t have to fill it often since it holds an entire 50-lb bag of feed.
- It has plenty of ports for the size of our flock. (They also have smaller feeders with the same design concept).
- RentACoop also offers mouse caps on their website to cover the ports on this feeder at nighttime. We haven’t had a problem with rodents or other pests yet, but I like that this option exists.
Amazon had the best deal on this feeder at the time we purchased ours.
This has been a great heater to use in our coop since we have many days and nights below freezing in the wintertime.
The biggest reason I’m a fan is because it’s a safer alternative to using heat lamps. We personally know people who have lost their entire flock and coop from a heat-lamp-induced fire.
This heater doesn’t put out enough heat to raise the temperature in the coop, but it puts out enough radiant head that our chickens can move next to it when they need a little extra warmth.
It has a stand to sit on a surface, but it can also be hung on the wall of the coop next to the roosts. It’s easy to turn on and off with a convenient switch on the cord.
These are the chore boots that my husband and I both own and use while doing chicken chores, and we’ve both really loved them.
They slip on and off easily, they can be rolled down to make the boot shorter. They are comfortable, waterproof, and the outsole helps prevent slipping and mud from sticking in the lugs.
We’ve used them all around our property for the past few months, and they are so much more practical than using running or hiking shoes in the chicken run.
I hope you found this list helpful as you choose chicken supplies for your own backyard flock. If you have any favorite supplies or accessories that you use in your own chicken coop, I would love to hear about them!