Chicken Coop / May 30, 2018 / Maryellen
The size of our backyard dictates the number of chickens we can keep as well as the size and the shape of their home. Small backyards require better planning in terms of coop designs in order to maximize the use of small spaces. Unless we are just starting most of us understand the role chicken coop plays in maintaining health and safety of our chickens. Experts estimate that three-quarters of chickens health problems and diseases are easily preventable simply by providing suitable chicken coop and optimized living conditions. In addition even in urban areas chickens are target of many predators. Chickens entire safety depends on the chosen building plan and the resulting coop be it our own plan or the professional one.
To begin a basic design/implementation plan is needed to construct the coop. A person who has never built a chicken coop before should look at some pre-existing designs of coops that were built in the past. An individual does not have to be an expert carpenter to put together the coop but he or she needs to make sure that the coop is put together properly. Once a person gets ideas of how the coop should be laid out and constructed he or she then needs to make a rough drawing of how the coop would potentially be laid out on his or her property. The area around the coop needs to be on high ground to ensure that it is not flooded in the event of inclement weather. Having the correct materials and maintenance is also a must for constructing a chicken coop. Materials that are simple to sanitize and clean should be used to construct the coop as the parts of the coop will need to regularly be sanitized and disinfected. The materials should be easy to clean and not expensive.
Use appropriate building materials. Wood on the bottom of the coop that is in contact with the soil will eventually rot. Redwood and cedar are rot-resistant and excellent choices. Pine is cheaper and may need replacing in the future or require treatment. Be aware that preservatives put on wood might be poisonous to chickens. Use metal fiberglass or wood shingles for the roof. Perches. Chickens need to perch off the ground at night. You can be creative making perches from broom handles natural branches or 2x2s rounded and sanded (1x2 for bantams). Figure 6-10 inches of perching space per hen or 6-8 inches for bantams. Nesting boxes. Provide 1 nesting box for every 4-5 hens. They will often share a nest. Build the boxes where you can reach in through a hinged door for easy access to collect the eggs.