Chicken House / June 6, 2018 / Maryellen
Ventilation. Chickens sweat. Sounds strange but it is true. Your chicken coop needs ventilation to keep your chickens cool in the warmer months and to allow the chickens perspiration to evaporate and escape the chicken coop. You should make sure your chicken coop plans include ventilation in the form of vents in walls or small windows but you also dont want it to be too drafty. You need a nice balance. One way to achieve this is to have the vents on the side of the chicken building that DOES NOT face the wind. This is typically the east or the south. This will also allow fresh oxygen rich air to flow into the hen house and the stale air and moisture to escape. Chickens can handle the cold but not the wet so it is vital to the health of your chickens that the moisture can escape.
Once you have settled on coop size you want to make sure your chicken coop designs meet your other needs. Unless you plan to purchase these separately you will want to make sure the plans also include sections on building your own feeders and nesting boxes. This simple detail is often left out of most plans. Most people do not know this but its important to position the coop strategically. In choosing the right position for a semi-permanent or fixed option make sure the area will have the right amount of sunlight and is not directly in the direction of the wind. You will also want to make sure that your placement keeps predator threats to a minimum. Most people neglect this fact when choosing chicken coop designs but lumber costs will make up about 90% of your building expenses.
Get a good chicken coop guide and building plan. Most of these coop designs have detailed instructions on how to build and materials that you need to make a coop. It just important that you get something that is easy to understand and have clear instructions. Decide on the materials that you will be using. You dont have to scramble to the shop at once. Survey your basement for some scrap lumber. This will help you empty your basement and save money from buying new materials as well. You can even find a lot of bargain materials that you can also use in your coop. Choose materials also that require you less maintenance as well. Chose a location where you will build your coop. This is important to consider especially for sanitation and health of your chicken. A slope or hilly land will be ideal for your coop to facilitate drainage of water. If you are putting your coop in your backyard make sure your coop is facing the sun to avoid moisture and damp areas in your coop.