Chicken House / June 6, 2018 / Maryellen
When selecting chicken coop plans to build from you really need to consider more than just the look/aesthetics of the chicken coop designs. Sure its important to have a nice looking chicken coop that fits your overall backyard design but there are some other very important things that need to be incorporated into whatever plans you choose. Space. There is a certain amount of space that your chickens need to be healthy and happy. You must allocate 4 square feet of floor space per chicken. Therefore a flock of 20 chickens should be enjoying an 80 square foot chicken coop. Do not skimp on space. In fact it is better to allocate more space if anything. If your chicken coop becomes overcrowded your chickens quality of life becomes reduced and can cause feather picking and in extreme cases can even cause cannibalism. This is obviously an outcome you want to avoid so never overcrowd your coop.
Building a chicken coop will also involve creating good coop insulation that will keep the chicken warm and comfortable during winter season. It is also beneficial during summer as well. It suggested that a 1.5 inch of Styrofoam sheet placed between the ceilings and the walls is ideal. Painting the walls with white paint also helps reflect the summer heat. Some prefer using aluminum roof while tall plants just around the coop will provide better shade for the coop. The flooring of the chicken coop may be of different building materials. Packing down plain dirt to create a solid foundation is the cheapest flooring for a chicken coop. It is however most vulnerable to rodents digging from underground to get to their prey.
To protect your little egg producing friends safe from predators you will want to bury the run wall supports and chicken wire as deep as you are able over a foot where possible this should be deep enough to stop most predators digging under. It is paramount to make sure that your chickens remain happy and more-so healthy. There are many enhancements that you can add or make to their living quarters in order to achieve this. Chickens are susceptible to the elements much the same as humans and it is important to think of them in this way. You can help by adding things like insulation to the walls of the coop to stop cold drafts and damp winds blowing through. They will want and need ventilation but not so it disrupts their environment too much. It should be stated here that a damp chicken environment can and will cause your chickens ill health. Cold they can handle as long as they do not get damp.