Chicken Coop / June 8, 2018 / Maryellen.
It is a big mistake to simply go with a vision you have in mind. Very closely related to the planning aspect is making sure you have a clear design for your coop. Draw plans for both the inside and the outside. It doesnt matter if you are not a professional it is just important to have direction when you are building. Be sure to also sketch and plan the various angles of your coop. The sides bottom and top. If you are a novice carpenter and it is your first time building a backyard chicken coop keep it simple. As your flock of chickens grows and you learn more about how chicken behave and what works for your space you can always go back and redesign and improve your coop. Stay organized. Before you begin construction on your chicken coop gather all of the materials you will need. this will save you time energy and the frustration. Of course the amount of materials you will need will vary with your design. However most coops will require: wood chicken wire or fence wire insulation nails screws saws various tools and a hammer.
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.
To protect your chickens from predators the best thing to do is to bury your outside runs with chicken wire all around the coop about 1 foot deep. This will prevent some very hungry predators such as raccoons cats and even dogs from digging underneath it. You may be wondering how to build a chicken coop that will not only keep your chickens locked up and protected from bad weather and predators yet receive the proper ventilation it requires. If so then you already understand the importance of draft free air movement from within the coop. Chickens much like humans need fresh air and oxygen. The same goes for the removal of unwanted excessive moisture and carbon dioxide. A chicken coop with ample air movement and proper ventilation will help remove the ammonia build up and dampness that may grow inside its walls.
Last year I decided to build a chicken coop with my wife. Her and I used to be obese and we decided to evaluate the foods we were eating. We decided that part of us getting even healthier was growing more of our own food and eating organic to avoid the chemicals that build up in our bodies. As part of this we wanted to raise chickens for the healthy eggs. After a little bit more trouble than we had asked for we finally did build a chicken coop. I wish that someone would have told me a long ago what mistakes to avoid. To build a chicken coop draw out a plan. Collect all of the materials. Select materials that will be easy to attain easy to work with and easy to clean up. Plan the functionality of your coop. The doors need to open inwards not outwards. If you build it the other way with the door opening outwards you chickens will begin roosting on your windows. Your chickens will spend a lot of time in the coop so they need fresh air designing a coop with sliding windows is a great way to keep them cool in the summer and warm in the summer.
Pre-fab coops are more expensive but easier and quicker to get up and going with your chickens. Just order and the coop will arrive ready to be moved into your yard. You can also order "some-assembly required" kits. Build it yourself. If you love woodworking or want to learn building your own chicken coop can be a great project to hone your skills. You can purchase chicken coop plans and blueprints online. Once your neighbors see your hand-built coop they may set you up with woodworking projects for them! Chicken Tractor- No youre not hitching your chicken up to a plow but the concept of working the soil is the same. A chicken tractor is a movable coop that allows you to move your chickens over fresh grass in your yard every day. They eat the bugs and weed seeds scratch at the soil and fertilize it. And they give you omega-3 rich eggs to boot. Its a win-win situation.