Chicken Hutch / June 9, 2018 / Maryellen
If youre raising chickens in the city then youre probably thinking that owning a large chicken coop is already out of the question. Space after all is one of the biggest limitation of urban chicken owners when it comes to building their chicken coop. So they usually make the mistake of designing their coop around the available space rather than their chickens needs. The result? Big city chickens living in cramped chicken coops. Of course the definition of what "large" is is very subjective especially in the context of the-countryside-hills-over-yonder standards versus the beyond crowded city standards. To put things into perspective lets just say that a large chicken coop in the countryside is a decent-sized apartment downtown. While a large chicken coop in the city is the walk-in closet in that decent-sized apartment downtown.
Using a ramp connect the second floor roost to the first floor play and exercise area. Having a large chicken coop also helps your hens get a bit more exercise. This is going to be especially helpful in the winter months when they need to keep their body temperature up. And speaking of winter months dont forget that having a large coop also means that youll have to get extra insulation during the cold season. And its not just your chickens you will also reap the benefits from the extra space that a large coop provides. Cleaning for example will be much easier. You can just take a shovel and scoop out all the dirt in the run without always having your face two inches away from chicken poop. This is also good news for those that have back or knee problems because they wouldnt have to crouch down every time they clean the coop. Also if in the future you would like to turn your hobby into a small business having a large chicken coop will make expansion easier. Just make a note of the rules in your city (or apartment building) as to how many chickens is an individual allowed to keep.
Basically a large chicken coop in an urban environment means a coop that you can walk upright into just as you would in an elevator. In fact you can take the size of a typical elevator as your guide in the initial design process of your chicken coop. On the wall facing the door you can place your elevated roost and nest box. You can raise it up to your chest level and extend it up to the roof of the coop. But if you have more than three chickens consider keeping this section at least three - four feet off the ground. Remember that chickens need a lot of space when roosting. Stacking them up too close to each other can result to them pecking at each other. Another benefit of this elevated design is that your chickens are off the floor and away from predators like rats or raccoons.