Chicken House / June 8, 2018 / Maryellen
A smaller coop is easily constructed as it does not contain a large number of unnecessary amenities. It can sit directly on the ground but more often is mounted slightly raised on cinder blocks keeping it safe from flooding and other moisture that can cause the wood and other materials to rot as well as providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The coop usually has a regular size door for access to clean the coop and let the chickens out. Also a smaller coop will consist of no more than one or two windows with an additional ventilation hole on the roof closed with chicken wire. The roof itself is usually slanted to allow water to run off and away from the coop. A small chicken house will usually have roosts on one side with nesting boxes on the other. The roosts are often elevated and closed by a small door in order to ensure that the chickens are safe during the night. A small coop may or may not include an exercise area however breeders often fence off an area outside the door of the building to allow the chickens to roam freely during the day.
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.
Natural light is the best answer here so be sure and have the coops window facing south where it will get most light and natural warmth especially in the winter months. There are also some chicken keepers that have installed electric lighting in the apex of the coops roof as this will keep the chickens laying eggs throughout the year there are a variation of lights that can be used depending on the size and type of coop that you are building. This is more of a tip than anything else but it can save you a lot of frustration. Chickens tend to knock everything with their feet this includes food and feeders. An ideal solution to save having a constant mess on the coop floor is to raise the feeders and waterers to the height of the chickens shoulder this way they can only get their heads in the feeders and not their feet as well.