Chicken Coop / May 25, 2018 / Maryellen
As do it yourself enthusiast who wishes to build own chicken coop you have two options. Option 1 is to consider the elementary requirements and sketch a simple design based on them and then proceed with building the coop yourself. This is cheap yet long and stress-fuelled process with uncertain outcome unless you are professional carpenter or similar. Option 2 is the smart approach that by-passes unnecessary stress while saving the time and the money. It involves getting a set of professionally designed chicken coop plans. With the health and well-being of your chickens in mind the plans present a wide selection of designs carefully produced to ensure that every coop meets legal requirements laid in the farming law. You simply choose the design that suits your individual requirements.
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.
Be sure to replace the water and the chicken feed daily. Build your chicken coop facing the south so that the coop will receive sunlight throughout the day. For the winter months when the days are shorter and there is less sunlight it is important to install a light in the coop. This is not difficult. They have lights that you can just stick to the walls at any local hardware store you do not have to be an electrician it is as easy as putting a sticker on a paper.Installing this light will be well worth the few dollars you spend to do it. It will keep your chickens warm and happy and keep your egg production up in the winter when most chicken farmers experience a fall off of production because the chickens get less light and warmth.