Chicken Coop / May 29, 2018 / Maryellen
How big? You need to plan ahead for the size of your coop. Each hen needs a minimum of 4 square feet inside and outside the coop. If you get Bantams figure about 3 square feet per hen since they are smaller. Overcrowded chickens tend to peck at each other which can start a host of problems. For cold weather you want the spacing to be adequate so the chickens can stay warm. Have a quarantine area. A separate area to keep new birds for a week or two allows you to keep your flock healthy. Its also a good area to separate a hen if she becomes ill until she recovers. You can also separate the occasional over-aggressive hen that is pestering the other birds. Make sure the coop is wind and water tight. Your chickens need protection from the elements to stay healthy. They like shade during the heat of the day but also need protection from cold drafts. Use closeable windows for ventilation or a line of screened vents built into the top of north and south facing walls.
Taking care of your chicken house is very important. So if you have problems finding enough time to clean it forget about complicated chicken house designs. By creating a simpler construction that is easier to access and keep clean you invest in happiness and health of your chickens. Always build chicken houses that have plenty of well designed access points. They will make cleaning and collecting eggs way easier. By simply making the floor of your chicken coop slightly tilted in the direction of the entrance you will cut the cleaning time by more than half. This simple trick will allow you to hose down your chicken coops floor helping you to save a lot of energy. It is really important to choose the right place for your chicken house. It should stand on an even hard ground in order to be durable and useful to your chickens. That is why you should spend some time thinking about this issue.
A portable chicken house by its very nature has to be movable and therefore is less likely to be as robust as a fixed coop. However if you have a good set of construction plans for your coop will ensure that if you choose a portable coop it will be as strong as possible. Earlier we mentioned predator fencing around your coop and getting a good strong fence in place around the perimeter of the coop is vital to protect your investment in the birds as well as to ensure the well-being of the hens. Naturally at the planning stage for building a coop you also should be considering material requirements and costs for a protecting fence as the size of the hen house will have a direct impact on the size of the fence required.