Chicken Coop / May 31, 2018 / Maryellen
As more people strive to be self-reliant they are choosing to raise chickens in their backyards. Choosing the right chicken coop is essential to keeping your flock healthy and happy. Backyard chickens are becoming popular today in many cities including Albuquerque Seattle and New York. Cities across the nation are revising their local zoning and land-use laws to include backyard chickens in the regulations. Before bringing new chickens home to your backyard though you need to carefully choose the right chicken coop for your situation. Be sure to check your local city regulations before buying your chickens. Talk to city officials. How many chickens are you allowed in your yard? What is the distance they need to be kept from dwellings? Any other special regulations?
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.
There are a number of factors that a person needs to consider when he or she looks to build chicken coops. Building a chicken coop is recommended for people who wish to house chickens with the intent of providing eggs and meat for their families as well as fertilizer for their gardens. Complicated plans and/or expensive materials are not needed to build a chicken coop but a person has to make sure to get the job done correctly. As long as the chickens have their basic needs met they will be healthy and happy. There are elements that any person wishing to build a chicken coop needs to consider. These include having a basic design/implementation plan for the coop; having the correct materials and maintenance for the coops construction; ensuring that the coop is protected from environmental constraints; making sure that the coop has proper ventilation and lighting; and thinking about water and food for the chickens who will be housed in the coop. Each of these aspects are discussed in detail below.