Chicken Hutch / June 5, 2018 / Maryellen
There are quite a few advantages to having a free range chicken coop which I will discuss throughout this article. However I would like to highlight on the importance of using a set of chicken coop plans to guide you throughout the process of building a free range coop. After all it all comes down to planning when it comes to any sort of woodworking or construction. I personally prefer the free range approach to having a coop and in fact that is my current set up for the coop I have at home. The free range coop allows them to roam freely without any sense of confinement ensuring that their mental and emotional health is great. I was sure to build a wide gate because the added width makes it easier to herd the chickens at night or in the morning to keep them safe. This is a crucial consideration because chickens tend to be quite inconsiderate to one another and will push and shove each other when being herded into the coop so be sure to give them sufficient room to move in and out of the coop. A good rule I like to use is that every 10 chickens should be allotted approximately 5 feet of clearance. I recommend keeping a good set of chicken coop plans at hand to make sure you dont miss out on any important factors.
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.
Well built chicken house ajoint with the chicken run comes with provisions for lighting ventilation and insulation in addition to perching bars dust baths and nesting boxes. These elementary requirements may seem too much to think about for a novice but they are essential for your chickens health and well-being and need to be accounted for right from the start. In the same breath all of this becomes easy with a good set of building plans as professionally designed chicken coop plans provide provisions for these elementary requirements. In addition the plans advise on where to source best building materials while avoiding toxic chemicals commonly used as treatment agents for some of the building materials. The plans advise on positioning the coop to prevent damp from accumulating inside of it. And lastly they cater for the safety of your birds. Here is an example of someone who thought he would save money by not using the plans when building his first ever chicken house: a client of mine lost all their chickens to a skunk because his chicken house was not properly secured enabling the skunk to gain access one night and kill all of his chickens.