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.
Basically a large chicken coop in an urban environment means a coop that you can walk upright into just as you would in an elevator. In fact you can take the size of a typical elevator as your guide in the initial design process of your chicken coop. On the wall facing the door you can place your elevated roost and nest box. You can raise it up to your chest level and extend it up to the roof of the coop. But if you have more than three chickens consider keeping this section at least three - four feet off the ground. Remember that chickens need a lot of space when roosting. Stacking them up too close to each other can result to them pecking at each other. Another benefit of this elevated design is that your chickens are off the floor and away from predators like rats or raccoons.
As most people will tell you a chicken coop is just four walls and a roof. But thank goodness theres no law saying that you cant let you crazy chicken coop ideas run wild on those four walls and roof right? If you want to take on a fun project to start the year designing or renovating your chicken coop around a particular theme is a great option. To get you started here are a few themes you can get inspiration from: If you cant afford to have that log cabin retreat by the lake dont hesitate to give it to your chickens. To give their chicken coop a rustic home feel incorporate a lot of design elements that define this style in the coop. For starters you can turn twigs into door handles. Take ones that are slightly curved or raised in the middle so that theres space for your fingers. You can also take larger branches and turn them into perches for your hens roost. Just make sure that the size of the branches are adequate for your chickens feet to grip firmly.