Chicken Coop / June 9, 2018 / Maryellen.
To begin a basic design/implementation plan is needed to construct the coop. A person who has never built a chicken coop before should look at some pre-existing designs of coops that were built in the past. An individual does not have to be an expert carpenter to put together the coop but he or she needs to make sure that the coop is put together properly. Once a person gets ideas of how the coop should be laid out and constructed he or she then needs to make a rough drawing of how the coop would potentially be laid out on his or her property. The area around the coop needs to be on high ground to ensure that it is not flooded in the event of inclement weather. Having the correct materials and maintenance is also a must for constructing a chicken coop. Materials that are simple to sanitize and clean should be used to construct the coop as the parts of the coop will need to regularly be sanitized and disinfected. The materials should be easy to clean and not expensive.
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.
Choose the site best for your coop. The site needs to be well drained-you dont want your chickens standing in mud! Expose the coop to the south to provide good sun. Keep in mind the prevailing weather patterns in your area. Face the door so the coop is protected from the rain and wind. Complement your home and yard with the right chicken coop design. Matching the design of the coop to your house or neighborhood makes it pleasing to look at and promotes backyard chickens to your neighbors. Remodel an existing structure into a coop. You can turn a garden shed a playhouse the kids outgrew or another outdoor structure into a chicken coop with a little creativity tools and materials. You can even turn a corner of your garage into a chicken house and build a run outside.
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.
You should place windows in your chicken coop in a way that will allow your flock to get as much sun as they only can. Especially in the mornings. Most of the windows in your chicken house should be in a direction of the sunrise. Second use for windows is creating air circulation inside your chicken coop. They allow your chickens to breath with fresh air and save you from dealing with bad smells while you are cleaning the chicken coop. Failing to supply your chickens with an appropriate source of light will decrease their performance and cause them to lay eggs less frequently or during weird hours. So if for some reason you cant supply them with natural light try to substitute it with electrical. This however should be done under supervision of someone who knows how to build a chicken coop.