Chicken Coop / May 31, 2018 / Maryellen
Once you have decided on the size coop that you are going to build you should then decide whether you want a portable chicken coop or if you would prefer a static ark. Portable chicken coops gives you the flexibility of being able to move it around to wherever you want to locate it. This can be good for people keeping chickens behind a fence to protect from predators. The fenced in perimeter area around the chicken coop will get worn to bare earth quite quickly as hens will eat much of the vegetation in the fenced area. Therefore being able to move your chicken coops around would be an advantage here. Also a portable coop can be easier to clean depending on the flexibility of the water source you will be using for its cleaning.
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.
The next thing you should ask yourself is will you move your chicken coop a lot. If yes you may think about building a mobile chicken house. It will allow you to change location of your flocks home with ease. The only disadvantage of such a solution is the size limitation. In order to create a mobile chicken coop you will have to attach wheels to it. This on the other hand will force you to build a chicken coop which size allows you to carry it. The next thing you have to think about is the hardness of the ground in your backyard. If it is very soft you wont be able to pull your chicken coop through it without getting stuck. Topic of predators is often missed by many people who learn how to build a chicken coop. But this issue is of utter importance and if neglected can lead to loss of your entire flock. You should start from establishing what kind of predators are in your neighborhood. You can do it either by asking people near you or searching this information on the Internet. The thing you are after is the method they will try to attack your chicken coop.