Chicken House / May 29, 2018 / Maryellen
It doesnt matter how fancy a hen house is remember that it will have to be cleaned out frequently to eliminate odor and insect infestations. One of the mistakes those new to raising hens do is that they put together coops in which the floor is totally level. Isnt that a way to build a home? Without a doubt however not a hen coop - for the reason that any time you go to wash it all the stuff will pool right at your feet. Not really a pretty notion or sight. Rather you want to construct the floor with a tilt at the back of it. Building a hen house the easy way involves a simple clean up. Having a somewhat tilted floor at the rear of coop when you spray it down during cleaning all that icky junk will wash down this slant and right out of the back door in the coop.
To protect your little egg producing friends safe from predators you will want to bury the run wall supports and chicken wire as deep as you are able over a foot where possible this should be deep enough to stop most predators digging under. It is paramount to make sure that your chickens remain happy and more-so healthy. There are many enhancements that you can add or make to their living quarters in order to achieve this. Chickens are susceptible to the elements much the same as humans and it is important to think of them in this way. You can help by adding things like insulation to the walls of the coop to stop cold drafts and damp winds blowing through. They will want and need ventilation but not so it disrupts their environment too much. It should be stated here that a damp chicken environment can and will cause your chickens ill health. Cold they can handle as long as they do not get damp.
Light. You need light in your chicken coop to stimulate egg laying. Particularly if you want your hens to lay eggs all year round. As a rule of thumb you should have 1 light every 40 feet inside you chicken building. If you are just building a small chicken coop it will be sufficient to have a single light above the watering/feeding section. As a bonus the light(s) will also be a source of heat for your chickens in the colder months. Perches. Your chickens have a natural instinct to perch so you must provide them with appropriate perches otherwise they will perch on nesting boxes feeders and anything else around the coop. This would then lead to these important areas getting covered in droppings which is certainly undesirable. It is as simple as using broom handles for your perches. Again it is important that your chickens have adequate space on the perches so as a rule of thumb allow 8 inches of perch space per chicken. To make it easy to keep the chicken coop clean slip some trays under the perches so the droppings land directly in them you can then pull the trays out to clean them.