Chicken Coop / June 9, 2018 / Maryellen.
You have made a great decision and will soon be on your way to reaping the benefits of raising chickens; not only do they produce healthier than "store bought" eggs the make great pets. It is important however to make sure you build your chickens a good home. After all the coop you build for them will be where they lay their eggs and a vital protector from anything that may threaten your chickens. Building a chicken coop is much better than purchasing one already prefabricated. Not only will building your own allow you to personalize it with your unique style you can build it to fit your brood of chickens perfectly you can ensure quality of the craftsmanship and you will save a lot of money! There are some very critical errors that people make when they build their coops. Follow these 5 helpful hints so that you avoid the errors that people often make and build a strong backyard chicken coop.
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.
In past times chickens used to live in barns stables and even on peoples balconies. In our modern times we have farming law in place that sets the basic chicken keeping standards including the basics that their home needs to provide. Anyone who has built a coop or kept chickens in the past knows the risk of chickens rejecting the coop if they do not like it or becoming ill and even dying if the coop fails to meet the basic health requirements. For example the coop that retains moist and gives way to air-borne mould is the source of ongoing respiratory problems that may even kill the chickens. Prior to building the coop think of incorporating the following elementary requirements: natural light ventilation insulation electricity suitable floor and floor covering and so on.
When designing your chicken coop structure you must use sound judgment in almost every aspect of the way. For instance you want to use building materials in which the cleaning and disinfecting procedures will be quick and easy. The doors you install should open inwards not outwards. You dont want your chickens roosting on your windows so it is best to install sliding windows. A question many people ask is how to build a chicken coop whos floors are easy to hose and spray down without much puddling? Well the secret to that is to slightly slope the flooring toward the door. This way when you spray out the chicken coop the water will flow out hence solving your puddling problem.
There are a number of factors that a person needs to consider when he or she looks to build chicken coops. Building a chicken coop is recommended for people who wish to house chickens with the intent of providing eggs and meat for their families as well as fertilizer for their gardens. Complicated plans and/or expensive materials are not needed to build a chicken coop but a person has to make sure to get the job done correctly. As long as the chickens have their basic needs met they will be healthy and happy. There are elements that any person wishing to build a chicken coop needs to consider. These include having a basic design/implementation plan for the coop; having the correct materials and maintenance for the coops construction; ensuring that the coop is protected from environmental constraints; making sure that the coop has proper ventilation and lighting; and thinking about water and food for the chickens who will be housed in the coop. Each of these aspects are discussed in detail below.