Chicken House / June 6, 2018 / Maryellen
When selecting chicken coop plans to build from you really need to consider more than just the look/aesthetics of the chicken coop designs. Sure its important to have a nice looking chicken coop that fits your overall backyard design but there are some other very important things that need to be incorporated into whatever plans you choose. Space. There is a certain amount of space that your chickens need to be healthy and happy. You must allocate 4 square feet of floor space per chicken. Therefore a flock of 20 chickens should be enjoying an 80 square foot chicken coop. Do not skimp on space. In fact it is better to allocate more space if anything. If your chicken coop becomes overcrowded your chickens quality of life becomes reduced and can cause feather picking and in extreme cases can even cause cannibalism. This is obviously an outcome you want to avoid so never overcrowd your coop.
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.
Natural light is the best answer here so be sure and have the coops window facing south where it will get most light and natural warmth especially in the winter months. There are also some chicken keepers that have installed electric lighting in the apex of the coops roof as this will keep the chickens laying eggs throughout the year there are a variation of lights that can be used depending on the size and type of coop that you are building. This is more of a tip than anything else but it can save you a lot of frustration. Chickens tend to knock everything with their feet this includes food and feeders. An ideal solution to save having a constant mess on the coop floor is to raise the feeders and waterers to the height of the chickens shoulder this way they can only get their heads in the feeders and not their feet as well.