Chicken Hutch / June 8, 2018 / Maryellen
There are quite a few advantages to having a free range chicken coop which I will discuss throughout this article. However I would like to highlight on the importance of using a set of chicken coop plans to guide you throughout the process of building a free range coop. After all it all comes down to planning when it comes to any sort of woodworking or construction. I personally prefer the free range approach to having a coop and in fact that is my current set up for the coop I have at home. The free range coop allows them to roam freely without any sense of confinement ensuring that their mental and emotional health is great. I was sure to build a wide gate because the added width makes it easier to herd the chickens at night or in the morning to keep them safe. This is a crucial consideration because chickens tend to be quite inconsiderate to one another and will push and shove each other when being herded into the coop so be sure to give them sufficient room to move in and out of the coop. A good rule I like to use is that every 10 chickens should be allotted approximately 5 feet of clearance. I recommend keeping a good set of chicken coop plans at hand to make sure you dont miss out on any important factors.
The amount of room that different breeds of chickens require may vary. Thus you should do a little research but the general rule is that each chicken should have at least 2 to 3 square feet of space for themselves. Say you have 40 chickens meaning that theyll need about 80 to 120 square feet in total. If possible always choose a plan that has more room rather than less. An 11 by 11 frame would be nice or even a 12 by 12. Although they might not be able to communicate it to you they do enjoy the extra running room. Again a bit of research will help lots. As temperatures change within the different seasons you need to be sure that your chickens dont get too hot or cold. A thermometer is always a good idea. Due to the needs of your chickens you will probably need to get some heating pads or lamps with the colder weather and cooling vents in the summer. This is all to maintain the ideal temperature even with the weather changes.
Another great aspect of implementing a free range design is that your chickens are exposed to the atmosphere in the healthiest way possible. This means that ventilation will not be a considerable issue as they will have enough circulation to keep them healthy and breathing easily. As you may have heard before; a chickens egg production is directly related to its health so be sure to ventilate efficiently. I would highly encourage any chicken coop builder to consider building a free rage coop as the benefits are endless given that they take the right precautions. A set of chicken coop plans will help guide you through the entire process and answer your questions on how to build a chicken coop in the simplest and most intuitive manner.