Chicken Coop / May 29, 2018 / Maryellen
A chicken coop is a kind of enclosure in which the chickens are kept. The interior of the housing have nest boxes for the chickens to lay eggs and also has perches for the birds to sleep on. The inside and outside of a chicken coops is usually covered with material such as straw or wood chips. These collect the chicken waste making it easier to clean. A chicken coop would usually have enough ventilation for air circulation helping airing out any odors that may occur. Before you get on to constructing a chickens coop sketch out the design of the kind of coop you need. It is not only the construction that you need to chalk out but also the colors that you are going to use on the roof and walls of your chicken coop. The coop should not act as a distraction to your neighborhood if it is clearly visible to your neighbors or be a defacement of the surroundings where you live. Therefore your chicken coop should have an aesthetic design and have no complaints from your neighbors.
You should also consider an electrical light source which will help the chickens produce great eggs all the year round. This light could easily be installed at the height of the chicken coops ceiling and this would help in keeping the chickens warm and lay better eggs through-out the year. You should always check if the water and chicken feeders have been put in the right places and the flock has easy access to those areas. You should also take care in placing the containers knowing that the chickens like to make a mess of everything they eat. Try and place the feeders at the back of the chicken at a height where the chickens have to stretch their necks to eat and would not be able to reach the feeders with their feet.
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.