Chicken Coop / May 29, 2018 / Maryellen
Speaking of walls the chicken coop walls should have proper insulation installed which will help keep the chickens dry. As long as chickens are dry they can handle cold climates very well but humidity plus cold weather will cause health issues for your poultry. Therefore insulated walls are a must! If you want a good source of light and warmth for your chickens during the cold months of the year and a solid source of ventilation during the hot months then be sure to install the chicken coop windows facing the southside where they will receive direct sunlight throughout the day. On another note if your goal is to raise chickens that will produce great eggs all year round then you should look into an electrical source of light. You should be able to easily install an electrical light at the height of the chicken coops ceiling which will help keep your chickens warm and help them lay better chicken eggs throughout the year. One ceiling light should be enough for a small scale chicken coop for larger chicken coops though try to install one electrical ceiling light per every 30 - 40 feet.
Use appropriate building materials. Wood on the bottom of the coop that is in contact with the soil will eventually rot. Redwood and cedar are rot-resistant and excellent choices. Pine is cheaper and may need replacing in the future or require treatment. Be aware that preservatives put on wood might be poisonous to chickens. Use metal fiberglass or wood shingles for the roof. Perches. Chickens need to perch off the ground at night. You can be creative making perches from broom handles natural branches or 2x2s rounded and sanded (1x2 for bantams). Figure 6-10 inches of perching space per hen or 6-8 inches for bantams. Nesting boxes. Provide 1 nesting box for every 4-5 hens. They will often share a nest. Build the boxes where you can reach in through a hinged door for easy access to collect the eggs.
Building chicken coops is an investment in time and money so you want to make sure that you end up building a coop that is fit for purpose but also has an appearance that you can be proud of. Depending on your budget there are coop plans for many different structural styles which will directly impact the overall appearance of your coop. So when you plan your coop size you also want to think about what sort of appearance your budget allows you to build to. Again looking through some plans of chicken coops will help you choose what you will ultimately build. Throughout this article we have been mentioning that getting the planning part stage of a coop build right is crucial. Making wrong decisions now will cost you time and money but getting those decisions right up front could save you hundreds of dollars. We hope you found this useful and if you want to learn more why not sign up to our free newsletter series in which you will get loads of great information and handy tips on planning and building your chicken coops.