Chicken Coop / June 5, 2018 / Maryellen.
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.
As do it yourself enthusiast who wishes to build own chicken coop you have two options. Option 1 is to consider the elementary requirements and sketch a simple design based on them and then proceed with building the coop yourself. This is cheap yet long and stress-fuelled process with uncertain outcome unless you are professional carpenter or similar. Option 2 is the smart approach that by-passes unnecessary stress while saving the time and the money. It involves getting a set of professionally designed chicken coop plans. With the health and well-being of your chickens in mind the plans present a wide selection of designs carefully produced to ensure that every coop meets legal requirements laid in the farming law. You simply choose the design that suits your individual requirements.
A Chicken coop without free air movement and therefore more oxygen will have high carbon monoxide levels and humidity levels. This is not good because uncomfortable chickens do not produce as many eggs. It is also very dangerous because it makes mold growth within the walls very easy. To build a chicken coop properly insulating the walls is very important. The walls of the chicken coop need to have good insulation installed. This will help keep the chickens warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The insulation will also help to keep the coop at optimum humidity levels. When the chickens are kept at the optimum humidity levels they produce more eggs. Insulating the walls will also help to keep the chickens dry. In colder climates when your chickens are dry they can withstand the cold well.
What kind of a climate you are living in? Does it rain a lot? What kind of a soil is in your backyard? Is it cold for most of the year? If you are living in a place where the soil is very soft and it rains a lot you should raise your chicken coop above the ground or else it will drown with time. Especially if your chicken house is very large and you own a large flock. If it is cold in your area for most of the time you have to use thicker materials and insulation that will help your chicken to remain warm during harsher weather conditions. If the thicker walls alone dont do the trick you may also want to install an artificial heather that will keep the right temperature when it is needed. For more specific advice on heathers ask a person who has experience in the area of how to build a chicken coop.
The next dramatic result of keeping your chickens in a small space is aggression. Chickens that dont have enough room can become aggressive towards you other members of the flock and the chicken coop itself. They also tend to break their own eggs so pay attention to the size of your chicken house. Budget is a very important factor you should consider while learning how to build a chicken coop. It can be the single reason that will kill your entire undertaking. That is why you should always establish how much you can spend before starting to build. There are many ways you can cut the cost of construction. One of the most obvious ones is buying cheaper but still usable materials. This however requires information on what kind of materials are chicken safe and which arent.