Chicken Hutch / June 6, 2018 / Maryellen
For those with limited space or perhaps just setting out in this new venture there are plans to house only one or two birds but there are plans covering numerous birds up to small-scale commercial rearing. So if you are serious about raising chickens for whatever purpose including breeding for show or meat and eggs and even as pets you need to decide how many birds you have space for and how many you can afford in terms of time and effort. Although most small coops can be constructed in a day the larger coops will take several days to build something to think about when you do your planning. Safety and security are important considerations for your birds and not something that is immediately obvious until you look at plans in detail.
How many chickens will inhabit the coop? What size are the chickens large standards or bantams? How many nests will you provide the hens with? How many feeders and waterers will you have available? How many windows will your chicken coop require to give enough sunlight to your flock? Will you be constructing a chicken run with easy access into and out of the coop? You see there are various questions that need to be answered before you build a backyard chicken coop because you may find out too late that the coop you built was not sufficient enough to keep your chickens happy and safe. Once you have answered all your pre-building questions the next step is to choose a terrain where you will build a backyard chicken coop in. It is very important that you choose an area that is wide enough for your coop to fit with plenty of space around it for a chicken run or for you to maneuver around. You do not want to build a coop where you do not have easy access around its perimeter. Try to choose a terrain where it receives direct sunlight and far from heavy bushes or weeds where snakes rodents and other predators may reside in.
Basically a large chicken coop in an urban environment means a coop that you can walk upright into just as you would in an elevator. In fact you can take the size of a typical elevator as your guide in the initial design process of your chicken coop. On the wall facing the door you can place your elevated roost and nest box. You can raise it up to your chest level and extend it up to the roof of the coop. But if you have more than three chickens consider keeping this section at least three - four feet off the ground. Remember that chickens need a lot of space when roosting. Stacking them up too close to each other can result to them pecking at each other. Another benefit of this elevated design is that your chickens are off the floor and away from predators like rats or raccoons.