Chicken Hutch / June 5, 2018 / Maryellen
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.
Well built chicken house ajoint with the chicken run comes with provisions for lighting ventilation and insulation in addition to perching bars dust baths and nesting boxes. These elementary requirements may seem too much to think about for a novice but they are essential for your chickens health and well-being and need to be accounted for right from the start. In the same breath all of this becomes easy with a good set of building plans as professionally designed chicken coop plans provide provisions for these elementary requirements. In addition the plans advise on where to source best building materials while avoiding toxic chemicals commonly used as treatment agents for some of the building materials. The plans advise on positioning the coop to prevent damp from accumulating inside of it. And lastly they cater for the safety of your birds. Here is an example of someone who thought he would save money by not using the plans when building his first ever chicken house: a client of mine lost all their chickens to a skunk because his chicken house was not properly secured enabling the skunk to gain access one night and kill all of his chickens.
As the tragedy happened he went ahead with purchasing a set of plans and has since built brand new properly fenced and secured chicken coop. As you are starting it is wise to address the size of your backyard and the portion of it that is allocated to the chickens. Deciding on the number of chickens and the coop size is an important initial step. There is an option that maximizes use of tiny backyard spaces by building the coop and the run in a way that places sleeping area on the upper level whilst the chicken run is placed on the grounds underneath enabling the chickens to have regular access to the outdoors. Professional building plans cater for urban chicken keeper by providing suitable designs for small backyards amongst its vast selection.