Chicken Coop / December 2, 2017 / Maryellen.
Insulating the walls will not only keep your chickens producing eggs but it will prevent your chickens from getting sick. If you build a chicken coop obviously the water and the chicken feeders need to be in a place where your chickens can easily access them. It is important to be very careful in selecting a place to put the water and the feeders.Chickens can make a big mess of things because of their natural instinct to scratch and dig. It is very frustrating to see water and the chicken feed you just put out all over the floor. To prevent this place the feeder and the water at the height of a chicken back. Ideally the chickens will have to stretch their necks up to the food a little bit to eat and drink but they will not be able to place their feet in their food or water.
Predators. Raccoons dogs skunks owls and hawks-all love a good chicken dinner or a pre-dawn egg breakfast. Dig a trench 1 foot around the perimeter of the coop lay in chicken wire and cover with dirt to keep predators from digging under your coop. Make latches secure from nimble raccoon fingers. And protect chickens overhead with chicken wire away from the hawks and owls. Keep it clean. Plan your coop for easy to clean maintenance. Use the manure in your compost pile for valuable nutrients for your garden. Clean your chicken coop frequently to keep smells bugs and neighbor complaints to a minimum. Pre-plan how you are going to get inside the coop. If its hard to get into youll avoid cleaning it which will result in a buildup of manure. Use leaf litter pine shavings or chopped corn cobs for bedding. Your chicken coop design can elaborate and grand simple and plain or anything in between to complement your home and neighborhood. The main point to remember is that the coop needs to protect your flock keeping them dry secure and comfortable. Following the tips on choosing the right chicken coop will ensure that backyard chickens continue to be accepted in more cities bringing self-reliance back to the individual.
Electrical light is a great idea but you have to make sure that the installation is well hidden and wont become a pecking target. The other thing you have to remember is that with electrical light your bills can get really high so my recommendation is to always search for natural solutions. You have to remember about creating a chicken house of the right size. You should estimate how many chickens you are going to keep and based on that choose an appropriate plan. Each chicken requires from 4 to 5 square feet to feel comfortable. If you are unable to find a perfect fit for your flock always choose bigger coop. Small chicken coops will force your birds to crowd on a very limited space and that can cause disease spreading and in some extreme cases cannibalism.
A portable chicken house by its very nature has to be movable and therefore is less likely to be as robust as a fixed coop. However if you have a good set of construction plans for your coop will ensure that if you choose a portable coop it will be as strong as possible. Earlier we mentioned predator fencing around your coop and getting a good strong fence in place around the perimeter of the coop is vital to protect your investment in the birds as well as to ensure the well-being of the hens. Naturally at the planning stage for building a coop you also should be considering material requirements and costs for a protecting fence as the size of the hen house will have a direct impact on the size of the fence required.
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.