Chicken House / May 31, 2018 / Maryellen
When you are building your chickens coop you will want to use only high quality timbers and materials as this will pay dividends further down the road and save you even more money by reducing running repairs and coop maintenance. Try and think of the cleaning aspects and how best to make it easily cleanable either by holes for water to run through or sloping floors etc with water escapes for when you are hosing out. Always try and build your coop on a raised level and not sitting on dirt or grass as this will only add to rotting problems. Also try and get a good amount of sunlight on it as this will keep it nice and dry even after a rain shower so place where it will get plenty of sun. This keeps a certain amount of heat in the coop and helps chickens stay warm throughout the night.
Choose a coop kit size appropriate for your chickens. There are different sizes of coop kits available in the market. If you have small a number of chickens and you are not planning to expand it then a small coop is applicable. A standard 4x4 coop will house 3-4 standard hens comfortably. However if you have a big number of chickens a bigger coop is needed to house all of them comfortably. Remember each adult chicken needs 4 square feet of free space thus a 4x4 coop provides 16 square feet of space for 4 chickens. Chickens need to run around and exercise as well as to get some fresh air. They also love to scratch around. Therefore a chicken run is important. There are some coops that provide a chicken run attached to it. Most of the time it is included in the coop but you can also buy it separately. You can also do it yourself by adding simple wood frame and some good gauge wire.
Building a chicken coop will also involve creating good coop insulation that will keep the chicken warm and comfortable during winter season. It is also beneficial during summer as well. It suggested that a 1.5 inch of Styrofoam sheet placed between the ceilings and the walls is ideal. Painting the walls with white paint also helps reflect the summer heat. Some prefer using aluminum roof while tall plants just around the coop will provide better shade for the coop. The flooring of the chicken coop may be of different building materials. Packing down plain dirt to create a solid foundation is the cheapest flooring for a chicken coop. It is however most vulnerable to rodents digging from underground to get to their prey.