Chicken Hutch / June 7, 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.
When attempting to build a backyard chicken coop do not go at it with a concept in your head. This can lead to disaster. Make sure you sketch out your coop on paper even if youre not an artist and cover every angle including a top view of the roof and a sketch of the inside. If this is your first time building a backyard chicken coop you shouldnt go for an architectural masterpiece but rather start out with a simple chicken coop first just big enough for your flock and as you gain experience then go for something of a greater scale. Before you build a backyard chicken coop make an effort to collect all the materials you will need so that you wont have to take unexpected trips to and from the hardware or lumber store. A good example of materials you will need are: wood (2 x 4) concrete cinder blocks chicken wire or fence wire insulation strips and ofcourse nails screws saw and hammer. While these are your most common materials only you