Chicken House / June 5, 2018 / Maryellen
A smaller coop is easily constructed as it does not contain a large number of unnecessary amenities. It can sit directly on the ground but more often is mounted slightly raised on cinder blocks keeping it safe from flooding and other moisture that can cause the wood and other materials to rot as well as providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The coop usually has a regular size door for access to clean the coop and let the chickens out. Also a smaller coop will consist of no more than one or two windows with an additional ventilation hole on the roof closed with chicken wire. The roof itself is usually slanted to allow water to run off and away from the coop. A small chicken house will usually have roosts on one side with nesting boxes on the other. The roosts are often elevated and closed by a small door in order to ensure that the chickens are safe during the night. A small coop may or may not include an exercise area however breeders often fence off an area outside the door of the building to allow the chickens to roam freely during the day.
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.
When selecting chicken coop plans to build from you really need to consider more than just the look/aesthetics of the chicken coop designs. Sure its important to have a nice looking chicken coop that fits your overall backyard design but there are some other very important things that need to be incorporated into whatever plans you choose. Space. There is a certain amount of space that your chickens need to be healthy and happy. You must allocate 4 square feet of floor space per chicken. Therefore a flock of 20 chickens should be enjoying an 80 square foot chicken coop. Do not skimp on space. In fact it is better to allocate more space if anything. If your chicken coop becomes overcrowded your chickens quality of life becomes reduced and can cause feather picking and in extreme cases can even cause cannibalism. This is obviously an outcome you want to avoid so never overcrowd your coop.