Chicken House / June 9, 2018 / Maryellen
Protection. You need to keep your chickens safe from all sorts of predators such as foxes coyotes hawks raccoons and rats just to name a few. The structure should be strong and no part of it should be able to be pushed over by a person. That is just the way I rate the strength of my coops...Could I push it over? If no then it is strong enough. There should be no way for rats or foxes to get into your chicken coop to kill your chickens. make sure the fencing goes all the way to the ground. You should also put the wire fencing down under the ground for about 1 foot out from the wire fence. This means when a fox digs at a fence they will simply hit the wire mesh and will eventually give up or try something else. Use mesh that raccoons cant get their arms through. I recommend using 1/2 inch square wire mesh for all the wire mesh fencing on the chicken coop. This will keep your chickens safe and it also looks quite attractive. Remember foxes are quite wily so check over your chicken coop plans to make sure they are predator proof.
Bantam chickens have tendencies to jump really high and some can almost fly across an entire field. Therefore you want to make sure that if your chicken coop has an attached chicken pen or chicken run it is covered with a high net or its surroundings have really high fences. The last thing you want is for your bantam chicken to fly over your fence because they are not smart enough to jump back across. Bantams can be quite feisty. As cute as they are bantam roosters can become quite aggressive when their territory is threatened. You may want to separate the chicken coop into smaller compartments with chicken wire. Keep one rooster per every three hens. Be aware of injured bantams. For some strange reason I have had many of my bantam chickens get eaten alive by the other bantams. This may sound absurd but it is true. Chickens tend to peck at each other at times and if they draw blood the other chickens will begin pecking at the blood and eventually killing off the innocent chicken. This is why you should remove any chicken that you notice has been pecked or injured and keep it in its own cage for a week until it heals. By following the chicken coop plans above you should have an easier time raising bantam chickens in your backyard. Bantams can be quite adorable but they require a lot of maintenance and care if you truly want to get the best out of your chicken flock.
Nesting Boxes. If you are keeping chickens for the eggs your coop needs to have at least 1 nesting box for every 5 or 6 female chickens. The nests should be comfortable and dark so your hens feel safe in them. You should put straw or wood shavings in the nest boxes and make the boxes at least 4 inches deep. If the boxes are not deep enough your chickens may fight and pick each others feathers. You should keep the nesting boxes clean at all times so the eggs remain clean. Hens should be trained not to sleep in the nesting boxes because if they do they will soil the area with their droppings. You should not have a problem with hens sleeping in the nesting boxes f you have given your chickens adequate perching space. If you find some stubborn hens that do want to sleep in the nests close them off at night.