Chicken Hutch / June 8, 2018 / Maryellen
If youre raising chickens in the city then youre probably thinking that owning a large chicken coop is already out of the question. Space after all is one of the biggest limitation of urban chicken owners when it comes to building their chicken coop. So they usually make the mistake of designing their coop around the available space rather than their chickens needs. The result? Big city chickens living in cramped chicken coops. Of course the definition of what "large" is is very subjective especially in the context of the-countryside-hills-over-yonder standards versus the beyond crowded city standards. To put things into perspective lets just say that a large chicken coop in the countryside is a decent-sized apartment downtown. While a large chicken coop in the city is the walk-in closet in that decent-sized apartment downtown.
The amount of room that different breeds of chickens require may vary. Thus you should do a little research but the general rule is that each chicken should have at least 2 to 3 square feet of space for themselves. Say you have 40 chickens meaning that theyll need about 80 to 120 square feet in total. If possible always choose a plan that has more room rather than less. An 11 by 11 frame would be nice or even a 12 by 12. Although they might not be able to communicate it to you they do enjoy the extra running room. Again a bit of research will help lots. As temperatures change within the different seasons you need to be sure that your chickens dont get too hot or cold. A thermometer is always a good idea. Due to the needs of your chickens you will probably need to get some heating pads or lamps with the colder weather and cooling vents in the summer. This is all to maintain the ideal temperature even with the weather changes.
How many chickens will inhabit the coop? What size are the chickens large standards or bantams? How many nests will you provide the hens with? How many feeders and waterers will you have available? How many windows will your chicken coop require to give enough sunlight to your flock? Will you be constructing a chicken run with easy access into and out of the coop? You see there are various questions that need to be answered before you build a backyard chicken coop because you may find out too late that the coop you built was not sufficient enough to keep your chickens happy and safe. Once you have answered all your pre-building questions the next step is to choose a terrain where you will build a backyard chicken coop in. It is very important that you choose an area that is wide enough for your coop to fit with plenty of space around it for a chicken run or for you to maneuver around. You do not want to build a coop where you do not have easy access around its perimeter. Try to choose a terrain where it receives direct sunlight and far from heavy bushes or weeds where snakes rodents and other predators may reside in.