Chicken House / June 5, 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.
Natural light is the best answer here so be sure and have the coops window facing south where it will get most light and natural warmth especially in the winter months. There are also some chicken keepers that have installed electric lighting in the apex of the coops roof as this will keep the chickens laying eggs throughout the year there are a variation of lights that can be used depending on the size and type of coop that you are building. This is more of a tip than anything else but it can save you a lot of frustration. Chickens tend to knock everything with their feet this includes food and feeders. An ideal solution to save having a constant mess on the coop floor is to raise the feeders and waterers to the height of the chickens shoulder this way they can only get their heads in the feeders and not their feet as well.
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.