Chicken House / June 5, 2018 / Maryellen
It doesnt matter how fancy a hen house is remember that it will have to be cleaned out frequently to eliminate odor and insect infestations. One of the mistakes those new to raising hens do is that they put together coops in which the floor is totally level. Isnt that a way to build a home? Without a doubt however not a hen coop - for the reason that any time you go to wash it all the stuff will pool right at your feet. Not really a pretty notion or sight. Rather you want to construct the floor with a tilt at the back of it. Building a hen house the easy way involves a simple clean up. Having a somewhat tilted floor at the rear of coop when you spray it down during cleaning all that icky junk will wash down this slant and right out of the back door in the coop.
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.
Ventilation. Chickens sweat. Sounds strange but it is true. Your chicken coop needs ventilation to keep your chickens cool in the warmer months and to allow the chickens perspiration to evaporate and escape the chicken coop. You should make sure your chicken coop plans include ventilation in the form of vents in walls or small windows but you also dont want it to be too drafty. You need a nice balance. One way to achieve this is to have the vents on the side of the chicken building that DOES NOT face the wind. This is typically the east or the south. This will also allow fresh oxygen rich air to flow into the hen house and the stale air and moisture to escape. Chickens can handle the cold but not the wet so it is vital to the health of your chickens that the moisture can escape.