Chicken House / June 5, 2018 / Maryellen
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.
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.
Once you have settled on coop size you want to make sure your chicken coop designs meet your other needs. Unless you plan to purchase these separately you will want to make sure the plans also include sections on building your own feeders and nesting boxes. This simple detail is often left out of most plans. Most people do not know this but its important to position the coop strategically. In choosing the right position for a semi-permanent or fixed option make sure the area will have the right amount of sunlight and is not directly in the direction of the wind. You will also want to make sure that your placement keeps predator threats to a minimum. Most people neglect this fact when choosing chicken coop designs but lumber costs will make up about 90% of your building expenses.