Chicken House / June 5, 2018 / Maryellen
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.
Before you can start on construction you will need to clear any obstacles which may hinder or complicate matters later one. Since your chickens require plenty of light you will need to cut any trees which may block sunlight to the chicken house. Not only that it will actually keep your chicken warms during those extreme winter conditions. Next you will need to decide what type of chicken coop you are looking for. Are you looking for an extravagant double floored mansion with a ramp that connects both floors? Or do you prefer a plain and basic one just to fulfill the shelter needs of your chickens? Keep in mind however that chicken coops can get dirty very easily so you may want to consider building a chicken coop that is easy to clean.
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.