Chicken Coop / June 7, 2018 / Maryellen
You should also consider an electrical light source which will help the chickens produce great eggs all the year round. This light could easily be installed at the height of the chicken coops ceiling and this would help in keeping the chickens warm and lay better eggs through-out the year. You should always check if the water and chicken feeders have been put in the right places and the flock has easy access to those areas. You should also take care in placing the containers knowing that the chickens like to make a mess of everything they eat. Try and place the feeders at the back of the chicken at a height where the chickens have to stretch their necks to eat and would not be able to reach the feeders with their feet.
How big? You need to plan ahead for the size of your coop. Each hen needs a minimum of 4 square feet inside and outside the coop. If you get Bantams figure about 3 square feet per hen since they are smaller. Overcrowded chickens tend to peck at each other which can start a host of problems. For cold weather you want the spacing to be adequate so the chickens can stay warm. Have a quarantine area. A separate area to keep new birds for a week or two allows you to keep your flock healthy. Its also a good area to separate a hen if she becomes ill until she recovers. You can also separate the occasional over-aggressive hen that is pestering the other birds. Make sure the coop is wind and water tight. Your chickens need protection from the elements to stay healthy. They like shade during the heat of the day but also need protection from cold drafts. Use closeable windows for ventilation or a line of screened vents built into the top of north and south facing walls.
Taking care of your chicken house is very important. So if you have problems finding enough time to clean it forget about complicated chicken house designs. By creating a simpler construction that is easier to access and keep clean you invest in happiness and health of your chickens. Always build chicken houses that have plenty of well designed access points. They will make cleaning and collecting eggs way easier. By simply making the floor of your chicken coop slightly tilted in the direction of the entrance you will cut the cleaning time by more than half. This simple trick will allow you to hose down your chicken coops floor helping you to save a lot of energy. It is really important to choose the right place for your chicken house. It should stand on an even hard ground in order to be durable and useful to your chickens. That is why you should spend some time thinking about this issue.