Chicken Hutch / May 28, 2018 / Maryellen
Well built chicken house ajoint with the chicken run comes with provisions for lighting ventilation and insulation in addition to perching bars dust baths and nesting boxes. These elementary requirements may seem too much to think about for a novice but they are essential for your chickens health and well-being and need to be accounted for right from the start. In the same breath all of this becomes easy with a good set of building plans as professionally designed chicken coop plans provide provisions for these elementary requirements. In addition the plans advise on where to source best building materials while avoiding toxic chemicals commonly used as treatment agents for some of the building materials. The plans advise on positioning the coop to prevent damp from accumulating inside of it. And lastly they cater for the safety of your birds. Here is an example of someone who thought he would save money by not using the plans when building his first ever chicken house: a client of mine lost all their chickens to a skunk because his chicken house was not properly secured enabling the skunk to gain access one night and kill all of his chickens.
Using a ramp connect the second floor roost to the first floor play and exercise area. Having a large chicken coop also helps your hens get a bit more exercise. This is going to be especially helpful in the winter months when they need to keep their body temperature up. And speaking of winter months dont forget that having a large coop also means that youll have to get extra insulation during the cold season. And its not just your chickens you will also reap the benefits from the extra space that a large coop provides. Cleaning for example will be much easier. You can just take a shovel and scoop out all the dirt in the run without always having your face two inches away from chicken poop. This is also good news for those that have back or knee problems because they wouldnt have to crouch down every time they clean the coop. Also if in the future you would like to turn your hobby into a small business having a large chicken coop will make expansion easier. Just make a note of the rules in your city (or apartment building) as to how many chickens is an individual allowed to keep.
The amount of room that different breeds of chickens require may vary. Thus you should do a little research but the general rule is that each chicken should have at least 2 to 3 square feet of space for themselves. Say you have 40 chickens meaning that theyll need about 80 to 120 square feet in total. If possible always choose a plan that has more room rather than less. An 11 by 11 frame would be nice or even a 12 by 12. Although they might not be able to communicate it to you they do enjoy the extra running room. Again a bit of research will help lots. As temperatures change within the different seasons you need to be sure that your chickens dont get too hot or cold. A thermometer is always a good idea. Due to the needs of your chickens you will probably need to get some heating pads or lamps with the colder weather and cooling vents in the summer. This is all to maintain the ideal temperature even with the weather changes.