Chicken Coop / June 6, 2018 / Maryellen
The size of our backyard dictates the number of chickens we can keep as well as the size and the shape of their home. Small backyards require better planning in terms of coop designs in order to maximize the use of small spaces. Unless we are just starting most of us understand the role chicken coop plays in maintaining health and safety of our chickens. Experts estimate that three-quarters of chickens health problems and diseases are easily preventable simply by providing suitable chicken coop and optimized living conditions. In addition even in urban areas chickens are target of many predators. Chickens entire safety depends on the chosen building plan and the resulting coop be it our own plan or the professional one.
If they will try to go from the top you should cover the top of your chicken run with a fence. If you are dealing with really big animals that may try to destroy the fence of your run or chicken coop overall use the most durable materials you can find. If you think they will try to dig their way to your chicken house make sure you dig the fence at least a foot into the ground. In addition to these tips you should also remember to tweak the weakest link of nearly all chicken coops and runs doors. Try to find ones that have a tight fit multiple latches and overall there is no way to get in for unwanted animals. As you can see learning how to build a chicken coop requires a lot of time and experience on your part. That is why you shouldnt rush in to the building. Dont hope you will combat all the obstacles along the way. It is plain stupid and you will have to spend more time doing necessary modifications then you would spend on the entire construction only if you would invest more time into crucial preparations. So spend some more time learning how to build a chicken coop and plan your chicken house with confidence.
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.