Chicken Hutch / May 25, 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.
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.
Another great aspect of implementing a free range design is that your chickens are exposed to the atmosphere in the healthiest way possible. This means that ventilation will not be a considerable issue as they will have enough circulation to keep them healthy and breathing easily. As you may have heard before; a chickens egg production is directly related to its health so be sure to ventilate efficiently. I would highly encourage any chicken coop builder to consider building a free rage coop as the benefits are endless given that they take the right precautions. A set of chicken coop plans will help guide you through the entire process and answer your questions on how to build a chicken coop in the simplest and most intuitive manner.