Chicken House / May 27, 2018 / Maryellen
Ventilation. Chickens sweat. Sounds strange but it is true. Your chicken coop needs ventilation to keep your chickens cool in the warmer months and to allow the chickens perspiration to evaporate and escape the chicken coop. You should make sure your chicken coop plans include ventilation in the form of vents in walls or small windows but you also dont want it to be too drafty. You need a nice balance. One way to achieve this is to have the vents on the side of the chicken building that DOES NOT face the wind. This is typically the east or the south. This will also allow fresh oxygen rich air to flow into the hen house and the stale air and moisture to escape. Chickens can handle the cold but not the wet so it is vital to the health of your chickens that the moisture can escape.
When you are building your chickens coop you will want to use only high quality timbers and materials as this will pay dividends further down the road and save you even more money by reducing running repairs and coop maintenance. Try and think of the cleaning aspects and how best to make it easily cleanable either by holes for water to run through or sloping floors etc with water escapes for when you are hosing out. Always try and build your coop on a raised level and not sitting on dirt or grass as this will only add to rotting problems. Also try and get a good amount of sunlight on it as this will keep it nice and dry even after a rain shower so place where it will get plenty of sun. This keeps a certain amount of heat in the coop and helps chickens stay warm throughout the night.
Breeders are often faced with choosing between a small chicken coop or something larger and this decision is dependent on factors such as the number of chickens to be bred. The size of the building must be right for the number of chickens. A chicken coop will provide ease of access and use so that the chickens can be properly fed and exercised increasing their ability to lay eggs. If the intention is to raise no more than four or five chickens then a small coop will be ideal. A small number of chickens in a small coop can provide eggs for a single family. Fewer chickens are easier to monitor and control which means they will remain healthier with less possibility of spreading disease. A chicken coop makes it easier to collect eggs and is also much easier to keep clean.