Chicken House / May 27, 2018 / Maryellen
When selecting chicken coop plans to build from you really need to consider more than just the look/aesthetics of the chicken coop designs. Sure its important to have a nice looking chicken coop that fits your overall backyard design but there are some other very important things that need to be incorporated into whatever plans you choose. Space. There is a certain amount of space that your chickens need to be healthy and happy. You must allocate 4 square feet of floor space per chicken. Therefore a flock of 20 chickens should be enjoying an 80 square foot chicken coop. Do not skimp on space. In fact it is better to allocate more space if anything. If your chicken coop becomes overcrowded your chickens quality of life becomes reduced and can cause feather picking and in extreme cases can even cause cannibalism. This is obviously an outcome you want to avoid so never overcrowd your coop.
Besides that its is useful to find out what breed of chickens you have at the moment or are planning to have in the future. Then you will need to make a decisionwhich means wanting to breed more chickens or just simply raise and take care of your hens. If you chose the former you will need to construct a bigger coop to accommodate the growing number of chickens. This means that you will have to expand your chicken house beyond its original size. Since chicken coops are similar to many other animal housings such as dog houses you can look for different features of the dog house and incorporate them into your coop. The most important aspect of a chicken coop has to be its durability. Chicken coops need to be resilient to harsh weather conditions such as the blazing heat or freezing cold. Besides that a properly built chicken coop will guarantee more productivity and better chickens.
Nesting Boxes. If you are keeping chickens for the eggs your coop needs to have at least 1 nesting box for every 5 or 6 female chickens. The nests should be comfortable and dark so your hens feel safe in them. You should put straw or wood shavings in the nest boxes and make the boxes at least 4 inches deep. If the boxes are not deep enough your chickens may fight and pick each others feathers. You should keep the nesting boxes clean at all times so the eggs remain clean. Hens should be trained not to sleep in the nesting boxes because if they do they will soil the area with their droppings. You should not have a problem with hens sleeping in the nesting boxes f you have given your chickens adequate perching space. If you find some stubborn hens that do want to sleep in the nests close them off at night.