Chicken House / May 25, 2018 / Maryellen
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.
Choose a coop kit size appropriate for your chickens. There are different sizes of coop kits available in the market. If you have small a number of chickens and you are not planning to expand it then a small coop is applicable. A standard 4x4 coop will house 3-4 standard hens comfortably. However if you have a big number of chickens a bigger coop is needed to house all of them comfortably. Remember each adult chicken needs 4 square feet of free space thus a 4x4 coop provides 16 square feet of space for 4 chickens. Chickens need to run around and exercise as well as to get some fresh air. They also love to scratch around. Therefore a chicken run is important. There are some coops that provide a chicken run attached to it. Most of the time it is included in the coop but you can also buy it separately. You can also do it yourself by adding simple wood frame and some good gauge wire.
Chickens can be let out from the main door or sometimes a smaller door is included in a small chicken coop that can be opened to let the chickens out. Small Chicken Coops will usually not contain the kinds of additional equipment that is found in larger coops; for the most part a small chicken coop is a very utilitarian structure that involves a lot of manual intervention on the part of the breeder. A small chicken coop should be kept simple in order to focus on the raising of healthy happy chickens that have a high egg output. Removing all of the additional contraptions from a small chicken coop settles the chickens and keeps them more comfortable. As coops increase in size the quality of housing for the chickens within tends to decrease making a small chicken coop that much more attractive for the small breeder.