Chicken Coop / June 1, 2018 / Maryellen
Choosing which size chicken arks to build is a very important consideration and will depend on the number of chickens you intend to keep. There are small medium and large chicken plans to suit your build. A mistake that many first timers make is they build a coop which is too small for the number of chickens that they have. If you cram too many chickens into a small chicken ark your birds will not be comfortable and therefore will be less likely to lay the number of eggs that they would provide if only they had sufficient space. It is better to err on the side of caution and use plans for a larger coop than you think you will initially need and then you have the option for the future of adding more birds at a later date.
There are a number of factors that a person needs to consider when he or she looks to build chicken coops. Building a chicken coop is recommended for people who wish to house chickens with the intent of providing eggs and meat for their families as well as fertilizer for their gardens. Complicated plans and/or expensive materials are not needed to build a chicken coop but a person has to make sure to get the job done correctly. As long as the chickens have their basic needs met they will be healthy and happy. There are elements that any person wishing to build a chicken coop needs to consider. These include having a basic design/implementation plan for the coop; having the correct materials and maintenance for the coops construction; ensuring that the coop is protected from environmental constraints; making sure that the coop has proper ventilation and lighting; and thinking about water and food for the chickens who will be housed in the coop. Each of these aspects are discussed in detail below.
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.