Chicken House / June 5, 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.
Get a good chicken coop guide and building plan. Most of these coop designs have detailed instructions on how to build and materials that you need to make a coop. It just important that you get something that is easy to understand and have clear instructions. Decide on the materials that you will be using. You dont have to scramble to the shop at once. Survey your basement for some scrap lumber. This will help you empty your basement and save money from buying new materials as well. You can even find a lot of bargain materials that you can also use in your coop. Choose materials also that require you less maintenance as well. Chose a location where you will build your coop. This is important to consider especially for sanitation and health of your chicken. A slope or hilly land will be ideal for your coop to facilitate drainage of water. If you are putting your coop in your backyard make sure your coop is facing the sun to avoid moisture and damp areas in your coop.
Regardless of what type of backyard coop you decide to build you will want to make sure the designs provide adequate shelter comfort security and cleanliness for your chickens. Your chickens will spend the majority of their lives in this new home so your coop will need to keep them safe and secure from potential predators. It is possible to purchase a pre-made coop and this may be a good option for some but if you want to do-it-yourself and save money make sure the chicken coop designs you choose meet the above needs. When choosing the right plans you must first consider how many chickens you are planning to keep. Two or three chickens may only require a small portable coop while two dozen grown chickens will need a large fixed coop.