Chicken Hutch / June 3, 2018 / Maryellen
There are quite a few advantages to having a free range chicken coop which I will discuss throughout this article. However I would like to highlight on the importance of using a set of chicken coop plans to guide you throughout the process of building a free range coop. After all it all comes down to planning when it comes to any sort of woodworking or construction. I personally prefer the free range approach to having a coop and in fact that is my current set up for the coop I have at home. The free range coop allows them to roam freely without any sense of confinement ensuring that their mental and emotional health is great. I was sure to build a wide gate because the added width makes it easier to herd the chickens at night or in the morning to keep them safe. This is a crucial consideration because chickens tend to be quite inconsiderate to one another and will push and shove each other when being herded into the coop so be sure to give them sufficient room to move in and out of the coop. A good rule I like to use is that every 10 chickens should be allotted approximately 5 feet of clearance. I recommend keeping a good set of chicken coop plans at hand to make sure you dont miss out on any important factors.
The amount of room that different breeds of chickens require may vary. Thus you should do a little research but the general rule is that each chicken should have at least 2 to 3 square feet of space for themselves. Say you have 40 chickens meaning that theyll need about 80 to 120 square feet in total. If possible always choose a plan that has more room rather than less. An 11 by 11 frame would be nice or even a 12 by 12. Although they might not be able to communicate it to you they do enjoy the extra running room. Again a bit of research will help lots. As temperatures change within the different seasons you need to be sure that your chickens dont get too hot or cold. A thermometer is always a good idea. Due to the needs of your chickens you will probably need to get some heating pads or lamps with the colder weather and cooling vents in the summer. This is all to maintain the ideal temperature even with the weather changes.
Depending on the size of your coop it is always important to consider how you are going to maintain and clean the coop. I would suggest using a detachable roof or a large enough side entrance where you can easily reach in to complete the routine maintenance. Predators are the biggest threat to your chickens after hygiene and that is why you should be sure to take the necessary precautions. Netting on the top of the coop will keep out birds of prey and a deep fencing will ensure raccoons and other land animals do not dig their way into your chickens home. Be sure to defend your chickens from the potential risk of predators by following some simple procedures outlined in most chicken coop plans on safeguarding the coop. Not all coops have to be mobile however if you do decide to build a mobile coop there are some considerations to make as well as some advantages associated with them. It allows the keeper to move the coop to a location nearer to their feed and makes cleaning the coop significantly easier than a regular stationary coop. Always to be sure to build a mobile coop with the right chicken coop plans to get you on the right track without any issues.