Chicken Coop / February 1, 2018 / Maryellen.
Insulating the walls will not only keep your chickens producing eggs but it will prevent your chickens from getting sick. If you build a chicken coop obviously the water and the chicken feeders need to be in a place where your chickens can easily access them. It is important to be very careful in selecting a place to put the water and the feeders.Chickens can make a big mess of things because of their natural instinct to scratch and dig. It is very frustrating to see water and the chicken feed you just put out all over the floor. To prevent this place the feeder and the water at the height of a chicken back. Ideally the chickens will have to stretch their necks up to the food a little bit to eat and drink but they will not be able to place their feet in their food or water.
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.
A chicken coop is a kind of enclosure in which the chickens are kept. The interior of the housing have nest boxes for the chickens to lay eggs and also has perches for the birds to sleep on. The inside and outside of a chicken coops is usually covered with material such as straw or wood chips. These collect the chicken waste making it easier to clean. A chicken coop would usually have enough ventilation for air circulation helping airing out any odors that may occur. Before you get on to constructing a chickens coop sketch out the design of the kind of coop you need. It is not only the construction that you need to chalk out but also the colors that you are going to use on the roof and walls of your chicken coop. The coop should not act as a distraction to your neighborhood if it is clearly visible to your neighbors or be a defacement of the surroundings where you live. Therefore your chicken coop should have an aesthetic design and have no complaints from your neighbors.
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.
What kind of a climate you are living in? Does it rain a lot? What kind of a soil is in your backyard? Is it cold for most of the year? If you are living in a place where the soil is very soft and it rains a lot you should raise your chicken coop above the ground or else it will drown with time. Especially if your chicken house is very large and you own a large flock. If it is cold in your area for most of the time you have to use thicker materials and insulation that will help your chicken to remain warm during harsher weather conditions. If the thicker walls alone dont do the trick you may also want to install an artificial heather that will keep the right temperature when it is needed. For more specific advice on heathers ask a person who has experience in the area of how to build a chicken coop.