Chicken coops, even in urban areas, are becoming a common sight. After all, nothing beats organic fresh eggs from free-range chickens that you grow yourself. The rewards are well worth the aggravation of building one. They are relatively easy to put up but there are, of course, already pre-made structures that you just have to unfold and spread on your backyard if you feel not handy enough for the task. Whether built from scratch or bought from stores, make sure that your chicken coops have the following qualities.
Chicken Coops Tips for Building (or Buying)
1. Chicken coops should have enough space for the number of chickens you plan to raise. Chicks can manage 3 to 4 square feet each of living space, whereas maturing ones need up to 10 square feet each. You also need to consider that you will have to get into the coop for regular maintenance. If you make it easy to get in and get out of the structure, you will make it easier for yourself to clean the coops and prevent disease from spreading. Chicken manure is strong with ammonia, and if you don’t deal with them as often, your chickens are likely to suffer from respiratory problems. You can address your lack of space inside the coops with chicken runs to allow more mobility to your brood.
2. Chicken coops should also be made of sturdy materials that can withstand elements for a long time. The chickens should be protected from severe weather, gusts of wind and torrential rain. This ensures the health of your brood whatever the season.
3. Chicken coops need to accommodate watering and feeding trays. The size of your trays should be proportional to the number of chickens you maintain. For example, a two-gallon chicken waterer is enough for half a dozen chickens. Food trays, which should be removable for easy cleaning and maintenance, should be kept six to eight inches off the ground. A chicken waterer should also be of the same height or lower.
4. Chicken coops should have a nesting area located in the darkest portion of the structure. Line it with straw, hay or wood chips and replace once a week.
5. Chicken coops should allow enough light to come in and enough openings for ventilation. Chickens need to be exposed to the early morning sun, so your pens should have appropriate windows for the warmth to filter in. The windows should also be strategically placed such that they will allow sufficient movement of air to cleanse the chicken coops of smell (particularly ammonia).
6. Chicken coops need to be movable. At best, they should be easy to transport to another place should your chickens need a fresh patch of grass and earth to scratch up. Some coops are built with compact measurements to allow for mobility, while some bigger ones that are intended for maturing hens are outfitted with wheels.
7. Chicken coops should be designed and built with easy maintenance in mind. Egg trays can be placed above removable poop trays so manure can easily be disposed of and trays hosed off without too much fuss. Chicken coops that are easy to maintain translate to healthier and happier chickens.Learn more about me