Nothing beats fresh eggs scooped out of your chicken coops every morning. Even better, nothing tastes better than organically-grown, free-range chicken you can harvest when the mood strikes. Given the long list of benefits you can derive from growing chicken in your backyard (like saving on your grocery bills and having your own compost source), you should find building chicken coops and raising poultry worthy of your time and energy. But to ensure your chickens are happy and healthy (that is, before they are slaughtered for dinner), you need to build a comfortable chicken condo where they can grow plague-free.
Good Chicken Coops Design Tips
However you design your chicken coops, perhaps from simple A-frames to more complex, multi-tiered shelters, they should have these important elements to ensure your flock is well-protected and in the best of health.
1. Streamlined clean-up process. Chicken coops should be designed with streamlined clean-up process in mind because you as a farmer will be there (to clean) inasmuch as your chickens will be there to live. The less inclined you become with the clean-up task, the more your chickens will suffer from your neglect. A large set of door on either side allows for easy entry and exit (for the farmer). A removable “poop tray” in chicken coops goes a long way in cleaning up chicken manure with minimal fuss: The manure can be easily disposed of, the tray hosed down and dried up and placed back under the roost.
2. Adequate space. The size of your chicken coops is determined by the number of chickens you want to keep. Since you are likely to start small, consider allocating 3-5 square feet per chicken (10 square feet is optimal) so they’ll have plenty of space to move about even as they grow. When your chickens cram the chicken coops, they are not likely to grow to their potential size. More important, they are likely to ‘soil’ themselves with not enough space for air to circulate and deodorize the place.
3. Sufficient ventilation. Adequate breathing space is crucial not just for the chicken farmer who cleans the chicken coops, but for the chickens themselves. In poorly ventilated structures, chickens can get easily sick because of pollutants in the air that lingers due to absence of circulation. Ammonia from chicken droppings can cause respiratory problems to your flock and may even make them go blind.
4. Ample lighting. Chicken coops have to be built with east-facing windows so chickens can enjoy warmth early in the day. The longer your chickens are exposed to sunlight or even artificial light source (like fluorescent bulbs), the happier they will be with egg-laying duties.
5. Sturdy protection from the elements. Ensure that your chicken shelter is made of durable materials that can warm your poultry in cold months, protect them from strong winds and torrential rains, and fend them off from predators. You may also need to move your chickens every now and then, which is all the more important for chicken coops to be made of materials that will hold up even with frequent and rough handling.Learn more about me