Simple Chicken Coop
Raising your own chickens is becoming more and more popular and has even spread to rural areas. This article covers a few basics to consider before building your own chicken coop.
So you've decided to build a chicken coop - where do you start? The first good choice has already been made, building your own coop instead of buying a manufactured one will save you approximately 50% of the costs. Building your own chicken coop will also allow you to put your own personal touches to your coop as well as fill you with a sense of achievement. Although building the coop is actually easier than you may at first think there are certain things that you must take into account.
Write stuff down
Before you even think of building a chicken coop make sure you have your plans out in front of you. After this make sure you have all the materials you are going to need when building the chicken coop ( you do not want to get half way through then discover you have forgotten a vital part ).
The first design flaw you should overcome will be the doors - make sure the doors open inwards. This will help when cleaning out the coop which must be done at least once a week. Ventilation is the next important step, if you want your chickens to produce healthy regular eggs you must look after their health at all times. Sliding doors or adding windows can easily achieve this.
The floor is another sticking point when it comes to building chicken coops. Try to make the floor decline slightly towards the door opening. This will make things a lot easier when it comes to cleaning the coop out. As far as materials are concerned there are two very popular choices for the floor. Wood chips and straw/hay are ideal for the floors and also help to make the cleaning out more easier. Remember to set out an area inside the coop where the chickens can always eat - they are farm animals so they will make a mess.
If you live in a country with poor weather fronts it is very important that you insulate the inside of the chicken coop. Chickens will suffer greatly if they are left in the cold to fend for themselves. If insulation is out of your price range then at least invest in a couple of special chicken pen lights. These will give off decent heat for the chickens and also provide extra light in the longer winter nights. Insulation of the coops walls will also help keep the eggs produced protected.
The chicken and water feeders need to be positioned in the correct place inside the chicken coop. Put them quite high because ideally you want the chickens to be stretching their necks up to get at their food. This will stop them from attempting to reach the food and water with their feet and making an almighty mess. Be sure to replace the food and water on a daily basis ( very important!! ).
Do not build the chicken coop anywhere near any garden bushes as this is the perfect place for predators and pests to hang out. Chicken wire is cheap and cheerful so use it by putting it under the chicken runs. This will prevent the predators from burrowing up into the coop.
Finally, try not to paint the chicken coop awful, loud colours. The coop will be in full view in your garden or outside area and your neighbours may not be to happy with the coop spoiling the overall look of the street.