If you are planning to keep chickens in your backyard, one of the most important requirements is a chicken coop. The comfort and safety of your chickens are essential, and the following tips will help you to construct the perfect coop.
A ready-made chicken coop will typically cost you anything up to about $300, although you can have a perfectly adequate coop without having to spend as much as that. You can actually find everything you need to build the perfect coop in your own home, for probably a fraction of the cost.
Sketching out a rough draft of how you think your coop should look is an ideal first step, and if you aren’t especially creative or are stuck for ideas, try looking at buildingacoop.com for some great ideas.
Keep in mind that you will need to clean and disinfect your chicken coop regularly, and this is something to consider when you are designing and setting up your coop. Hosing down your coop will be one of your regular tasks, and the water will flow outside much more effectively if you design and build your coop with a slightly sloping floor.
Your chickens will also need to be protected from extremes of weather, and your coop should be designed and built securely enough to proved the protection they need. Ammonia can accumulate within your coop, which can lead to diseases, if the coop is too damp, and it should also be draft proof and well ventilated. So that air is able to freely enter the coop. you should build it in such a way that the door opens inwards. Another useful tip to prevent too much moisture from collecting inside the shelter is to position it in an area of your backyard where it is in the direct path of the sun.
As well as keeping your chickens dry, you will also need to keep them cool during the hot months, and warm during the colder months, and properly insulated walls can help do that. If you are raising chickens specifically for their eggs, it is even more important that you maintain the correct temperature and keep them free of disease.
For protection from predators, you should put screens on the doors and windows of your coop, and installing strong chicken wire around the shelter will provide additional protection. It’s a good idea to bury the chicken wire at least 12 inches under the ground, to deter those predators who might be inclined to burrow to get at your chickens.
Make sure that your chickens are able to easily access the feeding bowls or troughs, as well as the water. One way to avoid some of the mess that chickens tend to make by scratching around with their feet is to make sure your feed and water containers are at the same height as their neck. Of course, the water and food should be replaced every day.
By following the above tips, you should have a chicken coop that is not only functional but will provide a safe and secure environment for your chickens. You may also be able to find other methods of improving their living quarters and their overall quality of life.