Raising chickens has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years. If you take proper care of your chickens, you will have fresh eggs regularly. You need a chicken coop to raise chickens properly. Use these chicken coop essentials so that you can raise a healthy and productive flock of chickens.
There are two main types of chicken coops including movable chicken tractors and stationary coops. The stationary coup is kept at a permanent place. Usually, these are in the form of a small building, a fenced area or a shed with an enclosure for birds to take cover. The chicken tractors are usually made from lightweight materials. As the name suggests, these have wheels along with a permanently fenced area attached to the tractor. The chicken tractor is designed to be moved around the property to allow chickens to forage on clean ground.
As far as the size of the chicken coop is concerned, it depends on the number of chickens you are going to house in the coop. It is recommended to have four square feet for each standard sized chicken and around two square feet for bantam sized chicken.
It is important to provide clean flooring inside the coop. While chickens do not urinate technically, they do pass urine with the feces. It is important to keep the ammonia smell generated from the urine away from the chicken for their health as well as for odor control. Various materials such as wood chips, straw, sawdust or wood shavings work great for this purpose as these help with easy cleaning and maintaining good hygiene. In some areas, sand may also be used.
It is important to replace all the litter with completely new litter at least once a month depending on the size of the coop. Deep litter method may also be used. It consists of adding new bedding over the old bedding and let the bedding build up over time. As the bedding slowly decomposes, it heats up the coop and keeps chickens warm.
There should be proper roof-line ventilation to allow the toxic gas to escape the chicken coop. It is essential to save the birds from developing various respiratory illnesses due to this toxic gas.
One nest box should be provided for three to five hens and it should be placed up off the floor. The size of a nest box is usually one square feet and they should be covered on the top. There are a number of different types of nest boxes available in the market. Plastic cubes may also be used as nest boxes as these are easy to install and clean. Soft bedding material should be placed inside the nest boxes as it provides a natural nesting environment for the hens.
As far as the food and water is concerned, chicken feed layer or pellets may be used for food. It is recommended to get a dispenser that provides a specific amount of food each day. Additional dispensers may be bought for providing oyster shell or grit. These dispensers can provide enough food for the chickens for a few days which mean you can leave for the weekend. Hanging feeders are also preferred by some as these tend to be less messy. Fresh water also needs to be provided daily.
Use these are some chicken coop essentials to help you maintain a healthy and safe flock of chickens. Your friends and family will all be asking you for the tasty and healthy eggs your chickens will provide.