Do you want to enjoy fresh eggs every morning? Keeping backyard chickens is an enjoyable hobby and provides you with fresh eggs every day. To keep your new flock safe from predators and out of the elements, you will need to provide them a chicken coop. These don’t have to be fancy. The chickens just want somewhere to get out of the wind and cold and a quiet place to lay their eggs. You can certainly build your own chicken coop and there are lots of chicken coop ideas on the internet. Just be sure to choose an area with enough space for both the coop and an outdoor pen.
To get started, do some research on chicken coop designs. Unless you are a master carpenter or just love building things, keep the design as simple as possible. You will want the coop up off the ground as a deterrent against predators. If you are environmentally conscious, consider reclaiming wood from discarded wood pallets thrown out by stores. These can make a great chicken coop and you’re not using new wood. Just be sure the pallets have not been treated with any chemicals.
Deciding on your design will usually depend on your space and the number of chickens in your flock. Each chicken should have about four square feet of space in your coop. It isn’t good to keep chickens in a cramped environment. This can affect both their health and their laying ability.
When planning your chicken coop, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you want to choose the right materials. You will need wood and chicken wire, along with any necessary hardware. Again, you can use reclaimed wood for the structure and the chicken wire to cover the outdoor pen.
Your chicken coop should be at least two feet off the ground. This now only deters predators but helps keep the chickens’ feet dry. Also design somewhere for your chickens to perch and make it spacious enough where they won’t be cramped. You will also need to include nesting boxes where the hens will lay. These should be at least four inches deep. Figure on one box per 1 1/2 chickens. Depending on the breed, chickens will lay an average of an egg every day or two.
Your coop needs to be well-ventilated. Chickens need to be warm, but also need lots of fresh air. Add a window or a vent to the building to help with this.
It is also very important to keep your chickens warm and out of the wind. You can either insulate your chicken coop when you build or use straw on the floor to help keep them warm. It is also a good idea to use a heated water pan and a heat lamp when the temperatures drop below freezing.
Also remember to make your coop easily accessible for gathering eggs and cleaning out the building. You will be gathering eggs every day and should clean out the coop at least once every two weeks.
There are great chicken coop ideas you can use to build your chicken coop. Keep it simple, but ensure it is solid, safe and warm. Doing this will keep your chickens happy and healthy throughout the year.