A building that houses chickens, is known as a chicken coop. They are generally built with nest boxes and perches for birds to lay eggs and rest, and are preferably built with an outside run. The floors of the chicken house are scattered with materials like straw or wooden chips both on the inside and outside. This is to facilitate easy clean up of the coop. They have to be well ventilated to allow air circulation and help odor out.
To get started with a chicken coop you may need to consider a few aspects. Here are some tips to guide you and help you create a plan.
- A chicken coop is a safe retreat for chickens to lay eggs. Before building a coop, make a local study of the environment where you would like to build it. You may have to implement changes to your plan depending upon the local surroundings. Consult your local council to understand the animal welfare responsibilities if any. Local conditions also impact the construction of the run. The type of wild and domestic animals that may be lurking around the chicken house may pose a greater threat to the free movement of the young birds. Hence, such factors have to be considered to determine the type of shed that needs to be built.
- Before you start with your creative construction. Draft a blue print with clear ideas. Keep your construction stock and materials sufficient. Cut your materials according to the required sizes. Skids, Floor joints and boundary joint, corner studs, roof and wall frames, nesting perch and perch support, flooring, wall cladding, nesting boxes, roofing and under roofing boards, litter boards, nails, hinges, latches, bolt, window catches, acrylic sheets and wire mesh are few of the important requirements that you may need to build your coop. Though wood is the most common material used for a chicken coop. You may also revamp your old shed, use PVC pipes or scrap lumber Budget your expenses, decide on the total cost and allocate for your expenses accordingly.
- A well designed shed generally allows space for minimum of eight chickens to rest. When you plan to build a coop allow ample space for light and ventilation. Plan for a storage area and a chicken hatchway.Its better to prefer for a door that opens inward. This allows easy access and cleaning. If essential you may set up a feeder system and a water container. Construct your coop as per your flock count.
You may also consider designing a portable chicken coop if you feel that there is insufficient space in your lawn for your chickens to move around. A movable coop is called the “chicken tractor”. This will help you relocate the house every few days as per your desire. This is beneficial for the chickens free run. Chicken dropping also provide fertilizer from which your lawn may benefit. So plan your design, make use of these useful tips to build a comfortable home for your young birds.