The 3 Must Have’s In Your Small Chicken Coop
Chickens are easy to please. They don't ask for fancy or lush, but what they do have some simple needs that have to be met by their owners. These necessities need to be taken into consideration when building or buying a chicken coop.
Protection is the most important thing to chickens.
Small chicken coops should be fully enclosed. This stops predators being able to scale the walls to get in. If you are in an open area or suspect predators may be around, then you are also better off enclosing the floor too. Sometimes foxes will try to dig under the walls to get in.
If possible, you may want to give your chickens somewhere to hide away from predators. One way is to use corrugated iron or tin sheet and place it on one or two sides of your coop. It should sit approximately one and a half foot high from the ground, creating a fence that predators can't see though. This small addition to any coop, will make your hens feel more relaxed. Corrugated iron and tin sheet can also provide shade for hens, which they enjoy.
Protections isn't just from predators, but also from harsh weather conditions. Chickens easily get frightened in weather situations that include high winds, lightning and thunder. Using implements from around the home like a tarp will help keep the weather out when it is bad. Creating a nice coop for the chickens will also help them feel safer.
Tip If you are looking to design or buy your own chicken coop, it can help if you have the coop off the ground with enough room for the chickens to run around underneath. This underneath area is a great dry area for the chickens, which they like.
Chickens aren't clean, but they like clean. Chicken coops need to be well ventilated, and easy and quick for you to clean.
The best coops have flip doors which make it easy to collect eggs and clean nesting areas (change hay etc.) Chickens like loose clean straw to nest and lay eggs in.
Hens are social creatures, and like to be around other hens. This means that they don't need heaps of space, but they do need some space. Approx 3 feet square of space per bird is fantastic.It is enough so they can preen, peck and walk around with out bumping into each other. If you can let them run around a larger space (like your backyard) every now and then even better.
Chickens don't like feeling enclosed so building your chicken coop to at least 2′ high is best. The only part of the coop which is purposely built small is the door. The door just being big enough for a chicken to get into makes the chickens feel safer.
As for nesting areas a space around one foot by one foot is best.
You don't need to have nesting areas for every chicken you have. just around half or less than half is sufficient.
Advanced Must Have's
The better chicken coops have an area where you can easily get the eggs out, and make it easy to clean.
Some coops also have wheels on the bottom of them to make it easier to move around.
If you have a small back yard, or a small paddock, you can keep chickens provided that you build the right chicken coop. It is important to consider all aspects of keeping chickens before spending money on materials or birds.
Although Chicken coops can easily be built by DIYers and provide a great sense of accomplishment that goes along with a great project. Designing a chicken coop that will work is not as easy and does require experience.
Along with building the coop, insuring that you maintain it and your chickens is of the utmost importance. And getting quality correct information on planning and maintaining your chicken coop will help you on your way to farm fresh eggs every day.
If you can do these things, you will have happy healthy chickens producing a high number of great quality eggs. Thanks for reading and good luck with your small chicken coop!