If you are planning to keep your own chickens in the yard or garden, you’ll need to get your egg-producing pets a nice home to protect them the elements. A chicken coop is exactly what you need to do so and learning how to build an effective and well placed coop can go a long way in keeping your chickens healthy and happy.
Just what exactly gives a good chicken coop? Many believe that cost is the main factor but that is not necessarily the case. You don’t need to shell out $300 like some others do. In fact, the cost of building one can actually be a lot cheaper if you know how to make use of spare material in your house. What really matters is knowing the right factors that make for a good chicken coop and this article was written to help you understand these factors.
Some owners like to design their coop themselves. Designing is not really difficult as there are a lot of useful resources around that can give you tips and blueprints on building one. Check out buildacoop.com as you’ll find all the information you need to know when designing a coop. It can be quite fun to sketch out the ideal coop style you have in mind and conceptualize it before building.
One important aspect of a good coop is the ease of cleaning. You will want to ensure that construction is streamlined for easy disinfection and cleaning purposes. Similar to human houses, the coop floor should be slanting down an angle so water can easily flow out of the coop. In addition, you may want to use material that is resistant against disinfectants and detergent.
It is advisable to insulate your coop walls as a means to keep your chickens warm, especially in the colder seasons. Don’t overestimate their feathers; hens can really complain when it’s chilly. Insulation also helps with keeping air cool and dry in the summer. It is essential for the coop to stay dry as chickens can fall sick easily in moist seasons due to bacteria and ammonia build-up. You want your chickens to stay healthy to maximise their egg production.
Build your coop door so that it opens inwards instead of outwards. What this does for your coop is to allow adequate sunlight in while keeping the enclosed area ventilated. Direct sunlight is important for maintaining the dryness of the coop, as that is the ideal condition to prevent ammonia build-up and bacteria growth. A more direct way to attract sunlight would be to position the coop so that it faces the sun. You can combine both to ensure sunlight gets in all the time.
Finally, position your feeders and waterers in areas of the coop you can easily access. This not only makes cleaning easier, it facilitates your day to day replacement of food and water supply. Ideally you want them to be at least at the neck level of your chickens so their habit of scratching their feet will not topple the feeders and waterers over.
While these tips should get you started quickly on building your own coop, there is still plenty of info out there that can help your building so much more. Remember to check out other resources for more advice!