Chicken Coop Setup
Like with any building, you should organize the set up for your chicken coop before you start to construct it. This will allow you to plan ahead and make sure you have all the materials you will need, and enough materials to build your chicken coop. Some time spent online will also give you feedback from other people on what you should and should not do.
Most chicken coops will have two parts to them: the coop and the chicken run. The coop is the building, whether made of wood or plastic, where the chickens will be housed. The chicken run is a wire pen outside the chicken coop, which will enclose a space for them to exercise, peck and scratch around in. Generally, the run will be four times as big as the coop itself.
However, it is essential to build a coop and run big enough to house the amount of birds you wish to raise. Whereas a coop that is too big can give you space to expand your flock over the years, a coop that is too small will require you to either rebuild or reduce the number of birds. The ideal amount of space per bird is 2-3 feet inside the chicken coop, and with 10 feet each allowed in the chicken run. You need to take these figures into account when buying or building your chicken coop.
A chicken coop is far different to a dog kennel or a rabbit hutch. It will need nest boxes for the chickens to lay their eggs in. These are also available to buy, if you do not wish to build them yourself. These nest boxes should be placed in a quiet, dimly lit but warm part of the chicken coop so that the chickens are attracted to the area for laying their eggs. It should be in a separate area from where you have set up the feeding and water trays. These can be placed in a brighter section, and should be kept in an easily accessible place for ease of access for replenishing and cleaning.
Proper ventilation is essential for a well-designed chicken coop. Windows and doors can be included to let fresh air into the coop and remove any odours and dampness. A chicken coop should also have a door the chickens will use to access the chicken run but it must also have a door you can easily get through to collect the eggs, reach any chicken that may be in distress and that will allow you to clean the interior thoroughly.
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