People are increasingly becoming self-sufficient and choosing to raise chickens in their backyards. Therefore, it is crucial to select the proper chicken coop for your flock.
Many cities today are embracing backyard chickens, including New York, Seattle, and Albuquerque. In addition, cities across the country are changing their land-use and zoning laws to allow backyard chickens.
You need to make sure you choose the proper chicken coop for your needs before bringing new chickens into your home. Also, before purchasing chickens, make sure you check the regulations in your area.
Tips for Choosing the Right Chicken Coop
Talk to your city officials. What number of chickens can you keep in your yard? How far must they be saved from your dwellings? Are there any other regulations?
You can choose the best site for your chicken coop. The area must drain well. You don’t want your chickens to stand in mud. To get good sunlight, position the coop towards the south. Pay attention to the weather conditions in your area. To protect the coop from wind and rain, face the door.
The right chicken coop design will complement your yard and home. The coop’s design should match your home or neighbourhood. This will make it more appealing to the eye and encourage backyard chickens among your neighbours.
Remodel an existing structure into a coop. You can transform a current system into a chicken house with creativity and the right tools. Even a corner of your garage can be converted into a chicken house or run.
Prefab coops can be more costly but are easier to set up with your chickens. You can order the coop online, and it will be delivered to your home ready for you to move. You can also type “some assembly required” kits.
You can build it yourself. If you are a woodworker or want to learn, building your chicken coop is a great way to improve your skills. You can first purchase plans and blueprints for chicken coops online. Your neighbours may be interested in your hand-built chicken coop and might offer to help you with your woodworking projects.
Chicken Tractor: Although you aren’t dragging your chicken to the plough, the idea of working the soil is similar. A chicken tractor allows you to move your chickens around your yard over new grass every day. They eat bugs and weed seeds and then fertilize the soil. They also give you eggs that are rich in omega-3. It’s a win/win situation.
How big is your coop? How big is your coop? Each hen needs at least 4 square feet of space inside and out. Bantams require a minimum of 3 square feet for each hen. This is because they are smaller than the Bantams. Chickens that are too crowded can get aggressive and start to fight with each other. Also, you want to provide enough space for the chickens to stay warm in cold weather.
Have a quarantine area. You can keep your flock healthy by having a separate room to keep new birds for up to a week. This is a great place to hold a hen different from its mother if she becomes sick or until she recovers. Then, splitting an aggressive hen can be done.
You must ensure that the coop is water- and wind-resistant. To be healthy, chickens require protection from the elements. Of course, they need shade in the heat of the day, but protection from cold drafts is also essential. For ventilation, use closeable windows or line screened vents built into north- and south-facing walls.
Make sure to use suitable building materials. Wood that comes in contact with soil or is on the bottom end of a coop will eventually turn to wood. Redwood and cedar, which are resistant to rot, are excellent options. Pine is more expensive and might need treatment or replacement. In addition, preservatives on wood can be toxic to chickens. For the roof, use metal, fibreglass, or wood shingles.
Perches. Perches are essential for chickens at night. Nests can be made from broom handles or natural branches or 2×2’s rounded and sanded (1×2 to bantams). You will see 6-10 inches per hen and 6-8 inches per bantam.
Nesting boxes One nesting box per 4-5 hens. The nests will be shared by many of them. To make it easy to access the eggs, build the boxes so they can reach inside through the hinged doors.
Predators. Predators include dogs, cats, skunks and owls. To keep predators out of your coop:
- Dig a trench about 1 foot from the perimeter.
- Cover it with chicken wire and dirt.
- Keep raccoon fingers and nimble fingers out of your latches.
- Protect chickens overhead from hawks, owls with chicken wire.
It could be kept clean. Your coop should be designed for ease of cleaning. For valuable nutrients in your garden, you can use the manure from your compost pile. To keep neighbour complaints, smells, and bugs at bay, clean your chicken coop regularly.
It would help if you planned how you would get into the coop. It won’t be easy to access so that you won’t clean it. Use leaf litter, pine shavings, or chopped corn cobs as bedding instead.
You have the option to design your chicken coop in a variety of ways. It can be simple and elegant, or it can be more elaborate and complex. Remember that the coop must protect your chicken flock. They need to be kept dry, safe, and comfortable. These tips will help you choose the proper chicken coop to make your backyard chickens more accepted in cities and increase self-reliance.