DIY Chicken House: Requirements for Building a Coop
Chicken coops come in many forms and sizes. There are many people who have backyard chickens whom have built their own coops either from design plans they have made or purchased a professional one. Everyone knows that a chicken house is referred to as a chicken coop in the US. It a chickens castle and is home to them for all their lives.
Assuring a fully functional chicken coop is not only keeping a clean backyard but also health and happy chickens. It is the health of your birds that most make the difference between food that is of highest quality as apposed to poor quality food. As an owner of a chicken coop one becomes satisfied and happy seeing that your pets are fully happy and healthy.
Safety of Your Coop
Securing a coop from predators is most vital if you want to see your chicken the next day. For some predators extra strength of material needs to be considered. So consider every angle angle in the pen – sides, below and above, must be structured to withstand hungry predators who are always on the lookout for a free meal.
Some predators are quite genius in entering a coop. Foxes are one such predator who is patient enough to find a weakness. So secure your coop against the smarties.
When selecting a wire mesh, be sure it is the right one. Since there are many forms of predators consider using the right wire mesh with respect to the area you live in. You meed to ensure that the coop is impenetrable because some predators like raccoons just reach out for their prey, easily.
Small predators and Your Feed
You might also want to ensure other birds are deterred from entering your coop. Your food that you feed the chickens needs to be only for the chickens. So making sure gaps are eliminated for the small birds will eliminate the loss of feed. Chicken feed costs money and if you buy the good quality feed then you are really throwing away your money if other birds start feeding on your feed too.
Also consider mice and rats that can enter from beneath the coop by digging through the ground and coming up from below. If the coop floors are not blocked, these rodents will slip into the hen’s quarters. Rodents are attracted to the food you’re giving your chickens and the droppings they excrete. Keeping the floors and the ground in check is vital as well as keeping the whole coop clean on a regular basis and this is another form of preventing rodents and other pests from entering.
Cleaning and Prevention Disease and Rodents
What’s more devastating is that rodents that love eggs wouldn’t care where they come from as long as they can get it. So whenever the laying season comes, they also wait and target your coop. If you really want to make sure they don’t come too often then keep your coop clean as possible. Thus prevention is better than trying to cure the problem. Prevention takes less effort and less stressful than trying to deal with them after an invasion. Note: rodents can transmit diseases too. Your chickens could end up eating their droppings.
All you need to do is construct a floor within the pen, otherwise, bury a fence about 12 inches deep around the hen’s house. Be sure that the materials you will use for the fence and the floor is thick or hard enough for them to impossibly bite through.
Weather and Elements
Ensuring fresh air is great for the coop but having a draft or breeze going through the chicken house is damaging to the birds. Have windows to accomodate for each season. Thus, ensuring this functionality enables a natural existing environment for your chickens.
Roosting poles provide your hens to rest during the nights. It must have an approximate two inch wide rounded edges. Allow about 8 to 10 inches of space between every bird. Place nest boxes to encourage the chicken to lay their eggs. One nest box can handle up-to four chickens. Have the boxes standing few inches above the ground. Do not let it touch the floor of the pen. Make sure they have somewhat bird privacy where no one can bother them while they’re roosting and resting. Safety is is very important and enure that is adhered to. Birds need to feel secure as well. Make it happen.
Space in the Chicken Coop
The chicken coop needs to be roomy and spacious to allow movement within the coop. You might not be around to allow the chickens to roam in the yard everyday so allot at least 3 square feet for every bird. Ensure space for the feeder and the water can. The water can should hang about eight inches above the ground. This will keep the water clean and allow the birds to feed themselves easier.
For the owners sake it needs to be very accessible. Accessibility allows you to easily clean and maintain the chicken house and allowing one to retrieve the eggs. Accessibility also keeps diseases away because it helps you get to the interior of the coop to collect droppings so that bacteria and bugs do not break out.