Chickens need to have their own space and the in the chicken coops no exception. Chickens outdoors need at least 2 square feet and it is really important that you pay attention to this as chickens can become unsettles if they are overcrowded and pecking may occur. If pecking occurs birds can quickly lose their feathers and this in extreme cases can be fatal, it can also cause hens to stop laying and become isolated from the flock.
Chicken coops also need to be spacious and big enough to house the amount of chickens you are going to keep. Chickens as a rule need about 2-3 square feet inside the coop and it is always a good idea to add perches to enable your chickens to roost if they want to. If you are planning on keeping quite a few chickens and your coop is small, you will need either to purchase a larger one or add an additional coop. Adding an additional coop is always a good idea as smaller coops will maintain their heat in the winter months and the bedding will remain dry and clean for longer. Bedding needs to be changed about once a week but if you have a lot of chickens you will find the bedding becoming very wet and dirty before 1 week. This can have health concerns for your chickens because a wet bed can give off a harmful substance that can be breathed into the chicken’s lungs. Wet beds will also cause the wood in the coop to become very wet and this can cause rotting in the coop, in the winter months bedding will then be very wet and cold which isn’t good for the chickens.
It is always better to raise chicken coops off the ground if possible, this stops the wet and damp in the winter months seeping into the coop and also acts as a shelter when it is windy and rainy.
Locating your coop in a well drained area is also a must in order to keep it dry in the winter months, many people choose to move their coops around in the winter months to drier ground and if your coop is small enough, this is always a good idea.
In the summer months treatment of coops may be necessary, especially if your chickens have suffered mites or lice but many coops will require treatment in order to keep the wood in good working order.
UK Chickens offer a wide variety of chicken breeds and also offer advice and information on keeping chickens. http://www.ukchickens.com
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