Once you have learned what you need to know how to raise chickens you will want to start preparing yourself and your property for chickens. Beyond knowing the basics from how to raise and protect baby chicks to what they need to eat for survival you will need to figure out how to house them properly. Most of us are used to seeing the basic chicken coop made up mostly of chicken wire, but the truth is that there are tons of chicken coop designs from which you can choose.
It isn’t just the available designs online because you can design your own chicken coop. If you are a capable builder and you know what you need, you will find it pretty simple to build a chicken coop that meets all of your needs.
One of the most important factors to consider when you build your chicken house is ‘are they safe’? Before you spend your money on chickens – you should secure your coops with all the bells and whistles first, otherwise you might lose your chickens to raccoons, possums and other night critters looking for a late night snack.
So the first thing your design needs is a solid structure. You want to make sure that any and all gaps large enough for any animal to slither through are filled sufficiently. You also want to make sure the mesh wire you select doesn’t have large spaces that leave your chickens exposed to dangerous predators.
The other security factor is a proper lock. So many new chicken coop owners choose a design with a simple latch because it’s convenient or because they don’t think it can be penetrated by animals. The truth is that raccoons are wily and have been known to outsmart a flip latch on multiple occasions. Choose a lock that is sturdy and requires more than paw force to open. A slice lock or turn lock is your best bet to keep your chickens safe.
The other factor that a good chicken coop design needs to consider is weather; especially rain and snow. If you live in an area that gets rain or snow in abundance you want to create a design that keeps the coop slightly elevated off the ground with an efficient drain area. A chicken coop design that is somewhat raised will dry out quicker when it does rain or snow.
Then there is the sun to consider. Your chicken coop design should allow for proper ventilation during the hot and dry seasons. Sliding windows are a great addition that allows you to air the coop out when it’s warm and keep it warm when the temperature drops.
Your coop should be built so that there is proper shade to keep your chickens comfortable. Your coop should be erected so that it is facing the sun, which will allow the coop to dry out quickly during the rainy season.
When you have security and weather covered the only thing left to do is make it comfortable, which means nesting boxes set up high since that’s how hens prefer it. You may want to consider insulating your chicken coop or added electricity for heat and light.
If your chickens are safe and dry, the rest will come.