1. Ascertain the Chicken Coop Size
You should plan the size of the chicken coop well before designing the same. You should know that smaller sized coops are better for limited number of chickens. My advice is go for large sized house because the number of chickens will be increased in future due course (You can increase the number of chickens within few days of start your breeding plan of hens).
2. Don't Spend Lot of Money on a ready made Coop
You will be fascinated with the prebuilt coops. But the builders will include the premium for their services in the rate of the equipment. If you make your own chicken coop, it would be fairly inexpensive than the ready made one.
3. Provide enough space in your Yard
You should provide adequate space in your backyard. This is one of the prerequisite to build a backyard coop.
4. Proper ventilation provision is must
If you want to raise healthy chickens, then you need a fresh supply of clean air. This can be achieved by proper ventilation which will also prevent build up of ammonia and carbon dioxide along the inner walls. Build windows that can be opened and closed.
5. Provide Proper Light
Hens are natural light lovers. Provision of proper light source is must for your chickens to lay plenty of eggs throughout the year. Try to provide light through out the daytime and lightime. Light will induce pituary gland, which inturn help the chicken to start lay in correct time and high number of eggs in the lifetime.
Never under estimates the damage those predators can cause to your chickens. Have proper protection in the house run so that animals cannot dig underground.
5. Make sure predators can’t get in
Predators such as Bandicoots, coons, opposums and, owls can cause damage to your chickens. Hence you should provide proper protection in the house run to avoid digging underground by the predators. More over, you should build the chickencoop on an elevated platform and also try to build a fence about one foot deep in order to prevent the predators entry into the coop.
6. Proper positioning of the feeders -
The thumb rule for placing feeders in the coop is 10-15 centimetres above ground. If you place the feeder lesser than this measurement, you'll notice more crowd around the feeder and there is possibility of more wastage. If you increased the height of the feeder more than this, the larger birds will tend to take more feed than the shorter one.
7. Building the coop off the ground
This is an excellent idea. Yes!!! Building a coop above the ground level will help your chickens to produce more eggs and also get prevented from natural predators.
8. Select the suitable construction materials
You should take into account your local climate before selecting the construction material. If you are living in the warmer year-round climates, you should use wire walls or doors, but if you live in cold climate and wet for part of the year, build insulated wall as well as a solid one. This decision will make your chicken to live stress-free environment.
9. Adequate Floor space is essential
The normal floor space per chicken is 4 sq.ft. Try to adhere to this floor space. Don't compromise with the floor space! This will help to stop your chickens from stressing due to cramping.
10. Perch for your Chickens
You should give ample space for building a perch (roost) for sleeping of your chicken within the coop. This will help your chickens to sleep well as well as lay more eggs. Try to use perfect smooth lumber for building a roost.
In the maintainence of the chicken coop, cleaning is considered to be most time consuming activities. Giving proper slanting in the floors will help your cleaning job of the coop very easy. In nutshell, you should consider predator control, ease of cleaning and proper ventilation in your chicken coop.
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