This Article is About
chicken coop
doors and windows
design phase
chickens
predators
drainage
common sense
garbage
neighbors
Build Your Chicken Coop Without Missing Key Elements
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The first thing you need to do is define exactly what your project will require. To do this, you will have to put down on paper what the end product you want will look like. Thus, you will need to sketch out and list every item you will need.

How Your Finished Building Will Look.

Begin by making a drawing of you project, including the color of the roof and walls. If you live in town, your chicken coop will be visible to many people that live around there, so you should select colors that are pleasing and blend in with the background.

The nicer you can make your chicken coop's appearance, the less likely you are to get complaints from your neighbors. Also, be sure to maintain the immediate surroundings of the chicken coop free of any trash or garbage that may accumulate. You'll want to make sure the overall appearance of the project is pleasing and well landscaped. It shouldn't look like a dump.

Use Common Sense at Every Step of the Design Phase.

You should consider the requirements for cleaning and disinfecting when you do your design so this chore can be done efficiently. You should install doors that open inwards. To keep chickens from roosting on windows you need to have sliding windows.

People often ask if a chicken coop can be built in such a way that you can hose it down to clean it. The answer to that question is that you build floors that have a slight down slope in the direction of the door.  In this manner, you spray the chicken coop and the water flows toward the outside without making a puddle inside.

Build a Chicken Coop That Offers the Highest Protection.

Your ideal chicken coop will protect your chickens from the elements, and from predators that you will find even in a city. How do you achieve this? The chicken coop you build should have doors and windows you can easily open and close when necessary. Don't forget to install screens of heavy mesh wire in windows and doors. The location you choose should have good drainage to avoid any problem with dampness in the chicken coop. Also very important, the chicken coop should open towards the sun to provide warmness, and to help the coop dry after the rain.

Protection from Predators.

Protecting your chickens from predators will be a challenge you can't overlook. You can achieve this by burying wire about one foot deep all the way around the coop. Some predators like raccoons, and even domestic animals like cats and dogs will try to dig under the fencing. That's why it needs to be buried deeply.

Ventilation.

How do you build a coop that protects the chickens from the elements and predators, while at the same time providing them adequate ventilation? What you need is air movement without a draft inside the chicken coop. Just like people, chickens also need the oxygen in fresh air. The air flow inside the chicken coop should remove carbon dioxide and dry up any unwanted moisture. Proper ventilation will also take care of any ammonia and dampness that could be found within the walls.

A properly built chicken coop should have insulation to keep the chickens warm and dry. The cold climate in many parts of the country can be a problem for the chickens, but only if they are not kept dry. However, excessively cold weather will put chickens through dangerous physical stress. That's why the walls must be insulated.

Protection from the Cold

Chickens will do best during the cold weather if you have the windows built so they face south to get the maximum amount sunlight and heat during the day. However, if you want to have the highest egg production, you will need to provide electric lighting. The electric lighting inside the coop will also keep the chickens warm, and keep them producing eggs all year long. A small chicken coop will only require one ceiling light. Larger coops will of course require more lights.

Access to Food and Water

Although self evident, you need to make sure that the chickens have easy access to their water supply, and to their food. You must remember the chickens’ instincts to scratch which will have their food all over the chicken coop floor. So it's important that you select a place where the chickens can’t scratch their food. Placing the feed at the height of the chickens' back will solve this problem. The chickens will have to stretch their necks to reach their feed, and won't be able to get their feet in the food. The same precaution needs to be taken with their water.

Those are the key issues that need to be considered when designing or building a chicken coop. These tips are applicable to small chicken coops, or to large ones if that's in your plans.

A thourough review of these factors will ensure a trouble free building process, and will contribute to cutting the building time in half.  


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