Basic Ideas for a Backyard Chicken Coop
"A backyard chicken coop is a building in which female chickens are kept. Inside the coop, there are nest boxes where the hens lay eggs. A backyard coop is normally enclosed within a fenced area. This creates a larger and natural living environment for the chickens.
Some coops may be built along with an outdoor run. Loose materials such as wood chips or straw are placed both in the inside and outside floors of the coop to deal with the dropping and to make cleaning easy. The coops are also fitted with means of ventilation to air out any smells.
The area within which a chicken coop is enclosed gives them the freedom to roam freely. They are also able to hunt and peck for insects. These backyard coops are mobile and floorless; they hold small flocks of chickens. Chicken coops are mainly found in rural areas where people desire to keep chickens from which they harvest eggs and meat.
The coops are also becoming popular in urban areas as they occupy a small space. As a result, ready-made coops are being sold. These are suitable for cramped spaces and are easy to keep tidy. Building a backyard chicken coop is one of the greatest investments you can ever make at your home. So long as your residential area allows chickens, there is no reason why you should not rear a few.
Designate a space where you will build your chicken coop. An area of about 2-3 square feet per chicken is sufficient. Once you have designated the area, build a simple structure. An online search can give you several designs from which you can choose.
You can also raise a simple structure on cinder blocks. Add a roost one foot off the floor. Place a layer of pine shavings or straw on the floor. To access the eggs, improvise an access point on the roof or build a small window. After building the coop, construct a run or a pen for the chickens where they can roam freely and feed on worms, bugs, insects and minerals. The pen will also help keep out any unwanted predators.
If you are going to keep chickens that are heavy and large, they are unlikely to fly. The pen can therefore be constructed using wooden posts and chicken wire. If you will mix large chickens with small ones, the pen should be closed in netted or wired roof.
Once the pen is ready, put a feeder and a fresh water source for the chickens. Line it with pine shavings or straw for bedding. Stock food on the feeder and bring all the household food waste to the chickens instead of throwing it in the garbage pit.
Once your backyard chicken coop is ready, pay attention to it for any improvements and repairs it may need. Check the chickens often to ensure they have food and water at all times. The coop will supply you and your family with cheap meat and eggs for a long time."