Building your own ideal backyard chicken coop seems to require a lot of hard work when in fact there are already ready-made chicken coops for your feathery pets. Though there’s nothing wrong with purchasing ready-made ones, you could add a personal touch if you would make your own inside your backyard.
You may think that building a chicken house would go on for a lot of weeks. It’s a house after all–but for chickens. However, you may lessen the amount of time you
need to build an ideal backyard chicken coop if you employ the right techniques. To easily accomplish your goal, here are a few tips to erect the most ideal chicken coop for your pets.
Ideal Backyard Chicken Coop: Formulate a Blueprint
If you have never built a chicken coop before, then most probably, you are at a loss on what to do. The very first thing to do is of course to build formulate a plan for its design. If you don’t have any idea, look around. Visit nearby stores that sell chicken coops. This way, you could get an idea on the most important features you need to build for a chicken coop, as well as a few ideas on the design and patterns that match to your liking. You could also gain information regarding the coop’s measurements.
On the other hand, if you still don’t have time to visit a few chicken coop stores, you could browse the web. Most chicken coop stores on the web display the images of their on-hand coops; plus, they are very detailed as to what dimensions and features are included. The most common features of a coop are chicken feeders, waterers, perches and nesting area.
Ideal Backyard Chicken Coop: Materials
Once you have formulated your blueprint, get ready to gather your materials such as wood, measuring tape, saw, drill, hammer, nails, hardware cloth, roofing, door knobs, lighting, nesting baskets, etc. You could avail these materials from a hardware store. If you want to find cheap yet quality materials for your chicken coop, you could ask your friends who have experience building chicken coops.
And here are a few reminders. When finding materials for your chicken coop, make sure that they are easy to sanitize and clean because chicken farming is not all about the eggs and the meat. You’ll also spend some regular time cleaning the shelter of your chickens. If you fail to keep their shelter tidy and clean, their health condition might be affected due to unsanitary practices.
Ideal Backyard Chicken Coop: Building Time
Build your chicken coop systematically. It should be built based on your blueprint. The first thing to do is to build the bottom foundation of your coop. Remember the basics. Build the bottom first then gradually move up. The structures that are usually built last are the doors, windows and roof. After building the main parts of your coop, install the knobs, lights, nesting baskets, chicken wires, etc.
When building your ideal backyard chicken coop, build it as if you are building your own house. Make sure that it is durable and securely built. You don’t want to be having a chicken coop that only remains erected for as long as 48 hours. Aside from the durability matter, you could also try to make the coop more attractive. You could paint it with whatever color you like. Painting it won’t only make your coop aesthetically pleasing, but it also adds a layer of protection against the uncanny weather be it rain, snow or shine.
Ideal Backyard Chicken Coop: Size
Though you have built your chicken coop considering the current number of chickens you have, it shouldn’t be that way. Chickens reproduce very fast. Your small chicken coop may be soon crowded with roosters, hens and chicks. Have your coop plan a bit larger for future additional members of the chicken family, especially if you want to keep a massive number of chickens. This way, you’ll save yourself from the extra labor of building an extension to your current chicken coop.
Also, a bigger house could provide enough ventilation for your pets. Chickens could develop heat stress if their house is overly crowded. Among the signs and symptoms of a chicken having heat stress are panting, increased thirst, reduced feed consumption, reduced egg production, legs and wings outstretched, and prostration. If you don’t want this to happen to your pets, then build a bigger space with enough ventilation.
Ideal Backyard Chicken Coop: Lighting
When building your chicken coop, take into consideration its location. It should be built in an area of your yard that is reached by sunlight. Chickens also need a bathe of sunlight from time to time because this is an important factor in their egg-laying production. It is said that hens need about 16 hours of daylight in order to consistently lay quality eggs. Build your ideal backyard chicken coop with windows that enable the sunlight to reach the interior.
During nighttime, you could provide warmth to your pets by providing adequate artificial lighting. If you are raising chicks, you could also add more artificial bulbs in order to keep the baby chicks comfortable and warm. Without artificial lighting at night, your pets would crowd together to combat the cold. This could potentially affect their health, and the healthy chickens might be cramped together with the sickly ones.
As long as you consider these tips, you could build your ideal chicken coop without dragging it for too long. With adequate planning and preparation, you could provide the best home for your pets. Don’t just build an aesthetically pleasing chicken coop. Also put into consideration the health of your chickens by building a chicken coop that provides a comfortable environment. If you would be doing that, you’ll soon be rewarded. By providing your chickens with an agreeable place to live in, you could expect more eggs and more meat.
Author: Jordan Walker
Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages as well as a couple of other pet related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting' to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages