How to Choose the Right Chicken Coop
Taking care of a pet or any kind of animal requires paying special attention to its needs. And, chickens are no exception. Having the right shelter, food, and other supplies are just some of the factors you need to keep in mind in order to ensure them a happy and healthy living environment.
If you’ve decided to start keeping chickens, one of the first things you need to consider is providing the perfect kind of home for them.
- 1 What Is a Chicken Coop?
- 2 What to Look For When Buying a Chicken Coop?
- 3 The Importance of a Chicken Coop
What Is a Chicken Coop?
A chicken coop is more than a simple structure meant for shelter. Choosing the right chicken shed for your feathered friends can help keep your flock safe from predators and diseases, and provide enough space and comfort for them to thrive, grow, roam about freely and lay lots of eggs.
What to Look For When Buying a Chicken Coop?
When it comes to picking the perfect chicken shed you need to consider certain factors including the size of the shelter, ensure there is good ventilation, and comfortable nesting boxes. Let’s take a look at each factor separately so you can get a better idea of what to look out for when selecting one.
Getting the Right Size
One of the most important factors is size. The size of the coop should be mostly dependent on the number of chickens you have. The chicken shed needs to be spacious enough for all the chickens to move around comfortably. There also needs to be space for the nesting boxes and the water dispensers, as you don’t want the place to be cramped with too much stuff so there won’t be enough place for the animals to move around freely.
Easy Maintenance and Egg Collection
You’ll be collecting eggs daily, so you need to make sure your chicken shed is clean and well maintained, as this is essential for the chicken’s health. For this reason, regular cleaning needs to be done. The design of the shed is the determining factor when it comes to this feature, as a well-designed coop will allow you to clean the shed easily and in a very short time.
A good coop for cleaning should have easily accessible nesting boxes, easily removable perches, and easy internal access: a large door, removable or hatched wall, or wide opening roof.
Ensure There Is Good Ventilation
Just as humans, chickens also need a fresh and clean environment they can thrive in. For this reason, the third most important feature is to ensure there are ventilation points installed inside the coop. This will keep the air cleaner and reduce the number of airborne bacteria and viruses that could lead to respiratory troubles.
Create Cosy Nesting Boxes
If you want your hens to produce nutritious farm-fresh eggs, you need to create the perfect and comfortable environment. This is one of the biggest reasons why placing nesting boxes inside the coop is essential. All hens are naturally vulnerable when laying eggs and prefer to be alone, in a dark place away from the rest of the flock. A good rule of thumb is to provide one nesting box for every four hens. You can line the boxes with comfortable bedding pads so they feel as cosy as possible.
The Importance of a Chicken Coop
Now that we’ve mentioned the most important aspects you need to consider when choosing a chicken shed, let’s proceed on by listing some of the benefits and importance of these structures.
Safety and Protection from Predators
Providing a sturdy and safe structure that will keep your hens safe is very important. Coops are generally made from wood, but there are also many plastic and recycled models on the market as well.
As chickens can be easy prey for predators such as foxes, rats, raccoons, hawks, owls, and cats, a well-designed coop will keep them sheltered and safe all the time. This way you don’t need to wonder whether they wandered in some nearby areas or nearby streets with heavy traffic which can be hazardous for their lives.
Chicken need familiar space to roost at night. They love to roost or perch on woodpiles, on the top of their feeders, or even on the roof of the shed. Therefore, providing roosting poles that are at least 1-2 meters off the ground to discourage ground parasites will make the ideal roosting spaces for them.
Protection From the Elements
Everyone deserves a roof over their head, and your flock is no exception. When you decided to keep chickens you probably already knew how important is this aspect. A sturdy and well-made chicken house will provide a safe environment for your birds from different weather conditions, such as cold winter nights, dreary rainstorms, and hot summer days.
Enough Supply of Food and Water
Providing enough supplies of food and water should be a priority when caring for animals.l Placing feeders and a chicken watering system inside the coop will help them develop a comfortable routine around eating and keep them healthy and well-hydrated all the time.