The popularity of keeping chicken has surged. In fact, about 8% or 10 million American households keep backyard chicken coops.
Keeping fowl provides many benefits. Chickens provide locally sourced food, motivate sustainable practices, provide fertilizer, and are fun.
So, if you are thinking of joining this popular trend, you’ll need a coop.
Chicken coops can be designed to fit in any sized yard. However, no matter what size your flock will be, there are certain things you need to keep in mind.
Read on to discover 5 must-have elements in your basic chicken coop plans.
1) Suitable Lighting
Since chickens are diurnal animals, they need sunlight to remain healthy and active.
Without proper lighting, chickens may have diminished egg-laying cycles. Additionally, they may become hostile towards their fellow lodgers. An open roof plan is the best way to provide ample lighting.
Many chicken enthusiasts opt for a removable sunroof that can provide fowl with privacy and sunlight.
2) Proper Ventilation
Chickens require a well-ventilated home if they are to thrive.
Make sure to provide coops with open spaces or chicken-wired windows to let air in. Coops should not smell stale or stagnant. If the laying areas have an unpleasant scent, consider cleaning the coop or adding more aeration.
Also, consider allowing for open space outdoors for chickens to feed or socialize.
Be sure to add ventilation to your chicken coop plans.
3) Predator Protection
Chickens have many natural predators. Depending on the area, coyotes, foxes, and raccoons may create problems for coops.
Chicken wire is strong, cheap, and does a great job when secured. Use construction-grade staples or nails to fasten all edges of the chicken wire to the frame.
Some animals excel at finding gaps in fencing, so do a thorough check of your coop perimeter.
Finally, use a secure latch for the door. Some crafty critters can open doors.
4) Shelter and Temperature Control
Chicken coops must be warm and dry year-round to keep your birds happy and healthy.
Building an elevated coop will ensure that rainwater, snow, and mud will not cause the chickens unnecessary stress.
Insulating your chicken coop can also be beneficial to trapping heat inside. Depending on your climate, you may want to add electric heating for the colder winter months.
5) Reliable Roosts
Reliable chicken coops would not be complete without four components: perches, nesting boxes, runs, and walls.
Perches allow for chickens to have a private space to groom or rest. Nesting boxes give chickens privacy to lay and sleep. Chicken runs let birds stretch and socialize. Walls prevent curious chickens from wandering away.
Be sure to include these when you build a chicken coop.
Draw Up Your Basic Chicken Coop Plans.
Keep these things in mind when you draw up your basic chicken coop plans. Without these elements, you risk losing chickens to predators, a lower quality of life, or missed laying cycles.
If you enjoyed this article, keep your eye out for more innovative lifestyle ideas.