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Chicken Coup Designs
If you’ve taken an interest in chicken-raising, either as a hobby or a way to acquire eggs and chicken meat without having to buy them from the grocery store, how to house your new birds will be one of the first things you want to tackle. The standard for housing poultry is to build them a comfortable chicken coup to live in. Of course, how you construct it will vary depending on your specific scenario, how many chickens you plan on keeping, what kind of area you live in, and so forth.
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Regardless, though, there are some aspects of chicken coup designs that are identical no matter the circumstances.
* Make sure your birds have enough living space. Inside the chicken coup, you’ll want to give them at least 4 square feet each in total area. This means if you have 5 chickens, you need to have at least 20 square feet for them to live comfortably in the coup.
* Make sure you leave room in the plan to attach a chicken run outside the coup itself. Chickens need 10 square feet each to walk around in, otherwise they will feel cramped.
Other than these space concerns, much of what you look for in your chicken coup designs is up to you. You can design the exterior of the coup to look like anything you want, from a Victorian house or a Greek temple to a functional and minimalist wooden box. One thing you should make sure to keep in mind, though, is that your coup will need to be big enough for you to get inside for cleaning purposes. If you can’t get into it, your job of keeping your chickens healthy and happy will be that much more difficult.
A few other things you want to include, regardless of your chicken coup designs are adequate ventilation and predator protection. There are many animals which prey on poultry, from foxes and hawks to wolves, wild dogs, and even wild cats. With all this to worry about, your birds will feel much safer—and thus, will be much more productive and healthy—if you ensure that their home is solid and hard for wild animals to get into. Use solid wooden walls instead of a wire frame mesh. Of course, you shouldn’t use wood to frame your chicken run; for that job, wire frame mesh is just fine.
Ventilation is important because chickens do not like extremes in temperature regardless of whether it’s too hot or too cold. They prefer cool weather, but if it’s too cold they will get just as unhappy as if it’s too hot. Make sure you include some windows when planning out your chicken coup designs to account for this preference of your birds. A window towards the top is a good idea, because the hot, stale air will go out of it naturally, and you won’t have to worry about installing some kind of mechanical system to circulate air.
Other ideas include adding nest boxes for your hens to lay eggs in, roosters for them to sleep on, and easy-to-clean “bedding boxes” for the chicken droppings to fall into. Roosts are especially important, because chickens do not like sleeping on the ground. Regardless of how you make your chicken shed, just make sure your chickens have enough room and stay comfortable. They’ll thank you for it.
Here are some great Chicken Coup Designs if you need some help on the way!