Having chickens in your home is a great way to implement a new hobby in your life and to do your part in making the world a better place. If you want to raise hens, then you need to properly address this and make an arrangement where your poultries will be happy and healthy. Here, we are going to list some tips for planning and building your own chicken coop.
1. Start by Checking the Laws and Regulations
The first thing that you have to do before planning for a chicken enclosure is to check if that is allowed in your area. In some locations you may be allowed to do whatever you want in your background, in other places, you may be allowed to have a limited-sized pen, and there are also those places where you won’t be allowed to keep chicken. So, start by checking this out, and if you are allowed, proceed with the plan.
2. Think About the Space Needed
The next thing you will need to do is to have an idea for the space, depending on how many chickens you want to have, and how big they are going to grow. As you already know, there are many breeds that you can opt for, and some grow way larger than the others. So, make sure that every chicken is going to have the needed space, and that they won’t feel too crowded. You can talk to an expert depending on the breed and see what is right.
3. Plan for the Design
The next step is planning for the design of the enclosure. You will have millions of ideas over time, and the more excited you get, the more things you will want to incorporate. Having fun ideas and translating that to reality is difficult, so write everything down, and then when the moment comes, make decisions if you want to proceed with the idea, or if you need to postpone it. You can also consider premade plans, and see if those things can be incorporated for you.
4. Don’t Forget to Consider the Cages and Boxes
The right nesting boxes are a must since this is where your hens are going to spend the most time. They need to be comfortable, large enough, and on the same note, they should not be too big for your chicken. There are many choices you can go with, and you need to consider the number of hens you have, as well as their size and needs.
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5. You Need to Think About Heating
You will have your poultries in every season, so just because you are building the coop in the spring, and your hens don’t need any heating, it does not mean that they won’t need it in a few months. It is better to plan and incorporate this now than to wait until it’s cold.
There are many ways that you can approach the heating situation, and this all depends on how cold it gets in your area. You may explore ceiling heaters or floor heating, or you may not need them at all if it doesn’t get too cold in your location. Make sure you insulate the place and minimize the drafts before you do anything else.
6. Make Sure It’s Properly Ventilated
Ventilation is as important as heating, so you need to let your poultry get the needed air all the time. If you forget about this space, the air in the coop is going to become heavy, and your hens will either try to spend time outside all the time, or they will just get sick. You can drill some holes in the pen itself, or you can invest in one that already has the needed spacings left for this process.
7. You Must Include Predator Protection
We know that hens are easy prey, and there are many animals that will be happy to enter the pen and feast on your poultry. To prevent this, you need to have an arrangement even before you put your chickens in their new home. Make sure that there are no entries to the pen other than the one that you use, and guard the whole space around it. You can use mesh or other types of wire, or you can just use planks. This depends on your property and exact plan, but don’t forget to consider this before it is too late.
8. Which Things Do You Want to Do on Your Own?
Now let’s talk about your budget, as this is a huge thing that you don’t want to end up spending more than you can afford. You should set your budget before you start doing anything, and you should try and see what you can get within those limits. Once you have your budget, you will be able to decide if you want to build things on your own, if you are okay with reusing some items, or if you can afford a brand-new setup. Know that second-hand cages are an option, and if you are skilled, you can easily create items on your own.
9. Cleaning and Maintenance
Finally, you need to have an arrangement on how you are going to enter the space, and how you are going to clean it. If you don’t want to risk your poultry getting sick, and if you don’t want to deal with any stench, then you need to clean it regularly. On the same note, you may need to fix things around, so make a decision on how you are going to open and access the enclosure, and how you are going to take things out or put things in.
Have these things on your mind before you start planning and building the space, and remember that with the right items and premade plans, you won’t have to do too much. These things will help you keep happy hens that are going to stay healthy for a long time.