If you’re thinking of adding a flock of chickens to your family, you’ll want to make sure their coop is top of the pecking order.
But there are so many different parts of a coop to consider, where do you even start?
Not to worry. Below, we’ll go through the essential elements that every good chicken coop needs. This will help you buy a chicken coop that’ll keep your hens clucking with content.
Comfortable Nesting Areas
Hens prefer to nest in a dark, secluded area. Nesting boxes should be raised and lined with soft bedding material. Each box should be about 1 square foot in size.
If you want to collect the eggs, look for a coop that has easy access to the nesting boxes. You don’t want to have to crawl inside the cramped coop and disturb the chickens. A good coop has a hatch door near the nesting boxes, granting you easy access to the eggs inside.
A Good Night’s Roost
Chickens like to sleep high off the ground on roosting bars.
The perches should be 1 to 1.5 inches wide with slightly rounded edges so the chickens can comfortably grip the bars. The perches should be at least 2 feet off the ground with 6 to 10 inches of space per chicken.
Place food and water a good distance away from the roosting area to prevent them from being soiled by droppings.
Safe and Sound
Chickens have many natural predators. When you build or buy a chicken coop, ensure that any holes, including ventilation holes, are covered with sturdy wire mesh. Doors and hatches should be lockable to ensure they can’t be forced open by a greedy hunter or blown open by the wind.
Chicken droppings produce ammonia that can build up to toxic levels, so good ventilation is vital. Your coop should have at least 2 ventilation points to create good airflow. Ideally, the ventilation holes should be near the top of your structure as chickens don’t like a draft.
Lastly, your coop must be well-insulated and weather tight. When buying a used chicken coop, ensure there aren’t too many unsealed air gaps. These allow rain and cold winds to blow into the structure.
To prevent smells and ammonia build-up, chicken coops should be cleaned weekly.
Pull-out floor trays and removable roosting rods make cleaning a breeze. Easily accessible nesting boxes also allow you to quickly clean and replace the chicken bedding.
The grass under your coop will wilt due to increased heat and lack of sunshine. Chickens will also destroy your grass as they graze and take dust baths. For these reasons, you may want to regularly move your coop to give your grass a chance to recover.
A tractor rolling coop is the ideal solution for this. You can also move the coop to different locations to suit the weather conditions. Use these plans to build your own tractor rolling coop!
Buy a Chicken Coop That Suits Your Needs
Now that you know the basics elements that every coop requires, you can buy a chicken coop that is perfect for your individual needs. Your chickens will be living in luxury in no time!
What is your must-have chicken coop accessory? Comment below and let us know!