Chicken Coop – Which One is Right for You
When it comes to choosing a chicken coop, there are a few factors to consider. The right chicken coop for you and your chickens can make the difference between high egg laying productivity and very low egg laying productivity.
Chickens do not like being overclouded so, one of your first considerations should be the number of chickens you plan on keeping. A good rule of thumb to follow is, for normal or larger sized chicken is no more than two chickens per nesting box, as well as roosting perches to accommodate all of them. This is because chickens sleep or roost on a perch just as birds do so, there must be enough perch space for all of them.
If you are planning on only having three or four chickens then the bottom of your coup can be covered with half inch wire making for easier cleaning. And yes, keeping your coop clean is important for a couple of reasons, first and foremost for the health of your chickens. Secondly if you want to keep the smell at bay, it is important to regularly clean the chicken coop, and if you want to help reduce the small between cleaning, sprinkle a layer of a food grade DE on the floor of the chicken coop, under the coop if it has a wire bottom.
Another thing to keep in mind when deciding on a chicken coop is ventilation in the summer so your chickens won't get stressed from the heat, and if you live in the north where winters can get quite cold, a way to cut down on cold drafts as well as a way to keep their water from freezing.
A minor consideration is whether or not you need your coop to be portable; by the way portable chicken coops are quite often referred to as chicken tractors. If you are wondering why being portable would matter, it is because some people live in areas where they cannot let their chickens roam freely. In this situation a portable coop is ideal as it can be moved around from one grassy area to another, especially since chickens love to scratch the dirt for bugs, which is the food they love the most.
Basically the things you need to consider when choosing a chicken coop is, how many chickens will occupy it, ease of cleaning, ability to ventilate and insulate, and portability. Once you take these things into consideration you should be able to come up with a coop to fit your needs.
by Miriam Rolling – poultry farmer