Building a Chicken Coop? Follow These Important Tips Before You Begin!
The Do's and Don'ts for building your own chicken coopAre you considering building your own chicken coop? If so, it is absolutely vital that you choose the proper planning before beginning the construction process. If done correctly, you will end up with delicious, organic and fresh eggs daily! Not to mention, you will have some amazing new pets to add to the family.
Now of course you might be wondering how exactly you go about building your own chicken coop? Well that's the easy part, with the popularity of raising your own chickens you can easily find hundreds of chicken coop designs and plans online. Here are some tips on how to build your own chicken coop.
Natural and Artificial Lighting
Here is one of the most important tips you need to consider when building your chicken coop. Chickens need lighting! Do not skip out on this important information! When building your chicken coop it is best to have it facing towards the sun. The reason for this is, when it is damp outside or you are having less than perfect weather, having the coop face the sun keeps the ground from getting oversaturated. Having a wet, damp ground is not a good environment for the chickens to live in, this can make them sick and is a breeding ground for bacteria. It is also important to have some kind of artificial lighting to warm the chickens during the colder seasons. You can usually pick up decent lighting from any hardware store for a pretty cheap price.
It is essential to ensure that your chickens have enough room to move about freely without the risk of getting injured or pecked by other chickens. Building your coop the proper size is vital to your chickens health and egg production. A general rule of thumb for proper sizing is, you need 4 ft.² per chicken, this will give them more than enough room to freely move about for decent exercise. If you're not able to build a coop big enough to support your chickens, you shouldn't build one at all. Another suggestion to help the chickens get the adequate exercise they need would be to block off part of the yard for your chickens to freely roam. Not only is is great for the chickens, but your yard will benefit from it too due to the fact that chickens love to eat dead leaves, pesky insects, annoying weeds and other rubbish that clutters your yard. Did I mention that chickens also produce great fertilizer?
Where to find cheap building materials
With the right resources and bargain shopping you can often build a decent sized chicken coop for under 100 bucks! When building your chicken coop, if you're on a tight budget you must be resourceful. Look around your backyard or shed for old wood and don't be afraid to ask your neighbors if they have any wood lying around that they wouldn't mind getting rid of. Just make sure that all the supplies you get are in good condition. The last thing you want is to have old rotted wood letting cold air and predators into the coop. You can also get supplies from second hand stores in your area, and most of the time they are filled with roofing materials,hinges, handles, plywood, poles and tons of other great supplies at rock-bottom prices.
How Much Time Does It Take To Build a Chicken Coop?
Coop construction time can vary depending on the size and complexity of your design, but on average, working only a few hours a day you could finish this project over the weekend. Building a chicken coop makes a great do-it-yourself weekend project. Just have some fun with it, get your family and friends involved and before you know it you will have a well-built chicken coop.
How much experience is required?
The best part about building a chicken coop is, that it requires little to no mechanical knowledge. If you can use a hammer, drill, saw and your capable of following simple instructions then you will have no problems constructing your own chicken coop. Yes, it is that easy. Of course if you are worried about it, make sure and have someone friends and family help you along the way.
Is it okay to mix Chickens with other birds such as Turkeys and Guineas?
I would strongly advise not to mix different bird types. Nine times out of 10 this can lead to very big problems, such as disease, fighting and death. Even if the birds do decide to get along, it will most likely be short-lived. It won't take much time before you see the Turkeys ganging up on the Chickens or the Guineas ganging up on the chickens. The last thing you want to see is an midnight chicken massacre! Believe me, I've been there and it's not a pretty sight so make sure you keep your birds separated!
Do Chickens make good pets?
Absolutely! A lot of people don't know this, but chickens are very social animals. Before you know they will become a part of your family. One day will go by where you won't go say hi to your loving chickens. Your kids will love them, and if they're anything like my kids, every chicken will have a name of its own.
So there you have it, if you take into consideration these important tips before building your own chicken coop, you will be on the right path to having happy, healthy chickens that love to produce delicious eggs daily.