Before you build that chicken coop, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. If you’ve never built a chicken coop before, these tips can help you build the best possible chicken coop.
Chickens need a warm place to live. They need a place where their natural enemies can’t break in and carry them or their young away into the night. They need shelter when the weather takes a nasty turn. You’ll want to make sure you build a snug coop, as drafty ones are harmful for chickens.
Check for Ground Saturation
Scout out the place where you want to build a chicken coop. Beginners often decide to build a coop without checking out the ground saturation before hand. If the area has a tendency to pool water, it’s a bad location to put up a coop. Chickens have to have a dry space.
Protect From Predators
You’ll need a level area to build the coop on, but never build a coop directly on the ground. Have you ever had a snake or a rodent get into an outside building or shed? These same predators will easily get inside chicken coops that are built flat on the ground no matter how much chicken fencing you put up around the coop.
Predators don’t just arrive on the ground either. Hawks and other large birds will snatch smaller chickens and take off with them. When the chickens are outside of the coop, they need to be protected from these kinds of predators as well.
Humidity inside a coop isn’t healthy for chickens. You’ll want to make sure you have some type of opening for air to stir through. Some chicken owners use a simple vent, while other chicken owners put in a screened window that will open.
Those who take shortcuts carve a small hole in the plywood and nail a screen over that, but this isn’t a good idea. The ventilation opening needs to be one that can be closed in the event of bad weather or built in such a way that rainwater and heavy drafts can’t get inside the structure.
Since chickens can’t fly as well as other birds, make sure you don’t place the perches too high off the floor where they can get hurt if they have a fall. Perches shouldn’t be built any higher than three to four feet off the floor.
The Nesting Boxes
Nesting boxes should be built lower than the perches (to prevent them from becoming the place the chickens prefer to sleep) and should be deep enough to make the chicken feel comfortable.
When constructing nesting boxes, make sure to slant the top of it because chickens love to roost on the flat surface of the boxes. The reason for the slanted top is because if chickens roost on the top, as they do their business, you’ll end up with quite an accumulation of droppings to constantly clean off.