Chicken Coops 101
Posted on July 13th, 2015
Do I need a chicken coop for my chickens? Well, not necessarily if you are ok with your chickens running over to your neighbor’s house, roosting in random trees and bushes, and just making a ruckus in general. Chicken coops usually become a necessity around the time the neighbors start calling and threatening to eat your chickens the next time they see them in their front yard (Predators wont even be that nice.) It’s ok, though, because there are some easy ways to get one of these shelters up for your chickens without a lot of hassle or a huge investment.
The Chicken Coop Kit
A chicken coop provides several benefits for your chickens. It is a central place for them to be while they lay their eggs and roost. It is also a great way to keep them safe from the elements as well as any predators that are in the area. We like to use kits because they are essentially the best of both worlds: done-for-you materials while still being easy on the wallet. You can check them out here: http://www.cottagekits.com/chicken-coops/
Just because your chickens have a coop does not mean that they need to be in it all the time. The best thing to do is to make sure that your chickens sleep in their new coop for the first few nights. Chickens have a homing instinct that will then keep bringing them back every night to roost in the coop. If you end up moving the coop, you may have to restart this procedure to get them acclimated and aware of the new location.
Making Sure Your Coop Makes The Cut
Next we will have some tips to make sure that you understand what all of the basic needs are for a chicken and its coop.
Most birds will appreciate a good perch in order to roost on, and that includes your chickens. This needs to be something that is off the ground but still within reach for a chicken. It is good to have a few inside as well as a few on the outside so that there are places to perch, rain or shine. Most perches are simple designs that include a type of bar or something similar.
Protection From The Outside World
This is pretty obvious, but your chickens will need four walls and a roof for protection. Unfortunately, there are a lot of predators that would love to have your chickens for dinner and most of the time they will strike during the night. If your coop is secure, though, your chickens should be safe and sound on their roost.
Some Fresh Air
You will quickly find that chickens love to scratch the dirt and find themselves some bugs to eat. Providing an outside area, whether that means an attached fence or simply an outlet to go where they please, is important. You will find over time that your chickens will have better egg production when they can get some sun on a daily basis. If you have had troubles with predators in the past, a secure fence may be a good option to keep everyone safe.
A Lay Box
All of the chicken coops that we have on our site have lay boxes for your hens. These are important to have if you are planning on harvesting eggs from your chickens. Our classic coop is very easy to use because it has a side lid that opens up right to these lay boxes, giving you direct access to the eggs.