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Coastal 101 | Animals | Home & Garden | April 6, 2017

Choosing Your Chicken Coop (or building it yourself)

Country folk are known for their creativity when it comes to building and fixing things. Ranchers can use bailing twine to mend almost anything, and anyone who raises chickens is always thinking of ways to build or buy a bigger and better coop. With the popularity of backyard chickens, now is the perfect time to talk about those coops and whether a kit or some creativity is right for you.

Pre-Assembled and Kit Coops

As you start to plan your purchase, be sure to read our article titled Everything You Need for Happy, Healthy Chickens. In it you’ll get some insight into what your chickens need and what coop might be right for you. Then, you just need to decide between a pre-built or ready-to-assemble model.

Get Creative

A quick search online for “creative coops” will reveal a plethora of innovative ideas. Some people have used leftover pallets, tires, plastic buckets and more to assemble amazing pens. Whatever you plan to create, there are a few things to consider.

How many chickens do you have (or will have)? Each chicken should have a minimum of 4 square feet of space. If you will have 6 chickens, be sure there is at least 24 square feet of space in the coop.

Plan it out. You’ll need a building material (such as wood) for the structure and chicken wire mesh to cover the outer portion of your coop to keep your chickens safe.

Keep the coop off the ground. Add legs to your design so that the pen is at least 3-feet off the ground. This will keep your chickens warm and dry in the winter and adds a layer of protection from predators.

Add both a perch and nesting area. Chickens need a place to sleep called a perch. As for nesting, this is a separate area. You don’t need one box per chicken, but you do need to make the nests large and comfortable.

To make a simple nest, use a plastic bucket with a lid. Remove any handles, cut away 60-percent of the lid (and reattach the lid when you’re done), then fill the bucket with straw. Finally lay it on its side with the partial lid on the bottom.

Add ventilation and insulation. Chickens need fresh air, so add a vent to their home. Just be sure they will be protected from gusts of cold air. As for insulation, add as much as you think will be needed for your climate.

Give yourself some space. Add a door so that you can gather eggs and clean things out on a regular basis.

Get Your Chicken Supplies at Coastal

You’ll find coops, as well as homes with optional electrical packages, and hen houses at your nearby Coastal Farm & Ranch. We even have pre-assembled models ready to go home with you. Stop by today and we’ll show you how to keep your chickens happy, healthy, warm, and dry all year long.

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