Thinking About Getting a Chicken Coop: Where to Start
Have you ever considered getting a chicken coop? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll discuss what you need to know before investing in a chicken coop. It’s important to consider several factors before deciding if a chicken coop is the right choice for your home. Let’s get started!
The Purpose of Your Coop
Before buying your chicken coop, it’s important to think about why you want one. And if your town allows you to have a coup. Are you looking for fresh eggs daily for your family’s needs, or do you want fluffy fun pets that help eat bugs, or are you considering selling some of the eggs? Knowing what purpose your coop will serve will help guide your decision-making process. It can also help determine how large or small your coop should be and how many chickens it should accommodate.
Starting a chicken coop can be an exciting venture, but there is one important question you need to ask yourself: how many chickens should I get? The right number of chickens for you depends on many variables, such as the size of the coop, what type of chicken you plan to get and the purpose of your coop. Hens typically require more space than roosters and some breeds are much larger than others. You don’t need a rooster for hens to lay eggs, a rooster is needed to produce baby chickens, if that is your desire. Your goal should be to provide enough space for your chickens to move freely and lay eggs comfortably. Ultimately, if your chickens have room to move around in their enclosure and fresh food and water available at all times, then you will have a happy group of hens ready for egg-laying!
If you’re new to this type of venture, it’s best start with providing for your family’s needs and see how that works for you. Chickens are social birds so start with at least six to ten and go from there.
Location Proximity to Your House
Once you’ve determined why you are getting a chicken coop, the next step is to decide where it should go. Be sure that whatever location you choose has enough space for the chickens to roam free and graze on grass, worms, bugs, and ticks, which is a huge benefit! Additionally, make sure that the site is protected from predators like cats, dogs, and foxes. And keep in mind that chickens need plenty of light during the day and a place to run and get exercise. So, making sure the surrounding coup has a chicken run area that is adequate and safe.
In addition, living in New England has its winter challenges for your chicken coop’s upkeep during snow and ice and rain. Consider that you’ll have to shovel and keep an outdoor area even in the cold weather for your chickens to roam outdoors.
When selecting materials for your chicken coop, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. First and foremost, your chickens will need protection from extreme temperatures so make sure that whatever material you use is well insulated from both hot and cold weather conditions and has good ventilation. You’ll also want something durable enough to resist damage from rain or snow as well as potential predators like raccoons or rodents. Finally, make sure that whatever material you choose is easy to clean and maintain—chicken droppings can quickly become overwhelming if not addressed regularly!
If you are a handy carpenter, and plan to build a coup yourself, do yourself a favor and purchase a chicken coup plan/blueprint, so you’ll know exactly what to buy for wood, roofing, siding etc. And, if you are not very handy, it’s best to purchase a coup that has all the products and essentials needed for your chickens to thrive.
Inside Coop Requirement
Ensuring a safe living space for a chicken coop is critical for the comfort and success of its inhabitants. When constructing or maintaining your coop, it’s important to remember the four pillars of happy chickens – nesting boxes, a roost or perch, food, and water. Nesting boxes should be included in each coop; they provide a secure spot for hens to lay eggs and keep them safe from predators.
Additionally, it is essential to consider a perch or roost where chickens can rest above the ground and get away from hot weather. Lastly, having fresh food and water readily available within the coop is key for healthful living. You’ll want the coop tall enough for you to stand up and pick eggs and clean out the coop. Chickens like enough space when stuck inside, and they will fight or feather pick if they are too crowded. So, keep in mind the size vs how many chickens. All together, these features are necessary to provide the utmost care for your birds in the coop.
Outside Coop Structure & Design
When building an outdoor chicken coop, it is important to consider certain design features that will benefit your flock. A ramp connecting the coop to the ground is important as it provides easy access for the chickens both indoors and out. The main sleeping area should also be elevated off of the ground as this helps keep them warmer and drier in rainier climates. Furthermore, some kind of protected outdoor fencing or screening is essential for keeping predators away from the birds. Lastly, don’t be afraid to get creative and incorporate fun house-style designs for the coop with cupolas, weathervanes, window boxes, and shutters that match your own home—it can be a great way to spruce up any backyard space!
Benefits of Having Chickens
Having chickens around not only gives you access to delicious eggs but also provides several other benefits. These birds are low maintenance, in addition to chicken feed they are content with simple diets of grass, bugs, worms, insects and ticks, essentially free food and bug removal! Moreover, the manure from your chickens can be used for composting and eggshells can contribute to an effective garden fertilizer. Last of all, keeping chickens is a fun activity that presents a great opportunity to get closer to nature. As such, it’s easy to understand why having chickens can be highly rewarding for those who appreciate their many advantages.
There’s a lot to consider when thinking about getting a chicken coop—from purpose and space requirements to materials used, or how many chickens to buy—but don’t let this stop you from taking the plunge! With careful research into all these different factors, there’s no reason why having chickens at home won’t be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. So, start exploring today and give yourself more insight into what it takes to own a successful chicken coop! Good luck!