Choosing a good chicken coop is a critical issue to tackle when breeding chicken. In the beginning, it can be tempting to cut corners to end up saving money on the wrong coop. Not only will the incorrect enclosure drastically limit the number of chickens you can breed, but it also poses to be a health problem. Therefore, whether you’re a novice or a seasoned chicken farmer, here are eight solid tips to guide your decision when choosing the right chicken coops for your flock.
The size of your chicken coop is arguably the most important thing you need to consider when looking to shelter your flock. A small and cramped enclosure can encourage aggressive behavior among your poultry. This can be exhibited by pecking and constant fights as your chickens will compete for space. Once aggressive behavior emerges, it can be difficult to stop it from influencing the flock. Also, a small coop accumulates more manure. Too much can pollute your chicken coop with toxic ammonia, which is terrible for your health and livestock. It can also decrease your chicken’s egg-laying potential, significantly limiting egg production.
A well-lit chicken coop can help improve overall flock productivity. More so, if you’re solely interested in breeding chickens during the mid-winter seasons when sexual activity is at an all-time low. Proper lighting helps stimulate sunlight and increase egg production during your chicken’s annual molting stage, which occurs during late fall. Furthermore, during harsh seasons of winter, good lighting can provide warmth to your flock, keeping baby chicks and eggs well incubated and warm. You can opt for a suitable coop with a cool white fluorescent tube for adequate lightning or a red or yellow LED bulb to provide warmth to calm your flock.
Proper ventilation is a must-have feature for your prospective coop. Chickens respire a great deal and generate vast amounts of moisture and vapor. This can dampen the air within the enclosure, making it a hotspot for germs and bacteria to breed. Furthermore, it can lead to respiratory problems and carbon dioxide pollution. A well-ventilated chicken coop will help circulate fresh air into your pen and expel stale air and gases. This will also help alleviate the build-up of ammonia fumes emitted from chicken deposits and manure within the coop. You’d also want to bear in mind your coops ventilation system during summer and winter. A coop with side ventilation panels, windows, vents, and mesh walls will allow more airflow during hotter temperatures. This will help regulate thermal temperatures within the pen and prevent the risk of heatstroke from affecting your flock. A well-insulated and tight coop will prevent heat loss and direct wind from penetrating through the coop walls for colder temperatures. For winter ventilation, consider an enclosure with closable vents near its roof. This will shield your chickens from the cold breeze and allow for proper airflow and no drafts.
Consider choosing a chicken coop with sufficient shade to help keep your chickens cool and away from direct overbearing sunlight. Things like an extended roof or a canopy are optimal for providing shade. Furthermore, shade helps keep your flock protected against aerial predators and rain; it reduces flies and mitigates heat stress.
5. Protection Against Predators
Always select a chicken coop with proper defensive parameters during the day and night against unwanted animals and predators. Pens with strong fences, gates, and meshed panels can help safeguard your flock against cats, foxes, dogs, and snakes. For extra protection, opt for a coop with a sturdy floor or build a concrete foundation to protect against burrowing rodents.
6. Nesting Boxes
Nesting boxes are an ideal necessity for chicken farmers looking to capitalize on egg production or breeding. Select a chicken coop with elevated nesting boxes at least 1 to 3 feet above ground to mitigate debris on the coop floor and to ward away predators. Consider chicken coops with line boxes to help keep your hens comfortable and secure during laying.
A chicken coop should provide adequate protection against rain, snow, and climate conditions. Metal and plastic roofing provides sufficient waterproofing. For the best option, consider shingle roofing as they provide extra protection against extreme weather and predators with thorough durability and resilience.
Small coops are convenient for one or two self-reliant chickens as you can distribute food and water through compartments. However, to house large-scale poultry, select a pen with adequate human access to allow you to get inside to clean, feed, and care for your flock.
Whether you’re considering purchasing chicken coops online or directly from the manufacturer, knowing what to look for can save you a world of poultry trouble. These eight tips will help you select an appropriate coop designated towards catering to your flock’s needs.
Lisa Eclesworth is a notable and influential lifestyle writer. She is a mom of two and a successful homemaker. She loves to cook and create beautiful projects with her family. She writes informative and fun articles that her readers love and enjoy. You can directly connect with her on email – firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website www.lisaeclesworth.com