Housing Chickens - Give Your Feathered Friends A Good Home Without Spending A Lot Of Money
By: Chester Warrington
Are you one of the growing army of urban dwellers who are considering raising chickens as a means to become more self sufficient, while at the same time lowering your grocery bills? If you are but maybe thinking that housing chickens is going to be expensive, then think again. If you have basic woodworking skills then you can easily construct a chicken house that will give your chickens a comfortable home, that will look good and save a great deal of money into the bargain. It will also add to the fun element of your project.
Most people reading this will be thinking of free range chickens and there is no better way than free range. As the chickens will be outside for most of the day it will simply require a safe house at night. Consequently, the housing you provide does not have to be top of the range.
The most important consideration for housing chickens is to keep them sheltered from all weather conditions and to protect your feathered friends from predators. Then all you need to do is to decide on how many chicken you intend to keep and you can start on your project.
Depending on your artistic abilities your chicken coop can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. With some basic handyman skills and a few tools you can easily and quickly build a simple box-shaped coop without buying any of the "simple chicken house" plans widely available online. However, whatever type of coop you decide on, there are some basic requirements that need to be considered.
•Floor space - it is essential, when housing chickens, that they have sufficient space, so you need to plan the coop dimensions, carefully. Allowing a minimum of two to three square feet per bird, or more for larger breeds will give them adequate room.
•Roosting - chickens will roost happily at night on perches set at between one and two feet off the ground. The perch should be around one inch square to allow them to curl their toes around it comfortably.
•Nest boxes - this is an important consideration so that you can enjoy the most benefit from their egg laying. Basically they need a dry, clean and relatively dark area where your hens can lay their eggs. The nest boxes should be large enough for a hen to stand in comfortably and you should allow one nesting box for every 2 - 4 hens.
•Predators - chickens are easy prey for many predators so you should ensure that they are adequately protected. This can be as simple as surrounding their living area with a high chicken mesh fence.
Of course there are other things that need to be taken into consideration when planning and building a home for your chickens such as lighting, ventilation etc. So, to give your egg laying pets the most comfortable environment it is recommended that you do get more detailed advice and guidance so that your project is a success from day one.
Remember: "provide your chickens with a comfortable, safe environment and you will be rewarded with delicious, fresh eggs each day".