Small Chicken House Design - A Couple Pointers
By: Joshua Kulhavy-Sutherland
When you live in an area with limited space or are only planning on keeping a few birds then you should consider a small chicken house design. This type of design enables you to maximize your space to chicken ratio enabling even people with small yards to keep chickens happily.
A good rule of thumb when planning out how much space your chickens need is four square feet per bird. However there are many people who raise very happy birds with sometimes as little as three square feet per bird so if you can't quite muster the recommended space don't worry about it. It is also important to realize that this rule of thumb is for ground space not airspace. Your chickens can be very content with as little as eighteen inches of vertical room so if you are trying to conserve space then your coop does not need to be excessively tall.
Keep in mind the idea behind a chicken house while you are planning your design. It should be safe and warm for the chickens while still being easy for you to clean and collect the eggs. Since you cannot walk in to the smaller coop to clean and collect eggs, hinging the roof so that you can lift it up for these duties is a good idea.
A small coop changes temperatures at a faster rate then larger ones so it is important that you place it accordingly. If your small chicken house design has a run added to it then you don't have to change much. However if your hen house does not have a run and is not large it is important to place it in the shade and clean it often so it does not overheat or build up too much moisture.
These are the main factors to take into consideration when you are making your small chicken house design. Most of the other factors like protection from predators, feeding, and watering do not change much as your chicken coop gets smaller so you can use the same guidelines outlined for larger coops.