Chicken Cage Designs - Selecting The Right One
By: Steve Hales
Planning on raising some chickens just to give it a try? Or maybe when you were growing up you had chickens on your family farm and miss the fresh eggs? Raising chickens these days has become more popular than ever and the evolution of chicken cage designs has gone from a shed to a more elaborate and functional structure.
Sure a shed would still do the job, but just like anything there are always better and more effective ways to do it.
Let's use the automobile as an example. Do you remember back in the '70's when you had to get a tune up every three-thousand miles? Now if you had to have your car tuned up before one-hundred thousand miles something is wrong. They have definitely changes for the better.
The popularity of raising chickens has increased in recent years and so has the interest in not only building chicken coops but building them to be the most functional, reliable long-lasting coop you can afford.
Why? Quite simply put, people are extremely money conscience these days and want their money to go as far as it can while getting exceptional quality.
Before you settle on a particular design you need to establish one important fact, and that is how many chickens do you plan on keeping? If you plan on raising birds for meat and maybe only keeping three or four year-round for the eggs, you need to build the coop to accommodate the hens and the meat birds.
Even though the meat birds wont be around for to long, they will still need to be taken care of so they are healthy when its time to move them into the freezer.
It is important to build a cage knowing the number of birds you plan on housing because in order for chickens to be as healthy as possible, one thing the must have is space. They need approximately five square feet per bird. Try and cramp them into a coop and you'll most likely end up with a bunch of sick birds.
The coop size should be a direct correlation to the amount of property you have to put your chicken run on. No sense in building a coop to house fifty birds if you don't have enough space for that many to range on.
If space is a problem lots of people opt for a chicken hutch which is a fairly stationary cage for fewer birds. It a good choice if your property has limitations.
A mobile style coop design is also a consideration, which is just as you suspected it is a type coop you can move around, if the amount of property you have available is limited or simply because you only want a few hens and a rooster. It's also known as a chicken tractor because of the shape of the coop and wheels it kind of resembles a tractor.
If you have the space available and want to raise chickens as more that a hobbyist a medium or large walk-in coop design is what you are going to need. They are basically a shed but with all the amenities you'll need to house a larger number of chickens and be able to feed, water, nest and provide protection from the elements and predators year-round.
There are many other styles of chicken cage designs available other than what has been covered, but basically there are three sizes - small medium or large - which have been touched on here to give you a basic understanding of what each one can provide.