So, you’ve decided to raise chickens in your backyard, but you need to find chicken coop designs so you can make a secure home for your chickens. Many different designs are offered – some expensive, some cheap, but what will work best for you?
Maybe you’ve been offered someone’s old chicken coop – maybe even for free. The price is right but, in the past when I’ve accepted old coops hoping to save time and money, I usually spend twice as much money and three times as much time fixing them up. And, after all is said and done, the “free” stuff usually ends up not as good as a new one, and was way more expensive than building new from scratch.
My advice? Build new, using good chicken coop designs that follow these four guidelines that I have listed for you.
Use The Best Materials
The quick fact is – in the long run, using the best materials for your chicken coop will be cheaper than using the cheapest materials!
Cheap materials are NOT the way to save money. Cheap materials take just as long to assemble as good-quality materials, but don’t last very long. Remember, your coop stays outdoors – it’s subjected to all the nasty weather that your house is! But some folks think that cutting corners is the way to save money. Just the opposite is true – cheap materials may put your birds’ lives in jeopardy when bad weather is allowed to affect your flock.
There are literally hundreds of ways to save money on building. One of the best ways to save is to get great chicken coop designs. Quality designs can cleverly get the most out of top-quality materials. Use the best materials along with a great design and I know you will not be disappointed.
Design For Proper Ventilation
When I first started building coops, ventilation was an afterthought – I really didn’t believe it was that important. I was sadly mistaken as several of my birds took sick due to excessive moisture! You can surely believe I rectified that situation fast! But, the fixes were expensive and time-consuming! Now, I place a high priority on the right amount of ventilation for my birds.
Doors, windows and hatches should have the ability to ventilate. Make sure your chickens have adequate ventilation.
Make It Easy To Clean
Here’s another area where most folks get into trouble. By nature, chickens can be filthy animals – without proper sanitation. And, the way to sanitize is to clean. To clean, you must have total access to the inside of your chicken coop. Inexperienced builders don’t take the time to design in ease of cleaning. Here are some examples.
- Slope the floor towards the entrance so waste will easily flow out.
- Don’t design in corners where filth and waste can accumulate.
- Provide adequate numbers of doors, windows and hatches to make the entire chicken coop accessible – from inside.
Light It Up
If you think that good lighting in your chicken coop will benefit you – you may be wrong. Good lighting benefits chickens first – and you second.
Just a couple of light bulbs (incandescent) can provide just enough heat to keep your chickens healthy on the coldest of winter nights. I live in cold-winter territory and have seen this first-hand. It works – nothing fancy but a proven design principle used for great results.
Ok – here’s where lighting will benefit you. You’ve probably noticed that there is less daylight during the winter than during other seasons. Chickens notice this too – and lower their egg production because they believe their day is shorter as well. You can trick them somewhat by installing light bulbs in your chicken coops. The chickens think their days are longer and, voilà, they make more eggs!
Neat trick and easy to do – if you have good chicken coop designs.
Granted, there are literally hundreds of great tips on building chicken coops, but these suggestions are from the real world, and will have real benefits.