The primary purpose of building a chicken coop is for keeping your chickens safe and protected from harsh weather and potential predators.
In order to achieve this purpose, you will have to make sure that the chicken coop you build is strongly built and that it will last for a long time.
Downloading a chicken coop plan from the Internet is very easy as there are hundreds of them available for free or for a very nominal fee.
However, when it comes to the actual construction process, a lot of first-time chicken farmers make mistakes that can turn out to be costly in terms of the chickens’ health and safety.
In order to avoid these common mistakes, it is important that you keep the following important tips in mind when building your first chicken coop.
- Make sure the coop gets access to adequate sunlight throughout the day. Chickens rely on a steady stream of sunlight in order to stay healthy. It is preferable that the opening of the coop should face the morning sun, but it should also have enough windows to let sunlight in during the afternoons. Lack of sunlight can make the inside of the coop damp, which is not good for the chickens especially during cold weather.
- Build the chicken coop on an elevated portion of the yard. This will prevent water from pooling on the floor of the chicken coop. Keeping the chicken coop dry as much as possible is very important. If you don’t have an elevated patch of land in the backyard, you should raise the chicken coop even slightly with wooden legs to keep the interior dry.
- Install an interior light fixture for cold weather. This is particular crucial in places that have very cold winters, during which the heat of the sun won’t be enough to provide the chickens the warmth that they need. A regular light bulb should be able to compensate for this lack of natural heat and keep your chickens healthy and happy throughout the winter season.
- Install adequate ventilation. Just as chickens get too cold during winter, they can also get too hot in the summer. To keep your chickens from overheating, you should have several windows that you can open during warm weather to keep the air flowing. In places where the summer can really get scorching hot, it might be necessary to install exhaust fans to help cool down the inside of the coop.
- Bury up to 2 feet of chicken wire all around the coop. Simply adding a fence around the chicken coop won’t be enough to keep predators out because many of them will just quickly dig under the fence and gain easy access to your chickens. You can prevent this from happening by burying the chicken wire to a depth of 1-2 feet, which should be enough to deter predators from entering.
By following these five simple but valuable tips, you can keep your chickens perfectly safe and protected in their coop all year long.