How To Build Backyard Chicken Coops

Before building chicken coops, it is important to keep a few things in mind. First off, give your chickens some room. More room to spread their wings makes them feel comfortable and, well, normal. Since stress will adversely affect their tendency to lay eggs, make sure your chickens are happy and comfortable.

Larger enclosures also allow hens to peck the ground in search of food. Spreading some feed on the ground in the morning can give them even more incentive to peck around. Encouraging natural habits makes the hens feel like they are still living in the wild.

Providing a nesting area that is both safe and comfortable will ensure excellent egg production. The size and shape of your nesting box will be based on your local weather patterns. Ask around and find out what type of box your neighbors have built. Whatever design you settle on, make sure their is plenty of space to lay eggs. Several hen chickens may use the same nest, but they can also be very picky and want their own space. Their main priority is to make sure their chicks will hatch in a warm, protected environment. Keep the nesting area away from the hustle and bustle of the feeding trough.

The best nest is made out of straw. Hay can be a good substitute and, for mature chickens, even some sawdust will do. Beware of wood chips, though. Chicks sometimes can not tell the difference between chipped wood and chicken scratch. They can even die if they eat too many wood chips.

Then there is your own ease of use. The eggs must be easy to collect not only because you will be doing it quite often, but also because it means that you do not unduly disturb the chickens and their nests. By avoiding such disturbance you keep your chickens happy and laying. Maybe you have a box nest, with a few adjoining nesting areas. A hinged lid can work will for this type of nest. If you leave your nesting area open, make sure that you can easily reach into all the corners.

Chickens want to be protected from the elements and also from predators. A strong roof that keeps off the rain and good walls that keep out the wind are necessary. If it gets really cold where you live, make sure you put a heat lamp in the nesting area. Design alone will give the chickens a feeling of security, but you can add to it by placing the coop in an area that is quiet and does not get a lot of traffic.

Now you are ready to go out and build your own coop. Safe secure chicken coops are the secret to happy chickens and happy chickens are the secret to getting more eggs.

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