Chickens seem like a fairly easy animal to farm. They’re tiny, simple, and don’t do all that much, but if that’s the thought process you go in with, you’ll be surprised because chickens can be a little more than a handful. These are animals that thrive if you keep them in the right environment, and the right environment starts with “the right chicken coop“.
Don’t know the first thing about chicken coops and all the little details that go into raising chickens on your own? You’re in the right place! In this article, we will be doing a complete rundown of everything you need to know about chicken coops, so when you get yours, you get it right the first time!
What’s the need for a Chicken Coop?
There are a lot of different types of farmers now. With ethical farming, you’d want to “think of the chickens” as much as you would for yourself, and this leads to a variety of questions. One of the most common ones relates to the chicken coop. Specifically the need for one.
So let’s tackle that first. What is the need for a chicken coop? Is it something integral your chickens would want or need? For humans, the idea of just being locked away with several other humans sounds like jail, but for chickens, things are so simple.
Here are some of the reasons why chickens need a chicken coop:
The chickens will have a “home”
Chickens don’t do well when they’re stressed out. It quite literally changes them from the outside and in. So you would ideally want to shelter your chickens from as much stress as possible, and one of the biggest parts of that is making them a home of their own. Their coop is that home.
There, they would feel and be safe from all kinds of predators that may try to attack them. Not only that, but they would also be safe from the elements. No sun, rain, or frost will be able to harm them if they’re all safe in their coop!
Adequate roosting zone
Chickens can be very fussy, angry, and territorial animals if their social hierarchy isn’t maintained and if they don’t have a place to roost peacefully at night. They have to recharge somewhere to be up bright and early at the crack of dawn, right? A chicken coop will allow them to do just that! The happier the chickens are, the easier it will be to raise them.
Promotes eggs production
Most people keep hens so they can have fresh eggs every morning. But for that to happen, the hens need to be taken care of too. In chicken coops, hens will have the space to feel comfortable and safe so they can lay all the eggs they want, and you’ll have a much easier time collecting the eggs too.
Makes routines easy
Contrary to the chaotic image chickens tend to have, they’re actually quite fond of having a set routine. Chicken coops allow you to set a routine for where to feed them, when to do so and how often to do it.
After an initial couple of days, the chickens will automatically know when it’s time to eat, and instead of you chasing the chickens, they will be chasing you to the coop on their own!
How to select the appropriate chicken coop?
There are a lot of things that go into choosing the right chicken coop for your chickens. Below are some of the main things you need to keep in mind when trying to select the appropriate chicken coop.
One of the first things you need to keep in mind is the size of the chicken coop you’re working with. If you have under 5 chickens, you can get away with a small coop, but if we’re looking at over 5 or 10 chickens, you will have to expand to a bigger size.
Wood Chickens Coop
for 2 Hens
The Chicken Coop For 2 Hens is a practical and well-designed hen house, with a nesting box and storage space for food and water. The hen house also has a round edge perch inside for your chickens to roost.
Large Hen House for 4-6 Chickens
Keep your chickens safe and sound with a chicken coop from Jack & Jill. This hen house is the perfect home for 4-6 standard-size hens. It has everything your chickens need to roam around safely and comfortably, heavy-duty galvanized predator-proof welded wire.
The breed of chicken
Although all chickens are chickens, they’re not all the same. Each breed of chicken is different from another, so it’s important that you check the needs of the breed of chicken. You have to make sure you’re providing them with the right environment in which they can grow.
The natural predators in the area
If you live in an area that’s fairly safe and has no predator danger, you can go for a simple coop. However, if foxes and coyotes are frequent visitors to your area, you will need to protect the chickens with a secure coop where they can be safe from predators all the time.
Even though chicken coops seem like a simple purchase, they can run fairly expensive. So it’s important that you make sure that you set a budget for yourself and then start looking for a coop. That way, you will be able to find the right one that’s within your budget and fits the needs of your chickens well.
The type of coop
There are a few different types of chicken coops. Some are complete DIY jobs, where you start off with raw materials and build them at your own farm. Others chicken coops can come partially assembled or even fully assembled and only need to be installed in the final space. So before getting one, decide how involved you want to be in the building process and choose accordingly.
The materials of the chicken coop
Finally, chicken coops come in several different types of materials. Wood, PVC, Metal, and even straw, you will have to figure out which ones work for your space and your chickens and then choose the most appropriate option.
What’s better, a wood, PVC, or metal chicken coop?
Even when you have all the other things picked out, it can be very difficult to decide on the material for your chicken coop because there are simply so many out there to choose from!
Below are some of the most popular ones, along with their key features that will help you narrow it down to the right one for your space.
Wood Chicken Coops
Wood is by far the most popular material used in chicken coops all over the world. It’s durable, easy to customize, and super durable too. However, just because it’s the most popular doesn’t mean it’s invulnerable. In areas that get a lot of sunshine and rain, the wood can develop wood rot and might have to be replaced fairly quickly if they do. So the cost might run-up in the long term.
PVC Chicken Coops
If you’re just looking for a quick and easy way to keep all of your chickens contained in one place, a PVC pipe chicken coop might be the answer. The PVC pipes act as stability rods and can easily hold mesh walls in place to keep the chickens in and the smaller predators out. They’re also very easy to set up as they come with connectors of their own. So if ease of setting up and minor protection is what you’re looking for, get the PVC coops!
Metal Chicken Coops
Those that are looking for an extremely durable and predator-proof system should go for metal coops. These are extremely sturdy, and the material will keep everyone that shouldn’t be allowed inside out. Not only that, but it’s great to shelter the chickens from most threats and also the weather conditions as well. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the costs tend to run a little high for an all-metal structure, so you could even consider mixing it with another material instead to make it more cost-effective.
Why do chicken coops have 2 doors?
Even though chicken coops come in a variety of shapes and sizes, there’s one thing almost all of them have in common, the fact that they all have at least 2 doors. However, you will notice that the chickens don’t really use both doors; they just use the one that easily lets them out in the yard. So why is the second door even there?
Well, there are several reasons for that, but below are the two most important ones.
For your convenience
To put things simply, the second door is actually meant for you! That’s because chickens will find it very disorienting if a whole human just tries to wedge themselves inside their home out of nowhere. So if you need to get in there to get the eggs or to clean up, you will only get so far. The second door is there, so you can get in there from the back without startling all of the chickens and retrieve the eggs while giving the whole place a bit of a sweeping.
If you’ve ever been around any chicken coops, you would know that regardless of their size, they tend to stink. That stink doesn’t just go out on its own, even if you become desensitized to it to the point that you don’t notice it anymore. Because even if you can’t smell it, it’s still there.
Ventilating the coop periodically while keeping it clean is the only way of keeping the stench from building up and taking over the entire coop!
Why are chicken coops off the ground?
Chicken coops are always raised at least 18 inches off the ground. That might seem unnecessary and an added trouble when it’s building time, but the elevation actually serves its own set of purposes.
For starters, it keeps the predators out. Chickens are one of the most hunted prey in the world, and predators go too far lengths to get a whole chicken for themselves. This also means that they might try to dig into the ground and come out at the base of the coop. If the coop is on the ground, they will emerge right inside and might attack all of the chickens inside.
Apart from the predators, raised chicken coops also allow air to constantly circulate through the bottom, which goes back to the ventilation vs. stench problem we discussed earlier in this post. Plus, when they’re off the ground, they are much easier to clean and retrieve eggs from because they’re at a more natural standing height for a human. This means that you will be causing minimal discomfort to the routine of the chickens while you work around the coop.
With raised chicken coops, the chickens stay safe, and their environment stays as clean as possible.
We discussed some of the most important things you need to know about chicken coops in this article. With all of the information outlined, you’ll be able to figure out which type of chicken coop would work best for your chickens, so when you get yours, it will act as the perfect home for your chickens to thrive! And you already know it; the healthier and happier the chicken, the better their eggs will be!