Chicken Coops – How Big Should It Be and Where Should I Put It?
Chickens are becoming increasingly popular additions to many peoples back garden, not just in the countryside where you might expect to find hens roaming freely around back gardens, but you they can now be found in towns and cities around the country.
Although quite easy to look after it is worth doing a little research on the type of housing you will need, how many chicks it will comfortably house and the best place to situate your chicken coop once you have it.
The more space you have available the better, a garden shed can make an ideal chicken house with just a few adjustments and a run adding. if you haven’t this much room you could keep 2 or three hens in something much smaller, as a guide each chicken will need roughly 4 sq feet of space in the chicken house providing they have access to a run, if no run is provided each chicken will need around 10sq feet of space in the coop or shed.
If you decide to build your own chicken coop or convert an old shed rather than buy a purpose built coop remember you will need a roost. The roost is where the chickens will sleep. A roost is similar to a perch, as it gets dark at night the chicken will naturally want to go to bed at the highest point possible, in order to feel safe and warm they will group together. A word of warning, if you place multiple roosts your birds may fight for the highest roost, so it may be a good idea to place your roosts at the same level.
Chicken tend to poop a lot as they sleep! Install your roost in an area easy to clean and where you won’t be walking over the poop to gather eggs.
You will need to allow approx 9 to 10″ of board for each chicken to allow enough room for you chickens and prevent fighting.
One of the main considerations when planning your chicken coop and where to put it is the treat from predators. The coop and run should be secure, your chicken should not be able to escape and it should be able to keep out foxes and dogs for example.
Chickens natural habitat is woodland and tall grass so they don’t really benefit from being on a lawn, they would pick at the grass trying to get at what’s underneath.
Try to position the coop where it is sheltered from extreme weather and have access to some shade, remember you will be feeding and collect eggs daily so you will need easy access as well.
Many people who start off with just a few chickens find them selves with a small flock just a few months later, so buy the biggest coop you can afford and fit into your garden, it may save you money in the long run.
Whilst a garden shed may make a great coop with a few adjustments there are plenty are purpose built and designed chicken coops available, some come with runs as well and are built with security in mind. To view some examples of chicken coops available, visit our website www.LittleBigPet.co.uk