How To Build A Chicken House In The Garden

This article will describe how to build a chicken coop for laying hens. Other types of chicken such as broilers or pullets will require different types of enclosures. Different materials may also be required.

The number of hens to be kept will determine the size of any enclosure. If ten hens are to be kept, a rectangular pen which is two meters wide and ten meters long will be sufficient. One should bear in mind that in a factory farm two hens may be squashed into a tiny wire basket in which they can barely turn around.

The pen could be designed to move from one patch of grass to another, or be fixed in one place. Feed and water facilities may be left on the ground. A feature that would make any hen happy is a patch of loose clean sand. This will allow her to scratch and fluff the sand through her feathers.

A variety of materials may be used, as any journey through a human settlement will illustrate. Stolen bill boards, bits of plastic and discarded buckets all do duty as materials for chicken houses. But assuming that one wishes to build a fairly smart structure, the most essential materials will be chicken wire, poles, planks and sheets of iron or plastic.

The perimeter should be surrounded by poles that stand high enough for a person to walk around without having to stoop or walk in a hairpin fashion. Two poles should be placed a gate’s width apart where the gate will be.

Hens will require a sheltered laying place at one end. Deep in their genes is the instinct to lay eggs in a secret place, so laying boxes should be placed on a ledge in the roofed section. Hens will enjoy hopping onto the ledge every morning before stepping quietly into a box to deposit an egg.

In addition to filling many dinner plates for human beings the hen attracts the hungry eyes of many predators, from foxes through cats, to snakes. A good coop therefore should be surrounded by a trench, at least 65 cm deep and filled with rocks or concrete. The surrounding fence should be sunk to the bottom of this trench, in an attempt to foil burrowers. The top of the enclosure should also be covered, to prevent airborne attacks from birds of prey. This is how to build a chicken coop that is safe and attractive.
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