Having a comfortable shelter is crucial in a poultry business, even in a small scale one. Convenience is one of the factors that can ensure that the flock will grow healthy and prolific, which should be your aim if you are in this business. There are certain elements in a coop that must be present to be able to come up with the desired outcome. You need to get to know and apply them so that your efforts for this endeavor are not wasted
Here are the most important elements that must be present to make an efficient coop:
Enough Space – every type of bird has their own space requirements both inside and outside the coop. It is essential that you give them enough room so that they can move freely and exercise as well as to have enough space for nesting and roosting. Allotting 1 to 2 square feet per chicken inside the coop and at least 4 square feet per piece outside would be good enough.
Ease of Access to Feeds and Water – you will not need to keep monitoring your chickens if you designed their shelter right. In making sure that they always have food and water, you must place the top lip of the feeders and the waterers in a place that they can easily access, more favorably outside the runs to prevent contamination and just along their back levels to make it more convenient to reach for them.
Protection – you need to protect the flock from several things such as predators, theft, injuries and weather elements. In addressing this, you need to design their shelter accordingly. Some of the things that need to be done in response to such factors are burying the runs deep enough to prevent predators from digging in, surrounding the coop with fence, choosing the right size of chicken wire and building it in a dry place.
Ventilation – getting fresh air is as important to chickens as with human beings. Cool air can be handled by these animals well but damp and humid environments can be hazardous to their health. Thus, you must provide a lot of openings, preferably on the east and south sides, for a continuous flow of cool wind.
Source of light – due to the varying weather conditions, it is vital to have an artificial light and heat source to maintain the temperature that your flock can thrive best. There are certain types of bulbs that you can affix in the ceiling of the coop for this purpose. Sometimes, it may be necessary to change into a different heat source when the weather becomes more intense, just observe the response of the flock to determine what to do.
These are the most important things that a chicken coop must have. So, when you create your design, just make sure that all of these are addressed and you are sure of your success.
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