Raising chickens in the backyards was once a tradition, but that tradition soon vanished, but during the current recession it is becoming one of the methods that americans are embarking upon to support their families. The chickens may be eaten for food as well as provide fresh eggs. If you live in a rural community it’s easier to build a hen house or chicken coop in the backyard, but even the city dwellers are beginning to raise chickens. Raising your own chickens can payoff in many ways, We are all feeling the effects of downward economy but we are also very concerned about where our food is coming from and the pesticides and chemicals that are being used.
You can build your own chicken coop at a friction of the cost of buying a pre-built one and you can design it according to your specifications. Most pre-built chicken require some type of assembly, therefore, you are paying for the inflated cost of the material.
Hen houses or chicken coops plans are available in so many designs; you can find plans to build a midsize coop, small coop, one story or two story coop.
Look for a great set of plans that’s easy to follow and allows for flexibility.
The plans should include exact dimensions and required materials.
It is important to design a coop that’s durable and strong so the chickens are protected from predators such as foxes, coyotes, cats and others. The coop must be well insulated so your chickens will be kept warm in even the coldest of climates. Adult chickens strive very well in colder climates; however insulation does play a role in their survival. In addition the coop should have adequate space per chicken, and allow for a storage area, chicken hatchway, sufficient ventilation, sufficient lighting and a door that opens inwards and large enough to allow easy access for cleaning the chicken coop. The floor maybe designed to take “deep litter” which is at least a (3″) covering of wood shavings or similar.
With a great chicken coop plan you can cut your construction time and efforts in half while saving you a vast amount of money and you will have the job completed in no time.
Be advised that growing chickens in the backyard is not legal in all communities, so before embarking upon the business of growing chicken in the backyard you should check with your local city hall to see if they are allowed within the city limits, and what the limitations are. Some cities have changed their ordinance to allow this on a limited basis. Cities that do allow backyard chickens typically have setback requirements for chicken coops that would require a building permit for any coop above 120 square.
As the economy continues on a downward path, I think we will see more chick coops or hen houses popping up and more vegetable gardens. The spiraling economy has forced people to go back to basis and get a portion of their groceries from the backyard.
UF/IFAS Leon County Extension Spring Open House and PLANT SALE!
Come meet your local Master Gardeners at this event that promises to be fun for the entire family!
Garden Tours will be offered in our *SIX* Demonstration Gardens. Bring a picture or a leaf for Master Gardeners to identify. Also, recommendations on Wind-Resistant Trees for Tallahassee. Children can learn about 4-H programs, including the Chick Chain program. Activities for the kids include art and gardening crafts and making personal gifts for Mother's Day!
Our PLANT SALE will be the biggest yet, with Native Plants, Landscape Favorites and Edibles- with Master Gardeners to help you pick out the right plant for your yard or home.
Refreshments, a misting station, Flower Arranging and a Silent Auction as well.
Bring the whole family! For more information, call UF/IFAS Leon Co Extension at 606-5202 or email Mark Tancig, Horticulture Agent at [email protected]