To avoid any problems after the chicken coop is finished and ready, it is imperative to start out right. Before you go ahead with the construction, contact your municipality or local council and learn about the regulations on keeping chicken in residential areas and ensure that you are not breaking any laws.
Next, do some research on plans for chicken coops and shortlist a few that you prefer. You can find a multitude of options online, at the local library as well as the local bookstore. After this, try to get the plans for the chicken coops you like. Choose one and you can use this as the base for your coop plan.
Now go out in your backyard and decide where you will place your coop. Keep in mind the dimensions of the plan and ensure that it will fit. Each chicken needs 4 square feet of space to itself, and if you don’t plan to add a run, then make that 10 square feet.
Also consider the following factors:
1. Is there enough natural sunlight available for the coop? 2. The ground should be well drained and must not be damp or wet. 3. Check for the nearest water outlet for cleaning. 4. Will the coop be exposed to any drafts? 5. Check if the boundary or fence will be strong enough to withstand predators. 6. Are hawks and owls a problem? You many need a net on the coop for security. 7. The ground should slope so that water doesn’t collect in puddles. 8. The coop must not be too close to the neighbor’s house. 9. The coop should not stick out like a sore thumb in the surrounding area.
The next step is to sketch out the coop to figure out the technicalities of the plan. This must include:
Windows for sunlight
1. Vents 2. Feeders 3. Perches 4. Lights 5. Flooring 6. Nesting boxes
The placement of these must avoid:
7. Dampness 8. Lack of light 9. Moisture 10. Smell caused by the buildup of carbon monoxide 11. Feeder height should be appropriate, and 12. Safety
Now that these have been sorted out, you can now start with the coop plan. You might want to work out an estimated cost of the materials and construction. Once everything is sorted out, it is most likely that you will not face any problems with your coop.
Raising Backyard Chickens
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Visit http://cookingupastory.com for more sustainable food and agriculture videos. Naomi Montacre, co-founder of Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply, a Portland organic feed and products store, shares some of her expert knowledge on raising backyard chickens.
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