According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, building a safe and sturdy chicken coop may seem difficult. However, when you sort out the location, source the right materials, and have the proper tools and a decent plan, almost anyone can build a chicken coop. Let’s figure out how you can do that.
- Location – Location is key during any such project. You need to build the coop on high ground to prevent mud and flooding problems and keep your birds dry. If there are no slopes on your property, you’ll need to build an elevated coop. Also, make sure that your coop is located in a place that gets plenty of sunshine and is away from predators and other plants.
- Size – A standard breed requires at least four-square-feet of space in the coop. So, if you’re planning to have 5 chickens, you’ll need at least 20 square feet of space. Apart from the indoor space, chickens should also have a fenced outdoor space for running around. You’ll need around 10 square feet of space for each bird to run around. While the indoor space can be optimized by building the coop vertically, you can’t compromise on outdoor running space. Otherwise, your chickens won’t be healthy.
- Flooring and material – It’s best to use unfinished plywood for building your coop. That way you can have exceptional durability without blowing your budget. Use plywood for the flooring with a layer of shavings and lay down rolled linoleum on top of the wood to prevent it from rotting. Make sure that the coop is raised at least 12 inches above the ground so that snakes and other predators can’t go in from below.
- Latches and door – If you have coyotes and foxes lurking around your property, you’ll need secure latches for the coop doors. Secure latches with a strong door don’t just keep coyotes away, but also allow you to lock your coop and protect your chickens from crafty raccoons who are very dexterous with their hands.
- Nesting boxes – When it comes to nesting boxes, you’ll need at least one for every three hens. They should be around one square foot in area and should be stuffed with sawdust or straw to keep the eggs from breaking. You may also add a few dust boxes full of sand so that the chickens can clean themselves.
- Ventilation – At least one-fifth of the wall space of the coop needs to have holes for ventilation. You can drill the holes strategically so that they allow plenty of sunlight inside the nesting boxes without raising the temperature of the entire coop. It’s best to add mesh girls on the ventilation if your area has a lot of predators.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests that you use the steps mentioned above to build a chicken coop in your backyard. Having a chicken coop in your backyard allows you to harvest fresh eggs regularly and the manure helps you to fertilize your veggie garden.