Are you looking for a cosy chicken coop for your future chickens, then there are a few things you will have to keep in mind. Chickens are habitual creatures with certain needs and wants when it comes to their environment.
You need to think about what type of environment your chickens will thrive in and choose a coop with that in mind. The right coop will make your life so much easier if it has the right features, accessories and extras.
Chicken Coop Features Your Chickens Need
Chickens will instinctively sleep in the highest point of their coop. This behaviour is designed to keep them safe and secure in the wild but also makes them feel safe inside their coops.
You will need to install perches inside your coop to mimic this behaviour to lower stress levels in your chickens. Providing perches higher than the nesting boxes will make your chickens more productive in the long run since stressed chickens lay fewer eggs.
It is important to make sure that you have enough nesting boxes in your coop for the amount of laying hens present. The optimal number is one nesting box for every 3 hens.
Make sure that your nesting boxes are lower than the perches and easily accessible by your flock. You will also need to make sure that your nesting boxes are the right size and have bedding in them ready to be laid in.
Heat, humidity and moisture are the worst enemies when it comes to a chickens health. It is very important that the coop you chose has ventilation holes to provide a way for heat and moisture to escape. A vented chimney for heat to escape is quite sufficient.
You will need to make sure that your coop can keep your flock safe from a variety of predators. To do that, you will need to check that the coop has strong mesh on all entry points.
The mesh should have a maximum of 10 x 10 mm holes to keep your coop and chicken run safe from snakes and other predators. A wire mesh floor and predator lights will add to the security and deter most nocturnal predators.
Chooks are trendsetters so make sure your coop style matches your hens and that it can be adjusted to compliment what you have in mind for your backyard. It is a great idea to paint the outside of your coop with weatherproof wood paint to keep it safe from the elements.
Extra Features To Make Your Life Easier
Unless the suppliers will be setting up your coop, it is advised to look for one that is easy to assemble and comes with full instructions. Flatpack chicken coops that come with instructions and videos turn days of work into mere hours. You will be happy to know that you can get your chickens sooner if you look for this type of coop.
The bedding in your hens’ coop will need changing every so often to keep your hens happy and healthy. Pull out trays will make cleaning the coop so much easier, especially if it needs cleaning a lot. We suggest hemp bedding for your coop. It is super absorbent to keep your hens dry as well as pest repellent and can be used in your compost bin when your hens are done with it.
Extra Features For Your Chickens
Free-range foraging is very important when it comes to hen health and mental stimulation. At least, getting your chickens out and about is easy with demountable poultry fencing. You can keep your chickens and the rest of your garden safe by placing the fencing where you don’t want them to go.
Fencing also protects chickens from predators like the next-door cat. Your hens will also stay away from your precious vegetable garden if it is fenced off so all in all it is worth the investment. You can install electric fencing if you feel better about keeping your hens safe.
Chickens are very voracious eaters. They tend to get excited when food is around and can spill the food or knock over homemade feeders in their excitement wasting all that precious food. Chicken feeders are designed to be sturdy, keep out pests like rodents and protect food from the elements so it is worth investing in a proper chicken feeder like the treadle feeder.
If you don’t like letting your chickens out, or you don’t have the space to let them out, then it is a good idea to have some enrichment in their chicken run to keep them entertained. You can easily attach a chicken swing or two in the chicken run as a poultry enrichment toy. Your hens will love it and swing their boredom away.
Ready to get your first coop? Get shopping but remember to keep in mind the tips we gave above. Keep effort to a minimum and don’t waste your time!