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Building a Chicken Coop? Avoid These Critical Errors
Last year I decided to build a chicken coop with my wife. Her and I used to be obese and we decided to evaluate the foods we were eating. We decided that part of us getting even healthier was growing more of our own food and eating organic to avoid the chemicals that build up in our bodies. As part of this we wanted to raise chickens for the healthy eggs. After a little bit more trouble than we had asked for we finally did build a chicken coop. I wish that someone would have told me a long ago what mistakes to avoid.
ERROR #1: Not Planning Before You Build.
When you are ready to build a chicken coop you must plan every aspect of the coop before you even pick up a hammer.
To build a chicken coop draw out a plan. Collect all of the materials. Select materials that will be easy to attain, easy to work with and easy to clean up. Plan the functionality of your coop. The doors need to open inwards, not outwards. If you build it the other way with the door opening outwards you chickens will begin roosting on your windows. Your chickens will spend a lot of time in the coop so they need fresh air, designing a coop with sliding windows is a great way to keep them cool in the summer and warm in the summer.
When you build a chicken coop you must consider how will you keep the floors clean in your coop. First you will need to cover them with a good material for the chickens to dig and scratch as they naturally do. Hay is, unfortunately, not ideal for this. Second, you should build the coop with the floors slightly sloping towards the door. This way you can spray the hose in the coop and the dirt on the floor easily slides out to the ground below. You will have a clean coop and no puddles of water in the coop.
ERROR #2: Not Giving Your Chickens Proper Ventilation.
Building a chicken coop is to protect your flock. The purpose of your coop is to protect your chickens from the element and outside predators, but you also need to give them proper ventilation. Free movement of air inside the coop is very important, but you do not want to freeze your chickens with a draft. Chickens, are like humans, they can only perform at their optimum levels if all of their basic needs are met first, in this case protection and oxygen. A Chicken coop without free air movement and therefore more oxygen will have high carbon monoxide levels and humidity levels. This is not good because uncomfortable chickens do not produce as many eggs. It is also very dangerous because it makes mold growth within the walls very easy.
ERROR #3: Not Insulating the Walls.
To build a chicken coop properly insulating the walls is very important. The walls of the chicken coop need to have good insulation installed. This will help keep the chickens warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The insulation will also help to keep the coop at optimum humidity levels. When the chickens are kept at the optimum humidity levels they produce more eggs. Insulating the walls will also help to keep the chickens dry. In colder climates when your chickens are dry they can withstand the cold well. Insulating the walls will not only keep your chickens producing eggs but it will prevent your chickens from getting sick.
ERROR #4. Not Putting the Water and the Feeders in the correct place.
If you build a chicken coop, obviously the water and the chicken feeders need to be in a place where your chickens can easily access them. It is important to be very careful in selecting a place to put the water and the feeders. Chickens can make a big mess of things because of their natural instinct to scratch and dig. It is very frustrating to see water and the chicken feed you just put out all over the floor. To prevent this place the feeder and the water at the height of a chicken back. Ideally the chickens will have to stretch their necks up to the food a little bit to eat and drink but they will not be able to place their feet in their food or water. Be sure to replace the water and the chicken feed daily.
ERROR #5 – Not Having a Good Light Source.
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