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Build Your Own Top Quality Chicken Coop With These Simple Steps
There is probably no better way to start keeping chickens at home than by making your own purpose built chicken coop. It’s a very cost effective and enjoyable way to provide your chickens with the best possible living standards and conditions. Building a chicken coop can be easily achieved in a weekend or even a day even if you are a complete beginner when it comes to woodworking skills and shouldn’t require more than the most basic tools.
Your principal consideration when designing and building your chicken coop should always be the welfare of your chickens. You should remember to keep some of the following practical points in mind:
Security: The coop will need to be sturdy enough to keep your chicken’s safe inside and keep predators out. Weather: No matter what the predominant weather conditions in your area you will need to ensure your chicken coop keeps your hens warm and dry all year round. If you are intending to breed your chickens and will have a brooding hen in the coop you will need to pay particular attention to this.
Portability: Like many people starting to keep chickens for the first time you may live in a more confined urban setting so making your chicken coop portable can be very useful.
So why don’t we get started!
When you have your layout and design for your new coop you can then begin to gather the materials you’re going to need for building. Whatever materials you decide to use you shouldn’t have any trouble sourcing them cheaply and easily at your local DIY merchants. Wood, if not already pressure treated, should be given at least two coats of wood preservative. Spending some time to carefully treat the timber from the start will ensure your chicken coop will last for many years. You could also use plain, untreated wood and coat it with a wood treatment later but if you do, put a coat of preservative on the inner surfaces before you assemble the joint. You will add years to the life of your chicken coop by taking the extra time to do this at the assembly stage.
There are many types of wood treatment available but some common ones a very poisonous to livestock and plants so avoid using these at all costs. Make sure to check the product specifications before you use it on your chicken coop!
To make a strong, predator proof framework, a cross section of 3×2 or 2×2 timber should be ideal and will also make the run or coop light enough to be easily moveable. Selecting the wire mesh can be made very simple by buying the best quality you can afford. It is a far stronger material and provides a much more hardwearing and attractive finish to your coop. The main priority when deciding on what mesh to use is keeping predators and vermin out as well as keeping your hens securely inside the coop. The results of having a fox or mink gain entrance to your coop are always devastating. You might think half inch mesh is somewhat pointless for keeping birds as big as chickens but might at some stage hatch a few of your chickens eggs and have young chicks in your coop.
A coat of matte black paint applied to the mesh after it has been fitted can have a really pleasing effect. Doing this will reduce the amount of light reflected from the wire and will make it much easier to see through. Use a standard mini paint roller with a short nap to apply the paint, like the ones used for coating gloss paints on wood work and such like. Doing this can render the mesh almost invisible when you’re looking into your coop.
You can select from a huge range of different types of roofing materials available from your local DIY store. One of the most cost efficient choices is a mineral felt such as the type used on a flat roof. You could also use a metal type roof sheet which your provider will be happy to cut to size for you. Fitting and handling these materials is easy and they can look very good when detailed correctly with some wooden trim.
Paying closer attention to the finish detail can be more important if you build your chicken coop in an area which is very visible such as in an urban garden setting.
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