Chicken coops are one of the most popular live animals additions to any homesteading property. Just as a cow can provide beef and milk, a chicken has a duel purpose, too – eggs and meat.
You can either build your own chicken coop from scratch or purchase them in an assembly kit from an online source. Some local farming supply companies might even have them already put together for you.
You can build a portable chicken coop or a permanent one. You might want a portable small one to use in the event that you have to bug out and set up camp somewhere, and a permanent structure for a homesteading situation.
Some of the chicken coops double as rabbit hutches, if you plan to raise both rabbits and chickens for food sources. But make sure you keep them separate, even if they’re adjacent to one another.
You have to make sure that your chickens are well protected. Imagine waking up one day to discover that a predator has gotten into your chicken coop and devoured all of your chickens.
You want to build it slightly elevated off the ground and slanted to protect your chickens from snakes and other predators. Panel some of the walls so that they can gain access to your chickens.
You might want to allow your chickens the opportunity to roam on the flat land. You can do this and use solar powered electric charges on the fence to deter predators from trying to attack. A fake owl can also serve as a sort of scarecrow to keep hawks away.
You can get or build a chicken coop with more than one level. It should have a roosting bar and a nesting box inside. Try to make cleaning a cinch – preferably with a removable pan that you can take out, spray, ad put back in.
Many of the chicken coops you can buy are made of fir wood. You want the design to be sturdy and roomy, and the house to be formidable to keep out predators. It should withstand weather easily.
Your chickens will need a good amount of air circulation, so make sure that’s a prominent factor in your design. You can download plans from the Internet if you want to build it yourself, and read reviews from consumers before you buy a pre-made one.
Some of the pre-made designs aren’t foolproof with protecting your chickens. A simple latch can be flipped by a savvy opossum or other predator, so you may have to make alterations to ensure the safety of your flock.