Have you made best laid chicken coop plans in your backyard, but need a little encouragement to implement them? Perhaps you're wondering what chicken coop plans your flock will need, in order to stay healthy, happy and laying productively.
If you’re in the market for a good chook house (perhaps the flock needs an upgrade from an ailing coop, or you’re thinking of embarking on chicken keeping for the first time), there are certain things that you’ll need to incorporate into your chicken coop plans to successfully raise chickens. Nesting boxes, perches, where it goes in the backyard, run/no run...all things you need to consider in your chicken coop plans that you may not have previously realised.
Here are some things to consider when you’re making chicken coop plans, looking at products and most of all, planning a happy life for your chickens!
What do I need to consider in my chicken coop plans?
If you’re planning on getting chickens and a new coop, there’s a few things you need to consider. Here’s a quick chicken coop plans checklist for you to tick off as you make your poultry preparations!
Has it got enough nesting boxes? (1 every 3 chickens)
Do I have predators in my area?
How many chickens do I have, and how large does the coop need to be?
How large do my roosts need to be?
Am I letting my chickens free range, or do my chicken coop plans need to include a run?
Where am I going to put the chicken coop in my backyard?
As you can see, it’s not quite as simple as a cardboard box in the yard! But, don’t be daunted - companies like Backyard Chicken Coops have done all the heavy lifting and created the perfect coops for you already!
Here’s a more detailed explanation of why you need to consider these points in your chicken coop plans.
Chickens that live in good coops lay more eggs!
Most people who make chicken coop plans also make plans for using all their fresh backyard eggs! Frittatas, pavlovas, scrambled, poached, fried…yum! But, if you don’t have your chickens in a good quality coop with spacious nesting boxes and all the facilities, then you won’t be getting very many eggs at all!
Chickens that don’t have a nesting box to lay in become very stressed and antsy. And a stressed chicken is an unhealthy chicken! A strung out hen won’t lay as many eggs. Plus, if they don’t have a safe, dark area to lay in, they’ll go searching for one - which means a thorough game of hide and seek every time you want to collect your fresh produce!
Therefore your chicken coop plans need to include a design that has enough nesting boxes for your flock to lay in. How much easier would it be to just waltz out to the nesting box and have them all ready, waiting for collection!
A solid chicken coop is the best protection against predators
Many prospective chicken keepers worry their feathered flock may be at risk of predators. Well, your chicken coop plans should incorporate a chook house that’s fitted with galvanized wire mesh, and doesn’t have many gaps in the design. The wire mesh can withstand sharp claws and teeth, and the tight design stops anything slithering or crawling into the coop.
If your chicken coop plans also include a run, then it’s also a good idea to build some sort of foundation underneath the coop, so predators don’t burrow in. Concrete, timber and again, wire mesh are great for keeping unwanted animals out, and your flock safe.
Your coop needs to be big enough for the amount of chickens that’ll be living there!
There’s nothing worse than a chicken coop that’s too small for the numbers in your flock! You don’t want to have your flock jostling for space on the perches, or sitting on top of each other in the nesting boxes. This will lead the chickens to become stressed, and may even cause them to peck at each other!
When making chicken coop plans, make sure you take into account how many feathered room mates there will be - the descriptions on our chicken coops tell you how many each coop is suitable for. That way, everyone gets to keep their personal bubble, and stays healthy and happy!
Your chicken coop plans need ample roosting space
In order to lay lots of fresh eggs, your chickens need a good night’s sleep! That’s where perches come in. Contrary to popular belief, chickens don’t sleep nestled into the nesting boxes - they roost on perches to have their nightly snooze. So, your chicken coop plans need to have perches long enough for the whole flock to fit!
Will the chickens be free ranging, or do my chicken coop plans need to incorporate a run?
When making chicken coop plans, you’ll need to consider whether your chickens will be free ranging in the backyard, or whether they’ll be safely enclosed in a large run. Many people who have known predators in their area opt for a run to keep the flock safe, whilst still giving them access to fresh grass. Others who feel comfortable letting their chickens pot around the garden may get a hutch only, so they have somewhere to sleep and lay their delicious eggs.
Sometimes, even if you are letting your chickens free range in the backyard, having a chicken coop with a run is still a good idea - it means you can go away on the weekend and leave the chickens in the coop full time. They still get to free range, but you have the peace of mind that they’re safe and sound!
Where should I plan to put my coop?
Making chicken coop plans for placement in the backyard? Make sure you pick the right spot! Chickens need somewhere to catch the sunlight, as well as a place to beat the heat if the temperature gets a little steamy. So, if you’re making chicken coop plans, try and plot a space under a tree or somewhere sheltered, so your chickens get the best of both worlds.
So, if you’re on the fence about making chicken coop plans or just want a better idea on what to consider, keep all these factors in mind. Your chickens will be laying well and very happy!
Getting the best coop to keep your flock happy and safe is a daunting task with so many options. To build or to buy? Do you know how many nesting boxes & perches you need? Do you know how much space you need & why? Choosing the perfect coop requires the right knowledge and equipment. You don't want to have all the gear and no idea!
Cluckily for us, our friends at Chickenpedia have created a Coop Sweet Coop course filled with advice and information to help your search. Find out all the options when buying or building a new coop including the best materials, sizes and locations. This extensive course will give you the confidence to make the right decision on a suitable and safe home for your feathered friends. This is why I recommend Chickenpedia to all my readers!
Click here to check out their beginner-friendly courses today!
If you're keen to order one of our Backyard Chicken Coops but you just need to convince your partner, make sure you have a read of this fun yet handy article, here.