Housing Chickens

Nothing is set in stone when it comes to housing chickens, a lot depends on your particular situation (location, space available, chosen breeds etc.) and convenience for you as the keeper as you are the one who has to get in there to clean it out and collect eggs etc. Some basic guidelines for coop floor space and runs can be found in the post Raising Chickens First Steps

If building your own chicken coop, then chicken coop plans can take a lot of the guesswork out of it although the exact fittings and fixtures requirements may still need to be adapted depending on the chickens you have and the coop you are going to build - eg. a jersey giant may need an inch or two added to standard pop hole dimensions. Likewise the amount of space above and behind the roost may depend on the type of breeds you have, how much space you have inside the coop and where you want to put the roosts and nestboxes etc. (you will need to consider ease of access for yourself as well as the chickens - it's not much fun cleaning a chicken coop on your hands and knees). If you are keeping a large heavy breed then they will need to have lower roosts. If you do have a higher roost you also need to have a lot of space for your chickens to be able to fly down safely - a four foot drop straight down is likely to damage their feet and legs over time but should not be a problem if they have the space to swoop down gently. If you are likely to be out a lot of the time when it is dusk or want a guilt free lie-in occasionally then it might be worth considering an Automatic Chicken Coop Door.

In every issue of the Keeping Chickens Newsletter there are photos and descriptions of subscribers coops - looking at what other people have done with their chicken housing can be a great help if you are in the  process of planning your own. A small selection of chicken coops from the newsletter can be seen at the bottom of this blog.

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