Do you dream of having your own little homestead no matter where you live? These 7 essentials for a backyard chicken coop will have you well on your way to your own little piece of self sustainability.
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Raising Backyard Chickens
If you are considering taking the leap in raising backyard chickens, there are a few things you should take into account before you get started.
There are a WIDE variety of backyard chicken coop ideas and resources available. You can build your own coop from scratch, purchase a pre-made coop from the store or online, or you could turn a building or structure you already have into your very own backyard chicken coop. Whatever you choose to do, there are some necessities that you should make sure your coop setup has.
I do want to preface this by saying that I am using the word necessities lightly! Of course, you really could just throw a few chickens in your backyard or outdoor barn, make sure they have some sort of food, water, and shelter, and call it good. In reality though, your chickens wouldn’t be very happy, you’d be hunting for eggs like its Easter, and they may end up prey to some sort of predator.
There is a strategic way for you to set up your coop and their living area in order for you to have an optimal, egg-laying squad of chickens and a happy, egg harvester.
These seven essentials are really what you need to make your chicken raising experience the easiest and happiest it can be for both you and your birds.
Just like with the different varieties of chicken coops, these necessities can be made or handled in a variety of ways. Get creative and do what works for you! Your outdoor space or run could include using a transportable coop that allows you to move the chickens to different areas of land as their feed supply is used up. Your enclosure could be made from chicken wire or from fencing. Bedding could be sand, dried leaves, straw, etc. Use what works for and your space and whats in your budget. Simply use the tips described in the following pages as a guideline!
Now lets get into the 7 Essentials for a Backyard Chicken Coop
1. Space (Indoor and Outdoor)
Inside your chicken coop, you will want to make sure that you have enough room for roosts, nesting boxes, and food and water, which will all be described in more detail below.
The most important thing to take into account is how many birds you plan on having, and how much space they will need. Usually the chickens will only be inside the coop in the evenings or if the weather is harsh. You should also consider the possibility of flock expansion in the future.
Another thing to think about is storage space, if you are planning on keeping feed buckets or any cleaning tools inside of the coop, plan for extra space. Chickens love to forage and roam free, so providing them with enough outdoor space to do so is also essential in raising a healthy flock! The more space you can give them, the better.
As with any animal if they are tightly confined it can lead to a greater chance of disease and health issues. If you have ever been around chickens, then you will know how much they like to roam around and peck at the ground, searching for bugs, plants and small animals to snack on.
If you are able to, allowing the chickens to roam completely free, around your farm, homestead, or yard, for a portion of the day can be a great option. They can be free to forage during the day and then closed in their coop/run in the evenings to protect them against predators.
Side note, who doesn’t love to see chickens wandering around?! The epitome of a beautiful country scene!
Even with free range chickens, an enclosed run will usually be the best protection against predators and/or weather. Some predators will come from above, think hawks and other birds, or below with digging: coyotes, raccoons, etc.
Take into account what animals may…
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