What to Consider When Building a Chicken Coop: Maintenance and Predator Control

| 5/12/2016 2:30:00 PM

Tags: chickens, poultry, raising livestock, predator control, Jennifer Poindexter, North Carolina,

I gave you five things you should consider when building your chicken coop in the first part of this series. Here are the remaining few points that you should take into consideration when building your fluffy chicken friends their perfect home.

The Ladies Need a Place to Lay

Hens need a place to lay their eggs, and you want them to have a place. Nothing is harder than when you have hens laying everywhere. Every day is like a scavenger hunt trying to locate where that day’s eggs are. It gets interesting---and old. The rule of thumb is you need one nesting box for every 4 to 5 hens. I recommend sticking to the rule just for egg production reasons. In reality, though, all of your hens are going to try and lay in the same nesting box. It is just what they do.

The nesting boxes should be around 12 inches square (like this one from Amazon) and lower than the roosting bar. Keeping the nesting boxes lower than the roosting bar is supposed to discourage the hens from roosting in them. Our chickens have ample of roosting space, and yet some will still always roost in the nesting boxes at night. They are much lower than the roosts as well. If you chickens do this, don’t be alarmed. Just know that you’ve done everything you can to discourage this habit. Some chickens just have a mind of their own.

ADT for Chickens: Think Like a Toddler

Chickens don’t literally have alarm systems. I’m not sure if they’d be glad to have them or fall over of a heart attack. Either way, chickens need security. They are a heavily preyed upon animal. If one of their predators finds a way in the coop, then your whole flock is gone.

Be sure to use mesh wire or chicken wire over all of the windows, doors, and any opening that is larger than a half inch wide. If you choose to keep a dirt floor in your coop, it is wise to have chicken wire buried under the perimeter of your coop. This way, if any predator tries to dig in they will be met with chicken wire that will cut their paws and deter them from digging any deeper into your coop.

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