Raising chickens is a healthy and comforting hobby. Especially because, thanks to it, you will have fresh eggs whenever you want. However, for these poultry to be happy and make quality layings, it is necessary to provide them with adequate space to shelter, sleep and hatch their chicks . A garden chicken coop is essential in this regard.
The outdoor chicken coop is a great option you can find at a discount price with amazon coupons. It incorporates an outdoor space that allows the animals to move freely and a nest box to easily collect the eggs . All this, together with the excellent ratings given by its users, has led us to choose it as the best chicken coop within this comparison. It is closely followed by this Gardium model , which has excellent value for money and has a small corral for them to walk around and take in the air. Two good options, but there are many others that we want to present to you before you make up your mind.
How to choose a chicken coop and what to consider before buying one?
According to the opinions in analyzed chicken coops, to choose correctly it is necessary to take into account these aspects:
- Size . A large chicken coop can fit several dozen chickens. Think that, in each square meter, they can sleep up to 5 if the weather is warm and 7 if it is cold. In addition, there are double chicken coops, that is to say, with two floors that make even better use of the available space.
- Materials . Currently, the best chicken coops are made of wood. This material offers excellent resistance and insulation. However, there are very interesting and cheaper alternatives in thermoplastic resin, PVC and metal.
- Ventilation . Chickens need well-ventilated spaces that do not create drafts. Therefore, choose a model with vents, grilles and windows that you can open and close as you please.
- Isolation . Mainly on the ground. Chickens need a warm, dry surface to rest on. But, in addition, you should choose a chicken coop with a waterproof roof that protects them on rainy days.
- Corral . It is the space that chickens have to walk outdoors. If you do not have enough in your garden, you have dogs or cats that could attack them or you do not trust them to escape, buy a chicken coop that includes it.
- Accesses . A chicken coop with an automatic opening system will allow the chickens to come and go as they please. Without a doubt, it is the best system to make them happy.
- Type . Our advice is to buy a prefabricated chicken coop as you can quickly install it and, if necessary, move it around. If you have few chickens, you may be more interested in a portable model and, if you have a lot, a built-in one.
- Chicken coop price . It depends on the size, the quality of the materials.
You also have to take into account which are the best brands of chicken coops on the market .
What is a chicken coop?
A chicken coop is a covered structure in which the chickens take refuge from the cold, the rain and other external elements when it comes to hatching their eggs, raising their chickens and gathering up for the night. It has a roof and several access doors through which these birds can enter and exit as they please. They also have a larger one that the breeder can collect the eggs and clean.
What is it for?
The function of the best chicken coops is to shelter the hens so that they can sleep, raise their chickens and hatch their eggs. In addition, they allow them to be controlled, especially at night so that they do not escape and are not victims of possible predators that roam the vicinity.
Where to install a chicken coop?
Chicken coops are always installed in open spaces, such as the garden. Specifically, it must be a space in which certain characteristics exist:
- Make the chickens feel safe . That is, they are out of the reach of dogs, cats and other predators.
- Have a flat and firm surface . So that they can rest and hatch their eggs without difficulty.
- Receive the sunlight . This way it won’t be too cold.
- Be sheltered from the wind, at least in part. The noise caused on the structure of the hen house can negatively affect the laying rate of the hens.
What types of chicken coops are there?
In the market we can find all these types of chicken coops :
- Chicken coop . It has brick walls or other similar construction material and a roof. It must be built by a bricklayer or a person with knowledge in the field. It is usually the most expensive option, but also the most weather resistant and the one that provides the best protection for chickens. Of course, it does not make sense to choose this option if you do not plan to have this hobby for many years.
- Fixed chicken coop . Similar to the previous one, but made on the basis of a prefabricated structure. You just need to assemble the pieces, anchor them to the ground and that’s it.
- Portable chicken coop . It is a chicken coop with wheels or, simply, small and light that can be carried from one place to another according to the needs of the hens. It does not usually offer space for more than 4 or 5 copies.
- Mini chicken coop . Similar to the previous type, but still smaller (2 or 3 chickens, even one). It is the recommended chicken coop for those who only want eggs for their own consumption.
- Closed chicken coop with safety net . It not only has a structure with a roof to shelter the animals, but also a corral through which they can walk without the possibility of escaping. That structure also protects them from predators at all times. The chicken coops can be built-in, fixed or portable according to each situation For its part, depending on the materials used for its construction, we can talk about:
- Wooden chicken coop . The traditional. This material is an excellent thermal insulator, but it needs a lot of maintenance. For example, to be waterproof, you will need to varnish or paint it every 3-4 years.
- Metallic chicken coop . A high-quality alternative that requires much less maintenance than wood, but does not achieve its benefits in terms of thermal comfort for the hens. It is necessary that it has excellent ventilation, especially in summer.
- Plastic chicken coop . The ideal option to buy a cheap chicken coop. Most of those made of this material are small and light and provide space for only a few pieces.
How is a chicken coop installed?
You must follow the manufacturer’s instructions since, depending on the type of chicken coop you have bought, you will have to carry out the process in one way or another. For example, an outdoor brick house is not the same as a prefabricated one . What in any case you should do is prepare the land previously by removing stones, branches or any other element that may hinder the installation.
How to make a chicken coop at home?
Chickens need a clean, well-ventilated (but drafty-free) space with a dry floor to be comfortable. Therefore, if you cannot find any model that convinces you, you can always make your own chicken coop with pallets. You’ll need:
- A 3 x 3 meter galvanized sheet roof.
- 22 European pallets. These have measures of 120 x 80 cm.
- 4 wooden beams for the ceiling.
- 8 wooden pillars for the structure.
- Some kind of waterproof coating.
- Paint or varnish.
Regarding the tools, a drill with screwdriver function, a shovel and a hammer is all you will need. In addition, you will need washer screws. When you have everything, follow these instructions :
- Draw the outline of the chicken coop using a trench. It should be approximately 40 cm deep.
- Place a first row of pallets in that trench and replace the soil.
- Attach those pallets using the washer screws.
- Now, put another row of pallets on top of the first one. Help yourself with a ladder. If you want your chicken coop to have windows, remove one on each side.
- It is time to put the pillars. Place one in each corner and then do the same at the joints between pallets to give the chicken coop more robustness. Use the drill and screws or a hammer and nails.
- It is the turn of the beams on the roof. They must have a slight slope to evacuate the water when it rains.
- Place the roof on the rafters and secure it with screws.
- On the floor and on the walls, put waterproof panels that offer good thermal insulation.
- Paint or varnish the pallets and that’s it! You can put your chickens in there now.
What are the specific measurements you should have?
They depend on the number of chickens that are going to be housed in it. Generally, the chicken coop is between 150 cm and 200 cm high and windows located between 80 cm and 100 cm from the ground. On the other hand, in hot climates, it is possible to have a maximum of 5 chickens per square meter inside the cabin. On the other hand, in cold climates, it is possible to house up to 7 hens per square meter.
What surface should it have?
As we said before, the surface will mark the number of chickens that you can put inside. In each square meter you can house a maximum of 5 chickens if the weather is warm and 7 if it is cold, so you just have to do the math. If you lack space, you can always buy a two-story chicken coop that practically doubles that capacity.
How to clean a chicken coop?
The cleaning of the coop is essential to the chickens’ health. It consists of several tasks that you must perform from time to time:
- Cleaning the drinkers . You should change the water every day and disinfect them at least once a week. This will prevent bacteria from accumulating when the water is stagnant.
- Change the beds . Whenever they are damp or smell bad. Simply replace them with hay and pine shavings to make them feel comfortable again.
- Cleaning the nest boards . They are the trays in which the excrement of the chickens falls while they hatch and lay the eggs. They must be cleaned at least once a week. Remember that these excrements can be used to make compost, so do not throw them away. If they are very encrusted, use a spatula and some water to soften them.
- Deep cleaning . Biweekly. Before you start, get the chickens indoors and let them run around for a while. Afterward, sweep up everything you find on the ground and clean the ground with pressurized water from a hose. This will soften the stool and make it easier to remove with a non-toxic household cleaner.
- Apply diatomite . This product is made from fossilized algae and is very useful to prevent parasite infections in chickens (ticks, fleas, etc.).
- Put the chickens back into the henhouse . They will now be able to enjoy a totally clean and conditioned space for them.
Selena is a blogger and a guest contributor for a well-known brand that includes MESHEBLE , Saveucoupon & INTHEMARKET. In her leisure time, she plays tennis.