There are some stuff about holding natural chicken that just don’t require a whole chapter dedicated to them. I want to call it the section on “maintenance and common sense”. We will touch the highs and lows of chicken care and other nuggets of information in this segment, such as general coop scale and spacing.
Some of this stuff is just pure common sense. You deal with it when you consider a question emerging. Yet we do not know how to cope with it occasionally. So let’s try to do it!
Public Repair and Intelligence Coop Maintenance
From vivid, intricate, all-white coops with chandeliers and elegant curtains to daily coops made of pallets with no bells and whistles, there are all sorts of chicken coops. Whatever your choice, to guarantee satisfaction for your flock, make sure you know simple care techniques.
The Scale of the Coop
Your coop size can make a lot of difference, from small coops that only hold two chickens to massive barns that can hold hundreds. Each chicken can as a general rule of thumb, have at least 4 square feet of room within the coop. This means that they can walk around without touching any chicken and stretch out their wings.
I still consider making twice this number 8 square feet) outside of the coop. Really, I’m a strong fan of wide-open spaces and giving chickens as much room as they want. I understand, though, that certain chicken keepers are only able to raise their chickens in confinement. As a minimum space allowance for each bird, use the 4-square-foot rule, and go up from there.
To the Roosts
Roosts are shelves or bars where your chickens sleep at night in your coop. In high areas, chickens love roosting, since a predator is instinctively less likely to grab them in such a high position relative to being on the ground. In our chicken coops, we build roosts for this purpose.
Buying Adult Chicks
If you are buying adult chickens, make sure that they are quarantined for at least 30 days before they are added to the rest of your flock. Much like you would transition chicks to a new flock, they will need to go through a transition period; you can read more on page 66 about that. Be sure that you have set up a transfer station away from your co-op.
Your roosts should be higher than, but not immediately above, your nesting boxes, since you want to avoid dropping poop into the nesting field. Typical roosts are 4 to 5 feet in height, at least. You can generate tiered roosts so that if necessary, older or smaller birds can roost on the lower roost.
Roosts can be as easy as tree branches or 2-by-4 pieces of lumber, or they can be real platforms of flat pieces of lumber that you build.
The Bins for Nesting
Nesting boxes-the most sacred of all spaces for chicken. After all they are where the action occurs! A nesting box is one of the most significant elements of the chicken coop, from the egg sheet to the broody hen.
It should be at least 12 inches high, 12 inches deep, and 9 inches tall for nesting boxes. Your hens would be more concerned with width and depth than with height.
Make sure your nesting boxes are low enough to be able to leap onto your chickens. If you don’t want to make your own, you can use just about anything for a nesting package. Chances are, your hens would choose their favorite places to lie down anyway, and it might only be right on the concrete!
Ideas for the Nesting Box
You want to spruce your coop up? Rather than assembling nesting boxes, consider using these options:
Old wooden crates or vintage ones
On their sides, buckets flipped
New milk crates
Old crates of champagne
Old (like bookshelves) furniture
Planters with barrels
Old shelves or deep shelves for books