As we move towards a more environmentally-friendly, sustainable future, more individuals than ever are looking to live and work differently for the sake of the planet as a whole. From recycling to up-cycling, from carbon footprint to greenhouse gases, there are ways all of us can help be a little more green.
Increasingly, people are becoming more aware, not only of the food we eat, but how it arrives on our plate. The rise in residential homes keeping chickens has increased massively in recent years. Having a ready source of eggs, meat, or even just as pets, has meant that the need for chicken coops has also grown to meet the demand.
If it’s something you’re considering, then you’ll need to know what to look for when considering buying a chicken coop, so you don’t fall ‘foul’ of the needs of the birds. Let’s take a look at what you might need to find the perfect chicken coop so the right birds flock to it.
Whether you’re buying new or upgrading a chicken coop, the size of it is going to be key. Obviously you need to buy a chicken coop suitable for the amount of birds you have (or plan to get). A chicken coop serves a number of important purposes. It’s not just a place for them to sleep (or roost), but it needs to be safe, secure and somewhere for them to eat and drink.
A good chicken coop will have a ‘pop’ door to allow the birds to enter / exit, ventilation (usually in the eaves) to allow air to circulate on warmer days and a perch for them to stand. A good rule of thumb is to have about 1ft of perch for every chicken you have.
The birds will also need nesting boxes for them to lay their eggs. Again, the amount you need will be determined by how many chickens you have, but a good guide is to have 1 nesting box for every 3-4 hens. Contrary to popular opinion, chickens don’t lay eggs every day.
It’s also worth noting that as important as it is for the birds to have ingress and egress, you will need that too. The coop will need to be cleaned regularly, so easy access for you is just as important.
If you’re new to buying a chicken coop, then you’re also going to want one that’s easier to set-up. There are some incredibly sophisticated coops available these days, but even the simplest ones can be just as good. You’re going to want to look for a structure that’s easy to put together. Many coops, like furniture, come flat-packed now, so if you’re reasonably confident with your DIY skills, then that shouldn’t be a problem.
Remember there’s more to a coop than just wood and screws. You can get some coops, usually from China, that arrive prefabricated, so if you’re not a whiz with a hammer and saw, that might be a better option.
To protect the birds from predators, like rats, foxes and even some cats and dogs, you will need one that can withstand an attack from something wanting to prey on them. Wire walls, secured openings and robust doors will all need to play a part in the coop and they all need to be fixed securely. It’s not an area you should scrimp on.
As we grow more aware of the impact we’re all having on this planet, the need to become more sustainable is increasingly important. Chickens can be a fantastically engaging way to achieve this in the home (or more probably in the garden). To feel the real benefit though, the chickens need to be cared for just as much as the planet, so choosing the right coop is a huge step in the right direction.