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When we build our coops, often there is no set guide to follow. Sometimes we convert older buildings into our coops.
There are mistakes that we often make when building our chicken coops!
Here are some common mistakes that you may be unknowingly making when you plan and build your coop!
How big should a coop be for 6 chickens?
When we decide how big to build our coop, often we wonder how big to make it. A good rule to follow is two square feet per chicken. While chickens will do fine in a smaller area, a larger pen is good for their health!
A bigger coop gives more space for them and thus creates happier and healthier chickens!
Purchasing a coop large enough for your chickens is key if you choose not to build one yourself. We have used Omitree 10′ ft Wood Chicken Coop for our chickens and it was very spacious! It makes a wonderful grow-out pen.
Do nesting boxes need to be elevated?
Most coops have nesting boxes. But did you realize the higher off the ground the box the more likely your chickens may roost in them? Chickens love to roost because it provides them safety but sleeping inside the nest box can lead to dirty nesting material.
Keeping your nest boxes only a couple feet off the ground will help to remedy this situation for your chickens!
I am a big fan of Little Giant Single Plastic Nesting Box! I find these to be much easier to clean than regular wooden boxes and easier to install as well!
Too flimsy of wire
Many people choose to use chicken wire due to its name. However, chicken wire is not predator-proof. Animals like raccoons can easily chew their way into your coop if you do not use proper wire. I suggest a stronger wire for your fencing like 1-inch mesh.
Other predator-proofing measures should be followed to keep your chickens safe.
Part of predator-proofing your chicken coop is making sure your wire is not overly flimsy!
Hard to clean
We all want a cute coop. I get it. You see these Instagram-ready coops with curtains and the whole nine yards. But did you ever ask yourself if you can maintain that?
I know I can’t. I opt for concrete walls, dirt floors, and well to be able to sterilize the entire coop as needed. While curtains in your nest boxes are adorable, what if a chicken gets sick?
I will say, I use nestbox herbs in my coop and I find it helps my birds out and adds many benefits!
Not enough airflow
When you read on any educational site like Mississippi State University, they discuss in full, making sure chickens have proper ventilation.
So why is it that a lot of coops are stuffy and full of ammonia when it comes to our chickens? I get asked all the time about heating chicken coops and closing them up. Do not do this.
Heat lamps are a fire hazard and having no ventilation is a recipe for disease. Instead, opt for breeds better suited to your climate and if you must wrap your coop for winter, make sure there is proper ventilation!
With spring fast approaching, there will be plenty of new chicken owners everywhere! Make sure that you give your chickens the best start with some of the do not above!