I bet you thought this article was lifted from a grocery store tabloid. Sorry to disappoint, but here are some important items to consider before you attempt building chicken coops.
A chicken coop or hen house has a couple of important functions: Protection for your flock and a place for the chickens to lay eggs and live out their lives.
Protection has two elements:
*Protection from the elements
*Protection from predators
The elements we need to concern ourselves about are dependent on your climate -- both winter and summer. In the southern areas, heat is most troublesome. Up north the cold, rain and wind could be your biggest concerns. Your coop design should be based upon these considerations, but flexible enough to be functional all year round.
Moisture is an element that you need to minimize in your hen house. Pick a high, well drained portion of your back yard to locate your chicken coop and run. Also slope the floor of the coop a little towards the door to allow cleaning solutions and water to run out naturally rather than to puddle.
Predators are worrisome everywhere. If your plan is to have a permanent location for your chicken coop, a good idea is to have your perimeter enclosure made of chicken wire (nice term-huh) that you bury about a foot below grade and heavy enough gauge of wire that critters, like raccoons, can't chew through. Another solution might be to dig a trench under your enclosure and dry lay bricks down about the same 12 inches. Also put a lid of chicken wire or something similar to keep hawks and owls from having a chicken dinner at your expense.
Most other important considerations are built around your selection of chicken house plans. Building chicken coops is made much easier if you follow an easy to follow complete guide to raising chickens and the construction of your coop rather than just buying a set of plans. The guide should cover things like breed and number of chickens to raise, your purpose for raising chickens, the size of the coop and run, uses simple construction techniques for the shade tree carpenter (and children) and goes into details for insulation, ventilation, window needs and locations, material selection and a lumber cutting guide.
The instructions must be simple to understand and follow a logical construction sequence for ease and enjoyment of your DIY project. This is not a complete list of concerns, but you get the picture. Planning for a fairly intense DIY project is critical to its success.
Fortunately there are several guides online for you to choose from. Take your time and choose wisely. As a back-up to this plan I suggest you find a guide that has technical support to answer all your concerns and lastly a money back satisfaction guarantee, just in case you decide you don't like or understand the guide once paid for.
This should give you a good start to your research before spending any money building chicken coops. Like the old carpenter's adage: MEASURE TWICE and only then, CUT ONCE!
PLAN COMPLETELY BEFORE and only then, BUILD ONCE!!
Have fun and enjoy your new hobby.
Jerry, the Organic Rancher
Autor: Jerry Lovejoy
Jerry, the Organic Rancher is a Going Green kind of guy that lives in the foothills above Denver, Colorado and loves living here. I enjoy DIY projects and believe building projects on your own is not only fun,but being self reliant isn't a bad thing either.
For more great construction tips and a link to a guide that I feel is the most complete on the net, go to http:// http://www.BuildingChicken-Coops.com
Added: October 13, 2009