Chicken Coop Kits

A backyard flock of chickens can be easily begun with a chicken coop kit, especially if you’re short on time. The kits are complete, with wood cut to specs, all hardware needed, and a set of building plans. Some kits have everything, even the paintbrush, included.

The size of the kit you buy should be decided by the number of hens you plan to house. A standard 4’x4′ coop will house three to four chickens of normal size. Each adult chicken needs about four square feet of space and you can figure square footage by multiplying the number of feet (4’x4′ = 16 square feet).

Chickens also need exercise and fresh air, of course, so they can scratch around and act like hens. So you should have a chicken run as part of your coop.

Most coop kits do not include the chicken run, which is mainly fencing. The run can sometimes be purchased separately or you can add one yourself using a simple wood frame and good wire.

When purchasing a kit, be aware of its specs. Space not necessarily usable by the chickens may be included in the manufacturer’s measurements. Just as your home’s living space does not include measurements of bathrooms and closets, a coop’s nesting boxes and roosting spaces are not included in the hens’ living space.

Ask about the wood used in the structure as well. Treated wood that is proof against termites will often have arsenic in it. Your chicken run should not use chicken wire on its walls or top. Predators can often easily tear through chicken wire.

Once your new hen house kit arrives, count all materials against the shippers manifest. It might seem silly, but many people forget this and find themselves halfway through a hen house project with missing parts.

If you check the list and find something wrong before you begin building, your blood pressure doesn’t go up nearly as much.

Pick a spot for your chicken coop in your yard. A spot that is protected from the elements is important. Even portable “chicken tractors” need a place to park in bad weather.

Like all creatures, hens need some sunshine, but also a shade from the summer heat. In cold climates, they will also need protection from north winds and weather.

Make sure to plan for protection against predators in your area. Slide bolts and simple locks are no match for a raccoon that smells chicken. Raccoons are intelligent, so you may need to use a padlock on your coop at night to keep them out.

Keeping backyard chickens is a fast-growing hobby. Many people find that hens not only pay for themselves in eggs, but are great pets too. It’s a lot of fun for the entire family and can even turn into a great small business.

First timers are amazed at the variety of beautifully feathered and exotic birds available, and what started as a hobby can quickly become an obsession. You should check out chicken coop plans if you’re quite handy with tools.

Be sure to make your first hen house as large as space and budget allow. Your first chickens will appreciate the space and you will likely end up adding more.

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