Points to Remember

The following are list of points to remember when planning your coop.

The Roof
should have an overhang to drain excess water and also needs to be well insulated.

A mobile coop (with wheels attached) can be very useful if you want chickens to do vegetable bed clearing in the winter as they will happily scratch up weeds and clear any pests from soil.

Easy Access is essential for cleaning and can be provided by creating a lift-up section on the roof.

Slatted floors allow ventilation as well as letting droppings fall through.

A sliding door should be attached between the coop and the run to allow the chickens to move between the two. You should be able to open this from the outside.

Perches need to be easily removed for cleaning and have a minimum of 20cm space per chicken.

Nest Boxes should be placed in a low, dark area of the coop to discourage chickens from egg-eating. There should be one box per 3 birds, line with bedding such as sawdust. Avoid straw as it can conceal mites and can quickly go mouldy. Also, make sure to angle the nest boxes backwards so the eggs roll away from the hens and into a hatch on the outside of the coop, where they can easily be accessed.

Laying boxes should be easy to remove for cleaning purposes.

Provide a covered area at the end of the run to protect from bad weather. Ensure that the run is securely fitted to the chicken coop to prevent predators from entering.

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