Backyard Chicken Coop Must-Haves
If you are new to the backyard chicken world you may be wondering what some of the must-have items for your backyard chicken coop are? In this post I will be sharing with you some must-have items for your backyard chicken coop.
Raising Backyard Chickens
If your wanting to start raising your own backyard chickens, there are a few things to consider before hand. There are so many backyard chicken coops available. Some options include building from scratch, pre-made coops, or using an old building already on your property and turning it into a coop. There are certain must-haves that you will need to keep your chickens safe and happy.
Backyard Chicken Coop Must-Haves
These backyard chicken coop must-haves will make your chicken raising experience so much simpler and happier for you and your chickens. These must-haves can be made or bought. Do what works for you, the chickens, and your budget. Get creative if you have to.
The Must-Haves for a Backyard Chicken Coop
Indoor and Outdoor Living Space
The indoor living space of your backyard chicken coop should have enough room for roosts, nesting boxes, and food and water. You will need to consider how many birds you want in your flock and if you plan on adding more eventually. From the experience we have had with our chickens, they will only be in the coop in the evenings and during bad weather. Also, do you plan to store anything in your coop (bedding and/or feed).
Chickens need outdoor space in the backyard chicken coop because they love to roam around and forage for bugs and plants. Chickens don’t need a huge amount of space but you do want them to have some space because cramped spaces could lead to health issues and diseases.
Having plenty of doors and windows in your backyard chicken coop will keep moisture and ammonia build up (which can cause health problems for you and your chickens) to a minimum. Fresh air will keep your backyard chicken coop from having a strong manure smell as well.
Flooring and Bedding
A concrete flooring would be ideal because it makes for easier clean up. But dirt floors will work as well. Bedding is important for winter months. Different materials can generate heat as they break down or compost. This is often called the deep bedding method. Some good bedding options are straw or hay, sand, dried leaves and grass, wood shavings. Cleaning and replacing the bedding on a regular basis should help keep smell down.
Having a place for your chickens to lay eggs will make your life easier. If chickens don’t have a nice quiet and safe place to lay their eggs they will lay their eggs in had to find places. Then you will have to hunt for the eggs. You will need one nesting box for every four to five hens. Adding some bedding to the nesting boxes will help keep eggs cleaner. Also, lining the nesting boxes with dish washing basins from the dollar tree makes the nesting boxes easier to clean.
In the evenings chickens have a natural instinct to roost or sleep up off the ground in order to protect themselves from predators. Having a eight inch long by two inch wide spot for each chicken should be enough roosting space.
Food and Water
An obvious must-have for your backyard chicken coop are food and water. There are many types and sizes of waterers and feeders available or that can be made. Its ideal to keep the waterer and feeder up off the ground to limit chicken manure and debris as well as moisture in your feed. There are many different kinds of chicken feed out there including organic options. But chickens will also eat kitchen scraps as well. Our chickens actually prefer the kitchen scraps to their chicken feed.
Hopefully these backyard chicken coop must-haves will help you get your flock started and keep your chickens healthy and happy. What are your chicken coop must-haves? Let us know in the comments below.