A hen house is a key component and among the most important aspects of keeping chickens in your backyard. In this post, we will lay the foundation of how you can build one that ensures the safety of your poultry. Building your own hen house should not be costly.
Many owners spend as much as $400 buying a ready-made hen house, however you do not need to spend that much if you're aware of the key components that a fully operational hen house needs. Most of the time, you can find exactly what you will need in your own home! Of course, if DIY is not your thing, then an easy to assemble chicken coop kit would be your best option.
Before you set about building, it is best to sketch out a drawing of your design on a sheet of paper. A little creative imagination will help, however if you aren't the artistic sort, you will be able to obtain a lot of plans that can be used as a framework for the chicken coop you are going to build. A website I would recommend for this is Chicken Coop Guides.
Once you're ready to install the hen house, make certain that it's positiioned in a way that is likely to make cleaning up and disinfecting more efficient. For example, flooring that's somewhat sloped downwards in the direction of the doorway makes it much easier for water to run outside when you hose down the hen house.
When constructed properly, the chicken house can be be extremely effective in safeguarding your poultry from the outside elements. A hen house needs to be protected from cold drafts, but at the same time well ventilated. An excessive amount of humidity can lead to ammonia accumulating inside the coop and bring about diseases.
The standard rule of thumb is to set up the doorway so that it opens inwards, to ensure the fresh air can easily enter the coop. One other technique is to place the hen house in a location where it faces the sun. This makes it possible for the sun's heat to dry up the earth which will help prevent excessive humidity.
Installing appropriate insulation around the walls will also help the chickens stay warm in the winter months and cool throughout the summer months, in addition to keeping them dry. This lessens the likelihood of your chickens becoming sick. This is most critical if the chickens you're raising are expressly intended for egg production.
The easiest way to keep your chickens protected from predators is to surround the coop with strong chicken wire. Even the windows and doors ought to have a screening system for dual protection. When it comes to those critters that burrow or dig underneath the earth, burying chicken wire around the hen house no less than one foot beneath the soil should stop their entry.
The feeders and waterers must have designated places inside the hen house that are easy to access. Remember that chickens like to scratch with their feet, which can certainly make a significant mess on the coop's surface. This can be avoided simply by placing the waterers and feeders on the same level as their necks. This will keep spilling at the absolute minimum. Make sure you change the food and water daily!
You can still find many different ways to enhance the living conditions of your chickens, however following what's been suggested in this post will get you started in the right direction.
Good luck with building your own hen house and enjoying fresh eggs from your own backyard!