Raising chickens on your farm is a long-term decision. Likewise, a chicken pen too should be durable and viable purchase! Most newbie poultry farmers buy the a fancy chookpen with little knowledge of its practicality. What follows is unhealthy chickens, rodent attacks, an unkempt coop and a confused farmer.
You need to look for not the best coop in the market, but the right one for your farm. Focus on your area, number of chickens and a lot many factors to pick an optimal coop. Confused where to get started? Well, we've put together a list of factors to help you zero down on the ideal chicken coop in Brisbane. Read on to inch closer to a happy and healthy poultry farm!
Most commercial establishments maintain an area of 1sq foot per chicken. But, we would say that's abysmally low. Chickens by nature are creatures who love to run around and explore their environment. At least an area of 4sq feet per chicken is what we would go with to have a healthy and happy bunch.
Aside of space, the size of the coop you choose will also determine its layout. You want to choose a coop that's large enough for running space, while at the same time having a designated area for Nesting. A roosting spot at a height of at least 12-18 feet above ground would mean the longitudinal size of the coop too needs due thought.
While you may raise chickens with the aim of collecting their eggs, consider that some eggs may hatch. And that means more space for the new tribe. To accommodate this quick multiplication, always go for a coop that's a little bigger than the space your current chickens actually need. You'll have more just in the blink of an eye.
The tried tests and vetted material for chicken coops is wood. Ventilation, insulation and weather proofing are essential to good poultry farming practices and healthy chickens, and it's only wood that delivers on all these requisites. Wooden chook pens also prevent condensation and protect chickens from excessive heat and excessive chill.
If we were to look at plastic, it's insulation qualities are very poor. Your chickens will freeze in the winter and burn up in the summers. Metal is again a poor choice as it does not allow for ventilation. Frequent droppings will lead to rust and decay on metal surfaces sooner than you know.
Wooden coops keep up with all the Necessities of a good coop design and are the ideal material choice no matter which part of the world you live in.
This is arguably the most important part of your coop and hence needs due thought. First up, keep it away from natural or artificial light. Place them on the side opposite to that of sun rise. Nesting Boxes need to be warm and dingy, but that doesn't mean they can be poorly ventilated. Even Nesting boxes need good ventilation as chickens spend a lot of time there in the laying season. Allowing ventilation even in the form of small holes in the walls will ensure no respiratory diseases for you chickens.
Each Nesting box can be around 12-15 inches in height and width, to give your chicken a compact yet comfortable space to lay eggs. Many chickens have a favorite laying nook and may shun others away from their space. So ensure multiple identical nesting boxes in one coop. A rough ratio is one box for every 4 chickens.
For easy collection of eggs, each box should have an external access from outside the coop. Make sure to collect eggs daily in the laying session. But, never disturb chickens when they're in the Nesting box.
Give your chickens an open area to strut around, as chickens are intrinsically mobile creatures. This outdoor area can be attached to the coop, with a mesh or wire covering it from all sides. Now, here's where most farmers go drastically wrong, leading to large losses in their flock.
Most farms are faced with many kinds of predators on their poultry, ranging from raccoons to rats and in worse cases bears and even mountain lions. These most common rodents and predators around your home could mean chicken losses by the minute if you don't keep your guard up. You need to choose a fencing that's ideally made of welded wire. Now, based on the Predators your farm is facing, you can go with the ideal size. 1 inch size holes, or even 1/2 inch size holes, that's likely to keep away most threats.
Often ignored, provision for fencing or attached fencing is the right way to choose a good coop for your chickens.
Light & Ventilation
A well-lit coop is an absolute necessity for your chickens to enjoy healthy hatchery. A fair amount of sunlight with some shade is an ideal spot. While you don't need to give you chickens a burst of hot sultry sunlight, a semi-shaded area is perfect. Small holes on the roof is a great way to let just the right amount of sunlight. Windows with shades also provide good control over a natural light source and can be put down to avoid strong afternoon sun rays. Having electricity in the coop is a boon. Light bulbs at even distance all around the coop is a great way to maintain the balance of light.
Ventilation is essential from the perspective of healthy lungs for your chickens. That means moderate humidity, no stale air and no ammonia build-up in thy coop. Ideally, the coop should face the direction of the wind to allow for natural ventilation. Windows at different heights allow the passage of hot and cool air. Brisbane enjoys subtropical climate with hot weather almost all year round. Hence, a chicken coop in Brisbane needs a good amount of ventilation to keep chickens in good health.
After all the considerations to keep your chickens comfortable, let's give your Cleaning efforts due consideration. You don't want to have a coop that's a disaster to clean. Cleaning and disinfecting your chicken coop does not have to be a herculean task. Choose a coop that has a human entry and exit way for you to access all internal areas. A coop that's too restrictive for human movement won't be easy to clean.
The main focus area from a cleaning perspective is the roosting area, as that's where most of the droppings are. Place some straw, paper or sand underneath this area which can be removed and replaced often. Also, choose a coop that has significant space between the Nesting box and the coop. You don't want droppings all over the Nesting Area. That's going to be quite a job to clean up!
If you find a chicken coop the meets all these requirements, that's the one you should be putting your money on. Poultry farming is a fun and fulfilling experience. It begins and ends in the coop, so you ought to get the best one!
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