If you’re planning to start a chicken farm, a coop is one of the must-have equipment in this business. It is important to have some of the things ready before you even go ahead to order your chickens.
Depending on the type of system you want to adopt for raising your chickens, there are things you can’t just push aside if you want to succeed in this type of poultry business.
What is A Chicken Coop?
Think of a place where you are sleeping and laying your head, this is the same as a chicken coop.
A chicken coop is a structure or a house where chickens are kept to stay. It is built to protect the chickens from predators and poor weather.
It could be a small, medium, or large structure depending on the number of birds you wish to raise and for what purpose.
When starting a poultry farm business and you decide to go the chicken way, put at the back of your mind to have the following things in place when constructing your chicken coop.
Things A Chicken Coop Must Have
Chickens need fresh air as much as they need heat. Everything must be in moderation in terms of balance when putting up a structure.
When constructing your chicken pen, there must be enough air and space for the birds to be able to move around. Have you heard of the free-range system of poultry? That is when you let your chickens walk around the compound/farm freely and later in the evening they’ll go to their abode.
If you are not practicing the free range system of poultry farming, then when constructing your chicken pen, there should be enough ventilation for fresh air to come in using the deep litter system of poultry.
The next thing that must be in a chicken coop is a roost. Except you’re raising your birds in the cage, you don’t need this in your coop if not, you make provision for a roost.
A roost simply put is a place where the chickens lay their head at night i.e. when they sleep. A well-designed chicken coop must put together a location where they can jump on in the evening or any time of the day to rest and relax. It could be made of wood to make things easy for yourself and the birds.
Having a roost for the chicken not only makes resting easy for your birds, but it also protects the birds from predators if there are any that come into the coop. A roost makes flying and running around the coop easy for the birds, chicken are social animals, so they love fun.
3. Nesting Box
Next, on the things a chicken coop must have is a nest or nesting box.
Just like the free range system of poultry farming, using a deep litter system in a coop, you need a nesting box. A nest or nesting box is a point/place where chicken lay their eggs. Chickens are very disciplined and mature so when they want to lay eggs, they go into the nest, lay the supposed eggs, and leave.
The number of birds you wish to raise will determine the size of the coop you will construct and the number of nests you will have in the pen.
Another thing you must have in a chicken coop is lighting. Whether it is daytime or at night, there must be light in your chicken coop.
During the day, there should be a sunning area where the birds will move to when they feel cold sought off, and at night, there should be light whether electrical, solar or otherwise.
Why do chicks need light at night? Well, some birds eat and drink at night so they need to see what they will be feeding on before they swallow what they are not supposed to swallow. Also, they need light to be able to navigate deadly situations when there is a predator attack on the farm.
5. Water and Food Supply
Another thing a chicken coop must have is a water and food supply. When constructing a chicken coop, you must be into consideration where feeders and drinkers will be placed.
Your chicken will eat and drink water so place food and water bowls in strategic places depending on the number of birds that you wish to stock.
There are different types of drinkers and feeders that you can use on your farm dependent on the structure of your coop.
You can check out this article on different types of poultry houses to know how to construct your own chicken coop.
6. Dust Bath Box
Last and not least the thing a chicken must have is a place where the birds can have a dust bath. Although this is not important but it will be good to have this in a coop.
Chicken raised in a deep litter or free range system roam about and peck on things on the ground even after they are full. Likewise, they love to scratch their bodies and play with the dust, so having a dedicated dust bath area in your coop will give a very decent playground for the chickens.
It is important to put into consideration the items mentioned above even though those are not the ultimate equipment to put in place when designing and constructing your coop.
You can always come back and redesign your coop to your taste but make sure that no matter how tight your budget is on constructing a chicken coop, the following must be a priority:
iii. Nesting Box
v. Water and Food Supply
vi. Dust Bath Box
You are not always going to get it right in the beginning which is your first chicken house but I’m sure of something, with time you’re going to achieve the dream chicken coop that you ever wanted.
Rome was never built in a day. KEEP PUSHING