There's nothing more important for a chicken's welfare and safety than its coop or housing. Poor quality housing can lead to aggression and badly affect laying patterns, putting the birds in grave danger from roaming predators. So it's in everybody's interest to ensure chickens live in the best quality surroundings possible.
What Are Chicken Coops and Housing for Poultry?
How many chickens you have will dictate whether you have a coop or a dedicated chicken house. A coop is generally a smaller structure, often made of wood, where chickens sleep at night and can escape and weather. This might also include a small outside area built within the structure.
Chicken housing is much bigger, typically found on commercial chicken farms. Chickens require a warm, dry and well-ventilated chicken house, preferably with at least two entrances.
Types of Chicken Coops and Housing Products
Portable Chicken Coops
A portable chicken coop typically has two wheels at one end so the entire structure can be picked up and wheeled away. This is a good option for those with a sizable garden, as chickens are excellent at ripping up weeds and searching for bugs but can leave an area completely bare.
Stationary Chicken Coops
Stationary coops are often similar to their portable cousins but can't be moved. Generally, they would be bigger with a sturdier framework but still follow the same basic design. These are good options if your chickens don't get any time outside the coop, and because they have a more solid frame, they're usually 100% predator resistant.
Automated Chicken Coops
Automated chicken coops have automatic settings that allow you to set a door timer while also controlling the light and temperature inside—an excellent option for those short on time.
Poultry Nests & Slats
Chickens like to have a quiet, dark place to lay their eggs. This usually happens inside the coop somewhere, but if that's not available for whatever reason, a poultry nest is the next best thing. Dalton's litter-laying nest provides a natural environment for chickens to lay and can accommodate up to five hens.
How do I predator-proof my chicken coop?
Predator-proofing your coop should be your highest priority. Ensure your coop is sturdy, while carefully wrapping any outside area with mesh. It's also a good idea to bury the mesh to a depth of around 0.3 metres to prevent anything from digging under.
Can I keep different types of poultry in the same coop?
In theory, you should be able to keep different types of poultry in the same coop. However, it's essential to take into account general personalities. Some birds are more aggressive than others, so keep a close eye on them.
How do I get rid of flies in my chicken coop?
The best way to prevent flies from building up is to clean your coop regularly. Remove dropping and scraps every few days to a week while cleaning the area with apple cider vinegar once a month will act as the perfect fly repellant.
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