by: Dennis Cordy ~
So you fancy keeping some backyard fowl? I have to say I think that’s a terrific notion. So how to start? The most important job on your list - other than getting those lovely chickens of course - is to discover plans for chickens coops that measure up to your needs. The determining question is, what precisely are your needs?
Are you searching for chickens for personal enjoyment in a small garden? Do you want just a couple of eggs a day for you and your other half? Or enough for a bunch of folks? Do you think you might like to get a couple of different varieties of chickens? Could be you’re thinking of selling what’s left over? Maybe you’re thinking to get some chicken coop plans and create your own design of coops for sale? Not a bad idea that - plenty of individuals have done well with it.
Much to consider then. You also have to consider the space of your back yard. Fowl are quite easy to keep and don’t need huge amounts of space, but there’s a limit to how many you can get in a given plot and still keep them healthy (and productive). There are small, medium, and large plans for the chicken coops, each of which takes a certain number of chickens. Then there are stationary ones and there are the wheeled sort.
People can get very creative, taking a regular design for a chicken coop and then adding all manner of stuff until they get something that looks like a Dutch barn, or a mansion house, or a castle... all types of things. Then there are folk who don’t bother with chicken coop plans at all and just use an old shed, or even an old sedan. Rather funny some of them, and fine so long as underneath everything there is what your fowl need for good health and security.
The biggest mistake people make is building a chicken coop too small. As far as materials are concerned, there’s not a lot of difference in cost between a small coop and a medium one. If you can afford it, and you have the space, always build bigger than you think you might need. Your hens will be better for it, you’ll get more eggs and you’ll have space to expand because I’ve got to warn you, chicken keeping can get addictive!
There’s no way to provide a size for each chicken - or how many fowl you’ll need to feed a particular group of people. Some of that has got to be determined by how much you love eggs! Different fowl varieties vary in size and the number of eggs they lay. The US Department of Agriculture states that the average bird lays 260 eggs each year, but I never heard of an average chicken yet. Usually a chicken produces a single egg each day - but will often miss a day and occasionally a whole week. That doesn’t indicate there’s something out of sorts and, if you’ve got a group, you’ll never know which isn’t laying. If you’re like us, a handful of eggs a day, on and on, takes time to get through - so you’ll have plenty to share.
Sorry, got a carried away there. They are all considerations though in deciding the area of coop you need. Cash might be a factor, but you are going to be saving a good deal by building your own chicken coop so there won’t be a considerable difference unless you construct one that’s really enormous. You can always sell over-production to locals to offset money spent. Make your eggs less expensive than the nearby store and those around will normally be interested!
Let’s not forget that fixed or moveable question? The fixed one is usually going to be a more durable building. If you build it solidly it will last you longer. Doing that with a portable chicken coop can make it unnecessarily heavy - which is kind of pointless. The thing with a fixed coop is that the your ladies will eventually turn the area into a bare patch of earth. They will peck and scrape at bugs, grass and weeds until there’s nothing left. That’s not a concern for the birds, but if you want to keep the wear spread out, a mobile coop is the best option. The other thing to think about is predators. If you have large predatory animals, etc then a portable coop might be too easy for them to get at. Alternatively, if it’s an urban area, with just a handful of birds, a moveable coop can be a very nice addition to your garden.
Plenty to mull over, isn’t there. The best step now is to take your time because mistakes made in the choice, the style and the construction process are invariably expensive to alter afterwards. Read through a few websites with designs for chicken coops and choose one that looks like it supplies an amount of choice. That way you’re only Shelling out for one set of chicken coop plans that can give you a number of different sizes or appearances. You also want to make sure they’ve got material lists so that you can work things out first (planning should be done to keep costs down).
Just about anybody can build a chicken coop. It really doesn’t need a lot of knowledge, just patience and a few ordinary tools. Choosing well formed, professionally created plans for chicken coops should only cost $30 or less and you’ll have all the instructions you need to put up a home for keeping healthy, happy hens - and all the tasty new eggs you could eat!
About The Author
For the best independent information about plans for chicken coops and your free 7-part course on chicken coop building and chicken keeping, pop over to http://bestplansforchickencoops.com
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