When it comes to the kind of chicken coop you want in your backyard, your choices are nearly endless. Coops come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and designs, allowing you to build or buy the best fit for your birds and your space. No matter what type of chicken coop you choose, there are a few requirements you need to consider along the way. If you don’t pay attention to size, security, and other details, you’ll end up with a coop that simply isn’t good enough for your flock. Make sure your hens have the best home possible by keeping an eye out for these chicken coop design mistakes to avoid.
Making the Coop Too Small
The key to keeping your birds healthy, comfortable, and happy is to give them plenty of space. A coop that isn’t big enough for your entire flock can lead to bullying and stressed out chickens. It’s important to give your birds enough space to eat, roost, and wander comfortably throughout the day. Research the breed of chickens you want to buy to see how much space each one needs. If you don’t plan on keeping free-range chickens, make sure your flock has adequate space in their run as well.
Not Making It Accessible
Many people don’t think about how they’re going to maintain their coop when they buy it. This is why making the space hard to clean is one of the most common chicken coop design mistakes to avoid. Make sure your coop is accessible by choosing a design with large doors. For bigger coops, you should be able to stand inside comfortably. For smaller coops, make sure you can reach every corner without having to crawl around or reach into odd angles. You should also consider the supplies within the coop. For example, getting an automatic chicken feeder helps eliminate spills and keeps your food supply clean, making the coop a nicer, healthier space.
Not Thinking About Predators
To a roaming fox, hawk, or another predator, your chicken coop is like a free buffet. This is why security is an essential part of a successful coop. Make sure your walls and fencing are sturdy and free of holes or damage. Pay close attention to the kinds of predators you see in your area, so you can predator-proof your coop accordingly. If you get a lot of flying predators, consider buying overhead netting to keep your birds safe outside of their coop. For raccoons, rats, and other creatures that burrow, be sure to bury your fencing several inches into the ground to prevent them from digging under.
One of the best ways to avoid mistakes is by learning from others. Share your chicken coop experiences with us and your fellow backyard chicken enthusiasts in the comments below!