One of the most exciting steps in your journey of keeping chickens is building or finding the best chicken coop.
What you should be looking for is a proper housing unit that will provide your chickens with a nice and secure shelter. It should be comfortable enough for your chickens to easily settle in as soon as they arrive.
If you are looking for a pre-built option, keep in mind that chicken coops come in a wide range of styles, sizes, shapes, and materials.
If you are building your own coop, then you will want to be careful about the materials you select. For instance, for long-lasting weathering, you will want to use pressure treated lumber for any exposed areas and for parts of the legs or frame that touch the ground, but you don’t want to use any stained or treated lumber inside the coop where the birds might peck it and get poisoned.
You may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available out there. Your best chicken coop will largely depend on the number of chickens you intend to keep, the space available at your home, your personal preference, and of course your budget for the project.
To help you make a more informed decision, here are a few tips to consider when choosing the best chicken coop.
- How secure is the chicken coop? The best chicken coop should be built in a way that will ensure that your chickens are safe after you locked them in at night. It should keep off predators and rodents such as rats.
- Does the chicken coop provide roosting features? Chickens naturally prefer to stand on roosting bars when sleeping. Your chicken coop should have roosting bars located in a separate sleeping area. The bus should be firm and thick enough to give the chickens a solid grip when sleeping.
- Does the coop have nesting boxes? The chicken coop should also have an ample nesting area where your birds can lie down comfortably. Often 2 or 3 birds will share a nest, so make sure you have enough nesting boxes to accommodate your flock.
- Is the coop insulated? Make sure the chicken coop has proper insulation to protect your chickens from adverse weather conditions. Your flock needs to remain warm inside the coop even in harsh weather conditions.
- Is there good ventilation? A good chicken coop should also provide sufficient ventilation to ensure that there is always enough air circulating inside at all times, especially if you keep a large flock of chickens. Warmer climates should be most concerned about ventilation.
- Is the coop weatherproof? Weatherproofing is also an important factor to consider in chicken coop. Make sure that your chickens will always remain safe and dry even in torrential rain.
- Is the coop mobile? Depending on the size of the coop and your desire for permanence or mobility, you might look into a coop with wheels or a “tractor coop” with wheelbarrow handles to change locations regularly.