All of us, humans, need homes for proper well-being and livelihood. But hey, that isn’t something that you aren’t acquainted with! In a similar fashion, you simply need to attest that quality chicken coops and hen houses are quintessential for these poultry animals. The coop shall be durable enough to provide a protective habitat to safeguard hens from the predators, and also provide a spacious area to roam around. But those are just two of the features that these coops are supposed to have. When looking for the perfect chicken coop, you shall have a keen eye and keep in mind the features to look for. Here’s a brief (yet comprehensive) lowdown that shall come handy:
1. Robust Yet Functional Construction for Year-Round Protection
The coop should act as a shield against any type of elemental changes in the weather. It acts as a strong buffer that refrains the entry of any animal which could harm the chickens. A sudden weather change or a drastic drop in the temperature can have a negative impact on the hens. It is for this reason that you should look for consistency in the construction of the chicken houses. Excess of heat too, can hamper their health. However contradicting it might be, the necessity for window(s) can’t be overlooked as well, as it shall allow enough sunlight to enter the enclosure.
2. Spacious Ambience
The chickens must be provided with a spacious atmosphere wherein the requisite comfort is served to the hens as well as chickens. It gives them more room to play and they gradually develop. Genuinely, it keeps them fit and fine with health and in the longer run they produce healthy eggs. The spacious environment is the key tool to better growth. Smaller species, for example, can be fit in large numbers within an enclosure, whereas bantamweights need larger enclosures for the same numbers.
The fox proof wire is a steel wire strong enough to protect the chicken as well as hens from fox and other predators. The thicker the hardware cloth, the tougher it is to break in. Electric fencing is another thing that can help. Foxes can detect the flow of electric charge through the wires, and are repulsed by them. Other solutions are available in the market as well, which can help you ‘outfox’ these sinister creatures. Oh, and when inside a coop, they can even scamper for every single hen they can get their claws on, rather than just killing the ones they will eventually eat.
4. Sturdy Flooring
Sturdy flooring is as essential to the cage as other aspects. Rats and mice are the biggest threat to the cleanliness and safety of the hens. It is for this reason that you need to have in mind the strength and sturdiness of the floor. The laid eggs are in danger of getting spoilt by the rats, who take shelter below the flooring. You need to take care of proper cleanliness within the enclosure as well since the rodents can start a colony below them rather quickly. Be careful while procuring the chicken houses.
5. Easy Setup and Mobility
The chicken coops come flat-packed many-a-time. And it is for this reason that ease of setup is important to avoid complications. The coops come as a flat-packed commodity and when it comes to design the onus is entirely on you. The setup should be fixed in the manner that there should be enough room for the poultry inside. It should look more spacious so that the chickens develop ideally. Mobility is another aspect that can help in case you need to change the area where the chickens are placed, or get them some sunshine just in case.
6. Roosting Perch, Slide-out Droppings Tray
Hens do need roosting perches as well to bide by their normal behavioural tendencies. The ideal perch width is 5cm for larger fowls and slightly lesser for smaller species. These are essential for the interior of chicken houses. And a slide-out droppings tray, on the other hand, can help you clean the chicken house rather conveniently. Do look for metal linings on the sliding mechanism so that it is durable and lasts.
7. Integrated Chicken Run
Integrated chicken runs can help your hens have room to roam around and thus have a happier sense of being. While most poultry enclosures are devoid of this feature, it’s as essential as other aspects of the coop. If you don’t opt for an integrated chicken run, you can go on and get a standalone chicken run later on, and integrate it with the coop.
While individual mileage might vary, if you do take care of these aspects, you shall definitely not regret your purchase any time soon. The chicken coops play a pivotal role in ensuring a healthy livelihood for the hens. Take note of the points above, and opt for the most suitable hen-house. And by the way, you’re welcome!