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Chicken Coops

Backyard Chicken Coops Picture

Chicken Coops

The primary purpose of having a chicken coop is to provide your roosters and laying hens with an environment that will protect them from danger and the elements. That’s what chickens need. With this in mind, good chicken coops should be sturdy enough to hold them and protect them from predators. It should also be designed for easy cleaning, should be well-ventilated, and be placed in a location where the temperature remains quite stable. That means that it should not be too hot OR too cold.

Be reminded that the natural environment of chickens is the forest, where they are around greens, bugs and insects. As such, they should have access to fresh grass and forage. However, if this is not possible, you should have a coop that you can move around so that your chickens can be given the opportunity to get the necessary nutrients from the ground.

Separate chicken coops also serves to confine sick chickens and prevent the spread of infection to other birds. Ideally, the infected coop should be placed farther from the other chicken coops where the healthy chickens are housed.

Basic chicken coops should have a roost, about a couple of inches in diameter for your birds to perch on at night. This should be placed securely a few feet from the ground and should be comfortable enough for them to sleep on.

You can also fill your chicken coops with bedding, either made from sawdust, straw or wood chippings. This is to give your chickens added comfort and prevent bumblefoot, a condition which is associated with cuts that your chickens can get from stepping on rocks and sharp objects from the ground. When the cut gets contaminated with bacteria and other viruses, it gets inflamed. Bumblefoot needs to be treated or else it can affect the productivity and overall health of your chickens.

However, the bedding needs to cleaned regularly, because the bedding can harbor bacteria that can cause diseases in your flock. The bedding should be changed as soon as you see that it is full or smelly with chicken droppings.

Chicken coops can also come with a run or a little area where your chickens can run and peck.  This enclosure is important since it gives them the necessary exercise to prevent fat depsits in their bodies which makes them less fertile. Moreover, chickens who are able to exercise have stronger bones and muscles. If you are raising chickens for meat, it is believed that giving them larger runs accounts for tastier meat.

A run gives your birds the freedom to move about protected from predators, especially when you are not around to oversee them. It also gives them the benefit of sunlight which improves overall health. When you confine your flock to chicken coops with a run, you also prevent them from running around your yard and pooping everywhere. And since chickens scavenge on plants and insects, they can be potentially destructive to your garden. So enclosing them in a coop with a run attached gives them the exercise and sunlight they need without causing any damage to your property.

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