Backyard Flock – Coop Considerations

Wheeee! Look at that stock market drop. Now, let’s not all run around like chickens with our heads chopped off.

The plan: feed the family no matter what.

Time to think backyard chickens. Why? See links at bottom.

Moving on.

What does a simple backyard flock need?

A clean, draft-free place to roost at night that is safe from predators.

During the day?

A little fresh air, a nice place to scratch for worms, a good roll in the dirt, followed by a nap in the sun is pretty much all the backyard flock needs to live in bliss. Okay, yes, and a little supplemental feed and clean water, but we will get to that another time.

If you are not handy, you can purchase a coop. More and more places are selling them. For just 2 or 3 hens you might consider using a clamshell dog house. Click here for the mini coop plans. This coop is suitable for the average small suburban family.

My husband and I built our own…just about choked each other, but we did it. See below.

I couldn’t even hammer a nail when we started, but I had the design all worked out. Plus, I was very determined. You can build your own, too. It is an adventure and you’ll save money.

Keep in mind:

The coop:

While coop sellers will tell you that you only need two square feet per standard chicken, the hens will be happier and less prone to peck at one another if you assume 4 square feet per chicken.

So a coop built with the floor size of a single piece of plywood ( 4′ x8′ standard ) could healthily house 8 hens.

The roost:

Figure 1 foot of roost per chicken heiny. I like to keep the roosts all the same height so there is less squabbling at bedtime. The girls get to be like little kids fighting over who gets the top of the bunk bed.

The nest box:

1 square foot per 3 hens seems to work well here. They like a little privacy so a little curtain they can pop through is nice. Or just choose the darkest corner of the coop.

The floor:

With toes that like to grip, your hens will have nice strong legs, if they have a removable raised floor made of 1″x 2″ welded wire. They stay cleaner and healthier, too. I also prefer a solid floor below to keep the mice and rats out. Very easy to clean.

Do a little research. Learn some more. Give it a whirl.

Click here for some other coop plans.

Almost finished here.  Note that the entire wall is hinged for cleaning--chicken door and all.

Almost finished here. Note that the entire wall is hinged for cleaning--chicken door and all.

Here’s a view of the inside. The entire wire floor and all the roosts pop out for a good Fall and Spring scrub.

A glimpse of the inside.

A glimpse of the inside.

Hopefully, better written thoughts:

And just for my humiliation and your entertainment…

Best advice I received from a Great Depression survivor? Raise some chickens. Food and entertainment.

Published in: on February 17, 2009 at 9:38 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] Muller presents Backyard Flock – Coop Considerations; Recession Depression Therapy posted at Recession Depression Therapy, saying, “If your considering a backyard flock of […]

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