Sep 132010
 

Raising backyard chickens has become more and more popular these days.  With the recent salmonella scares, chicken eggs being contaminated and thousands of people getting sick, it’s no wonder raising chickens has become so popular.  If you are considering raising chickens, then you will need to know where you can find the best chicken coop blueprints.

While there are a lot of standard chicken coop blueprint designs available online, not everyone wants the same old chicken house that the neighbor down the street has.  Given that a large, well constructed chicken coop can cost a lot of money to build, you need to know what before you get started.  Having a very detailed chicken coop blueprint before you get started can make the whole process a lot easier.

Before you start building a chicken coop for your backyard chickens, you have to take a few things into consideration.  Chicken coops may look fairly easy to build but a very good question to ask yourself before you start is, how handy are you?  Are you a DIY warrior who can build anything you set your mind to or do you not know one end of a hammer from another?

Assuming you are a DIY expert, go out there, get chicken coop blueprints that you like and build your own unique chicken coop.  If you are not so handy, you will need to either hire someone to build a chicken coop for you or get a ready made kit that is pretty easy to assemble.

Before you start building your chicken coop, you have to stop and think about the following things:

  • How many chickens you are going to raise?
  • What chicken breeds have you chosen?
  • Will your chickens free range or will you need a portable chicken coop and run?
  • How much room you have for your chickens?
  • What type of fencing you need for predator control?

 After you answer the questions above, you will also need to consider things like:

  • Where to locate your chicken coop for proper drainage, air flow and sunlight.
  • Create easy access areas to allow you to clean, gather eggs and do maintenance.
  • Decide where to install access doors for your chickens.
  • Doors and predator proof latches for your doors.
  • Your structure needs proper ventilation for the health of your chickens.
  • Where are you going to place your nesting boxes?

You could drive yourself crazy trying to figure out some of the things listed above but a good chicken coop blueprint will already have take some of this into account.  If you decide to design your own structure, be sure and consider the things listed above.

Anyone that is fortunate enough to be very handy and owns a lot of tools will be able to go online, locate a couple of chicken coop blueprints and modify them to design your very own, unique chicken house.  I can tell you from personal experience that the pride you feel when you watch your hens scratch around in their new chicken house is second to none.

Assuming you are not so handy with the tools, you can still go online or visit a store like Tractor Supply and find some great chicken coop kits that you can buy.  Usually, they tend to be easy to put together, even if you are not very handy.  But if you don’t feel you are up to the job or you don’t have the right tools, you can always hire someone to build you a chicken coop.

The size, shape and special features of your chicken coop will be impacted by your budget.  The larger your chicken coop is and the more special features you add, the more it will cost to build.  But, the flip side of that is you only have to build a hen house once.   Chickens are not destructive by nature and will not usually deliberately damage your hen house.  So build the biggest and best chicken coop you can the first time around and it will be there for years to come.

Check out these chicken coop plans. You can take a look at everything for $4.95 for 21 days and if you don’t like it, you won’t pay a penny more. These are great designs and are easy to follow.

Jun 292010
 

I have a chicken flock of about 40 hens and roosters and I have three chicken coops.  They usually tend to congregate in one chicken coop which is fine but I have extra hen houses for several reasons.

– If things get too crowded or they have to be locked up for extended periods of time due to bad weather, I can separate them – whether they like it or not!

– If there is a lot of bickering or fighting, I can pull out the offending chicken and put her somewhere else.

– If I notice that the roosters are damaging the hens too badly, I will pull all of the roosters out of the flock for a few weeks until the hens have a chance to recover.  I try to only keep 4 roosters at a time to help minimize the damage.

– I can use an extra chicken house and chicken run to raise chicks in.  Sometimes none of my hens are broody and I will incubate the eggs inside.  Since they don’t have a mom to watch over them, they have to be separated from the flock until they are older.

These are just a few of the reasons why it is a great idea to have more than one chicken coop or hen house.  The more hens and roosters you have, the greater the chances are that you will need more than one chicken coop.

To get some fantastic chicken coop blueprints, check this out.



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Jun 272010
 

I was so excited.  One of my bard rock hens went broody and started collecting a clutch of eggs to sit on.  Everything was going great.  I made sure that she ate and drank every day and she was being a good broody hen. 

On Friday night I candled all 8 eggs and all of them had little baby chicks floating around inside the eggs.  It was so great!  I locked her up tight in her separate little hen house and went to bed happy.

I got up the next morning and walked out to let the hens and roosters out and to check on my broody hen.  To my horror, I found her dead outside her little chicken coop.  Somehow something had managed to pull a board lose and then finished getting in my chewing a hole in the wood chicken coop.  The hole was just large enough for whatever killed her to drag her out of the hen house.  Whatever had killed her hadn’t been able to drag her body off though.

I checked the eggs and they were still there but they were cold.  The eggs were 13 days old by this time and I was sick that they would probably die.  By biggest problem was that I only had a 3 egg incubator so I jumped in my car and drove to Tractor Supply to get a larger incubator.  Luckily they had one in stock so I bought it and got home as fast as I could.

I put all 8 eggs in the incubator right away even though it said to let the temperature stabilize for several hours.  I figured at this point, what could it hurt.  So I sat there literally for almost four hours until I was sure the temperature in the incubator had stabilized.

I figured that I had done all I could do for the moment.  I waited twenty four hours and I candled the eggs again to see if I had any chicks left alive.  At that point I noticed that one of the eggs was actually chipped.  I didn’t hold out much hope for any of them still being alive but to my amazement, they were all still alive!

Now the wait was on to see if all of the baby chicks survived and hatched out ok.


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