What Is A Chicken Coop?
With all the recent concern about the economy and the future, many people have taken an interest in raising some of their own food. They do this to save money and also be ready for any further shocks to the world economy. While plenty of people take up gardening and leave it at that, others go one step further and raise certain breeds of livestock that do not need very much room. Among these breeds are chickens. However, if you want to raise chickens in your back yard, you will need a chicken coop. There are different opinions about the right style of coop.
What Is a Chicken Coop?
A chicken coop is an essential part of taking care of chickens. While these creatures may like to roam around while they feed during the day, they are not capable of making their own homes in the wild like many other animals. Chickens are not going to build very good nests and over exposure to the elements will just make them less productive egg-layers and less tasty to eat.
This coop provides shelter from heat and cold for these birds. If you are keeping chickens for their eggs, this tiny structure should probably have proper next boxes for their egg laying. Furthermore, you may want this coop to have some perches where they can sleep comfortably. Coops built for neat birds will not need such accommodations.
The floor of a coop should be covered with materials such as tiny wood chips or even straw to absorb the chicken droppings and make it easier to clean. When the time comes, you just need to scoop this conglomeration up and replace it with fresh material to keep your poultry healthy. It will also help to have some ventilation in the coop to keep the smell down and allow the birds to breathe relatively fresh air.
Two Types of Chicken Coops
The exact kind of coop that you build or buy will depend on your own desires and needs. However, there are two basic types of coops that reflect opposing feelings about the needs of these birds. You will need to decide which philosophy to follow before you buy or build your first coop.
The fresh air school of poultry raising claims that these birds are hardy enough for the outdoors and suffer from being confined. This school of thought recommends that chicken coops have a great deal of ventilation or even stand with one side completely open, providing minimal refuge from the elements. They even recommend these coops for the winter. They may have wire mesh doors as their greatest barrier between the birds and the outdoors.
Others believe that chickens, while hardy, benefit from greater protection and better succeed in avoiding illness and injury if you provide them with the controlled environment of a closed chicken coop. These coops will provide ventilation with windows and doors that can be completely shut when the elements require more protection for the chickens.