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5 Things You Need To Do To Maintain Your Chicken Coops

Raising chickens is a great hobby for many homeowners because of its many benefits. One of the best benefits of owning your own flock of chickens is you have access to organic food. You can choose either raising chickens for their eggs or meat. If you have the experience, you can raise them for both simultaneously. What you do is raise them to maturity until they start to lay their eggs then as soon as they become inactive, you harvest them for their meat.

 

Raising chickens for both their eggs and meat is probably the most efficient way to go about raising chickens. Of course, you need to have enough knowledge when you raise your birds. Below are some of the most essential things you need to consider when building chicken coops.

 

Look at the fence

 

An important part of raising chickens is maintaining their cages or pens. You want to make sure that their cages are functional all the time. You don’t want predators to be able to sneak into their home and wreak havoc inside. A simple running of your hard along the fence is enough to spot potential weak spots.

 

Check the door for any signs of damage

 

Since the door or the hatch on your chicken pen is the only real moving part of the whole thing, you should regularly check it for any damage. You also need to make sure that the door is no bigger than your bigger chicken. This is to ensure that predators can’t squeeze themselves inside your chicken pen.

 

Check your water sources for leaks

 

Keep a close eye on your water sources to ensure they are working properly. A small leak on your water container can leave your birds dehydrated for days. It’s best to check it regularly. Another thing to look out for is the top of the water container. Make sure it doesn’t have any holes in it because a germs and bacteria can easily shoot through the hole, making your birds sick after drinking it. While chickens have strong digestive systems, they are still prone to a slew of parasites.

 

Include perches

 

Add a good chicken perch on your chicken coop. Perch helps ensure that your chickens would have a place to rest during the night to give them enough energy to lay eggs the next day. Make sure that your perch is big enough to avoid in-fighting between your birds.

 

Ensure that your feeders are strong

 

You need to make sure that your feeders can withstand pecking from your birds. They must be strong enough to not budge when being used by a flock of chickens. It is also recommended that you clean it once in a while. Washing it with clean water can be enough to remove germs and bacteria. As I’ve said, chickens are very resilient to germs and bacteria but you still need to be careful about feeding them because you’ll never know.

Chicken Tractor Plans – Making a Chicken Tractor For Your Backyard

If you are interested in poultry farming, you should definitely look into getting chicken tractors. It is one of the most versatile type of home for chickens. The way it is constructed is it is basically a cage for chickens. Think of a normal chicken pen but with wheels – that is exactly what is it.

You may wonder the function of the wheels because if it is just a cage for your chickens, why would it need any wheels, right? To answer that question, you first need to understand how chicken spend their day. Chickens like to run around the backyard and perch the ground to find something to eat. They can easily clear out any backyard of weeds and wild grass if you leave them long enough on it.

Chicken tractors are quite easy to make if you have the right plan for it. They are designed to be moved around with ease so make sure that everything fits snuggly and securely. If you have some basic experience in carpentry, it won’t take you a long while to build your own chicken tractor. Making a functional chicken tractor won’t take you more than a couple of hours. It can easily be accomplished on a weekend if you have the time.

Here are some of the things you need when making your very own chicken tractor:

  • A good chicken tractor plan
  • Lumber or any type of wood of your choosing (make sure the material you use is strong)
  • Chicken fence or wire
  • Measuring tool
  • Basic carpentry tools
  • Patience and ability to follow instruction

Why chicken tractors are great?

Starting out with a chicken tractor is great because it can be dragged around in your backyard with ease. Conventional cages are fixed in an area with little chance of movement unless you really want it moved. Another benefit of chicken tractor is it allows your chicken to move around the backyard without much problem. Cages sometimes restrict movements and exercises for chickens which is bad for them. If you want to remove wild weeds on your backyard, a chicken tractor can definitely help you.

A good chicken tractor plan is crucial though. You want your chicken tractor to be big enough for the number of your chickens. You don’t want them cramped up in a tiny space. You want to give them the maximum amount of space that is possible. The chicken wire also needs to be sturdy to protect your livestock from predators. If you live in an area where there are many predators and wild animals but you want to give your chickens good amount of freedom, chicken tractor is your best bet.

Buying a pre-made on versus building your own

As I’ve said before, if you know basic carpentry, you can easily build your own. However, not everyone has the time to build their own chicken pen. You can always buy pre-made ones but these come it pre-determined sizes. If you have specific needs with regards to dimensions, you need to check their offerings first.

Chicken Runs and Coops – Should You Combine Them?

If you’ve done a bit of research about poultry farming, you know how many times it has been said that chicken runs and coops must be used as one unit. It would be more beneficial for you if you can combine both since every chicken needs their home and a run alongside it. The reason why chicken runs are very important is they allow the chicken to roam around freely and improve their health. We all know that active chickens mean healthier chickens. If you can provide a chicken run alongside the coop or what is considered their homes, it would be safer for them because there is less distance between their run and their home.

Chickens on the run are more susceptible to predators. They are in a more open space which potentially contains many predators. However, you can’t really have a poultry farm without a chicken run. As I’ve said before, chicken runs are important because they let chickens move around freely and be more active.

poultry farming chicken pen

Traditional chicken run

Most chicken runs are measured using a formula of 4 to 6 square feet per chicken. This would give them enough space to move around freely without being too territorial. Give less than enough the recommended space and your chickens will get too territorial. Of course, you can give smaller chickens smaller area but you should adjust that as they get bigger.

It is also recommended that you install perches and walks apart from the chicken run to encourage additional activities. Don’t think for the second that additional activities would tire out your chickens. Chickens will rest once they are tired so you don’t have to worry about tiring them out. Chickens will usually perch near sunset, after they move around inside the run.

Free-range poultry farming

A traditional chicken coop’s main function is to house chickens. It is mostly used for roosting and egg production. The coop is where chickens would lay their eggs. The free-range concept of poultry farming is certainly not new but it is gaining popularity right now. This kind of poultry farming would let the chickens roam around freely and lay their eggs whenever they want to. It is basically giving your chickens all the power to make decisions.

The downside to free-range poultry farming is it leaves the chickens exposed to predators. Without the proper housing and protection, predators can easily snatch them at night. This would lead to lots of casualties. Dealing with predators is actually very tricky and would require vigilance from you. You can avoid all of this if just use traditional chicken coops for your chicken.

Combining chicken coops and runs

Combining chicken coops and runs is certainly a good idea. This would make your chickens safer and healthier. No more worries about predators and inactivity among other things. You can find many chicken coops with runs using the internet. If you want, you can also look into chicken tractors. It is basically a combination of chicken coops and runs, but with wheels.