Of all of the animals that people can raise as pets, chickens are unique. Not only do you get a bird with a unique personality, you get fresh eggs too! Raising chickens contributes to your environmental care, by eating all types of garden pests and grass. They like your leftovers too but beware of garlic and onions, as they tend to make the eggs produced have a unique taste. Chickens are low maintenance pets as well and when you use good chicken house plans for their home, they will require very little.
If you are wondering if raising backyard chickens is for you, there are several considerations to be evaluated first:
Do you have the time? – While they only require less than a half hour a day in maintenance, this can be a deal breaker for some people.
Do you have the space? – When you’re building their chicken coop, it’s highly recommended that you have at least 6 square feet per bird, and the more, the better. Chickens are flock animals so it is also recommended to start out with at least three.
Are chickens allowed in your neighborhood? – You might live in a subdivision or town that has covenants against keeping chickens. Make sure you do your homework before investing any time or money.
Which chicken breed do I chose? – It really depends on the climate that you live in. There are chicken breeds like Langshans that are better suited for cold weather and Blue Andalusians that are hot weather suited. Do some research and find out what breed will work best for your region and your family.
So now you’ve decided that raising chickens is something you’d like to pursue. Now comes the fun part, building a chicken coop. All you need is basic carpentry skills and a good set of chicken house plans. While there are lots of free plans available on the Internet, you get what you pay for; so don’t scrimp on this step. For under $30, you will have an invaluable resource and one of the best can be found here.
Here are some final tips to consider before building the coop:
- The coop should be built in a spot that gets both shade and sun. Chickens get their Vitamin D from the sun so they plenty of access to it.
- The coop area needs to be in an area of the yard that drains well and stays dry.
- The coop should be well ventilated to prevent respiratory disease.
- Consider slanting the roof so it can send rainwater down into a barrel that provides drinking water for the chickens.
- It must be predator proof – use 15mm square wire mesh.
With chicken house plans in hand, in as little as a weekend or two, you can have your coop built and ready go. Building a backyard chicken coop will be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.