Ask Danny | Ep. 27: Constructing & Sustaining a Yard Hen Coop

At present’s Home-owner TV host Danny Lipford and At present’s Home-owner Media Manufacturing Supervisor Corey Wilson. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Elevating yard chickens is usually a enjoyable and rewarding expertise, offering contemporary eggs and even a supply of companionship. Nonetheless, earlier than you begin your yard rooster journey, it’s necessary to know the fundamentals of constructing and sustaining a rooster coop.

At present’s Home-owner Manufacturing Supervisor Corey Wilson is becoming a member of me to talk rooster.

A small backyard chicken coop
A rooster coop’s dimension is determined by what number of chickens you personal, so one this dimension is ideal for a few chickens. (RandallJSylvia, Getty Photographs)

Coop Dimension

In the case of constructing or shopping for a rooster coop, dimension is a vital consideration. The quantity of house wanted for every chicken will fluctuate relying on the variety of birds you propose to maintain, however a normal rule of thumb is to supply 2-3 sq. ft of coop house per chicken and 5-10 sq. ft of run house per chicken.

Bear in mind —chickens sleep within the air, perched on a limb, so ensure to incorporate sufficient house for them to sleep comfortably.

Chicken coop or hen house
Hay flooring absorbs moisture so the underside of the rooster coop stays dry and smells contemporary. (GarysFRP, Getty Photographs Signature)

Coop Parts

A rooster coop usually contains a number of key components: nesting containers, roosts, runs, and an enclosed space for sleeping and safety.

Nesting containers present a protected and safe place for chickens to put their eggs, whereas roosts give the birds a spot to sleep.

Runs are important for train and foraging. The enclosed space serves as a protected house for the birds to sleep, relaxation and take shelter.

In the case of flooring, use supplies like sand, hay or pine shavings. These supplies are comfy for the chickens and straightforward to wash. In addition they soak up moisture, which helps preserve the coop dry and smelling contemporary.

A well-built and maintained coop is essential for the well being and well-being of your chickens. Offering sufficient house, perches, and appropriate supplies for the birds, will be sure that they’re comfy and wholesome and may produce eggs effectively.

White hen laying eggs in a chicken coop
Egg-laying chickens lay as much as one egg per day at their peak. (georgeclerk, Getty Photographs Signature)

Egg Manufacturing

A wholesome hen will usually lay one egg per day, together with her reproductive cycle lasting between 24-27 hours. Nonetheless, the precise egg manufacturing can fluctuate relying on numerous components comparable to the quantity of daylight, consolation, predators, and diet.

  • Daylight: Chickens want at the least 14 hours of daylight with a view to lay eggs. Within the winter, when sunlight hours are shorter, egg manufacturing will naturally lower. You need to use synthetic gentle to complement the sunlight hours, however it’s necessary to make use of the correct sort of sunshine and the correct quantity to keep away from stressing the birds.
  • Consolation: Chickens want a clear, dry and protected place to put their eggs. A well-maintained rooster coop with nest containers will present the consolation and safety that chickens want to put eggs.
  • Predators: Chickens that really feel threatened by predators won’t lay eggs. It’s necessary to guard your chickens from predators by securing the coop and the encircling space.
  • Diet: Chickens want a balanced food plan that gives the required vitamins for egg manufacturing. Feed particularly formulated for laying hens will present the correct stability of protein, calcium, and different important vitamins.

Apparently sufficient, a rooster is just not mandatory for a hen to put eggs. Hens will lay eggs whether or not or not there’s a rooster current. Nonetheless, if you wish to breed chickens, you will want a rooster.

Chicken feed with many different sorts of grain, corn and seed
Hen scratch is a kind of feed that’s made up of entire grains comparable to corn, barley, oats, wheat or different grains. (maerzkind, Getty Photographs)

Hen Meals

There are a selection of kinds of rooster meals obtainable in the marketplace, every designed to fulfill the particular dietary wants of chickens at completely different phases of their life.

  • Starter feed: This kind of meals is formulated for chicks throughout their first six weeks of life. It incorporates a excessive degree of protein, round 20-24 %, to assist them develop and develop rapidly.
  • Grower feed: Because the chicks develop, they want completely different meals. Designed for chickens between 6-20 weeks previous, grower feed incorporates a decrease protein degree round 16-18 % as they don’t want as a lot protein as once they have been chicks however nonetheless want sufficient to assist their progress.
  • Layer feed: Chickens are adults as soon as they attain 20 weeks previous, in order that they now want a special sort of meals. Layer feed is formulated for egg-laying hens, so it incorporates the next degree of calcium to assist the formation of eggshells.
  • Pellets: These small, easy-to-eat items are handy to make use of and retailer, and are sometimes used as a whole feed for chickens.
  • Crumbles: Just like pellets, crumbles are additionally compressed, however they’re smaller in dimension and are typically extra palatable for chickens.
  • Mash: Mash is made by mixing collectively completely different grains and protein sources. It’s often moist and straightforward for chickens to eat.
  • Scratch: Scratch is a kind of feed that’s made up of entire grains comparable to corn and barley. Chickens are inspired to forage, so this kind of meals is can used as a deal with.

Chickens gathered along a fence outside their chicken coop
On common, a flock of 10 chickens will devour about one bag of feed each three weeks. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Value to Feed Chickens

In the case of feeding your chickens, a very good rule of thumb is to plan for about one bag of meals each three weeks for a flock of 10 hens.

On common, a bag of rooster feed can value wherever from $40 to $50. This will likely look like loads, however when you think about the truth that chickens will lay eggs nearly day-after-day, it’s a small worth to pay for the scrumptious, contemporary eggs they supply.

Along with common rooster feed, present your birds with oyster shells for calcium. That is important for sustaining the power of their eggshells. You should buy oyster shells in a bag they usually often value round $10-15.

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