Poultry Housing (Chicken Coops) – Where and When to Buy Chicken Coops
The best time to buy a house is before the chickens arrive, but you would be surprised how many people buy on impulse, at a show for example, and then bring them home where there is no house awaiting them.
There are several options when it comes to housing. There may be a manufacturer locally who has a ready made range or will make a house to order Perhaps a nearby garden or pet centre sells them.
It is also worth checking with pet and livestock feed suppliers for they often act as local agents for national suppliers. We are are fortunate in the UK in having several manufacturers who will supply by mail order.
The houses may come as flat packs for self-assembly, or the manufacturer may erect the housing himself. Another option is to make a house and run yourself. There are plans available from a number of sources.
Positioning Your Poultry Housing
The ideal position is a sunny, well-drained area where there is also shade and wind protection. Hens do not like wide open spaces, for they have an instinctive fear of large birds of prey.
When one remembers that they are descended from the wild Red Jungle Fowl, this is not surprising. A plane overhead is a bird of prey to a chicken. Trees, shrubs, fences or walls provide a sense of security as well as weather protection, and the average garden usually provides these.Place the house so that the pop-hole (the hens’ door) is on the side protected from the prevailing wind. If there is still a whistling wind funnelling into your garden, consider putting a ‘porch’ around the pop-hole, or place some sort of screen, such as garden mesh, straw bales or wattle hurdles to deflect the wind.
Houses are available in different sizes, so it is important to get one that is appropriate for the number of birds likely to be kept. Ideally, this is a maximum of 10 birds per sq. metre or 15kg live-weight of birds per 1 sq. m of floor space.
Remember that if you have large breeds such as Brahmas, the normal nest boxes and pop-holes may be too small for them. It is something to mention before ordering, for some manufacturers will adapt their designs and build to order
This article is taken from Starting with Chickens by Katie Thear
Further Articles on Keeping Chickens
- DIY Chicken Coop Planning – Building Your Own Chicken Coop
- Poultry Housing – Chicken Coops Checklist
- Poultry Housing – Chicken Fencing & Protection
- Poultry Housing – The Chicken Run
- Poultry Housing – Where to Buy Chicken Coops
- Omlet Automatic Chicken Coop Door Review & Test