Have you always wanted farm fresh eggs and a backyard chicken coop but thought you couldn’t since you live in the city? While there are some cities that don’t allow any type of farm animal, many cities do and if you live in one of them, you’ll be allowed to have chickens and farm fresh eggs right outside your back door.
However, some of these cities that allow chickens to be kept do not allow roosters due to the crowing and complaints from neighbors. You’ll want to check with your city to make sure you’re not breaking any animal nuisance laws.
The reasons for keeping chickens vary from wanting fresh eggs to wanting a different kind of pet to desiring a bit of the country in the city. Not only can there be a savings on the grocery bill by producing eggs for family use, but many neighbors are joining together to create chicken projects. They’re splitting costs of the materials to build the backyard chicken coops as well as the cost of the feed and incidentals.
If you figure that you want to have a coop for hens of your own, they’re not at all difficult to build, plus you can design your own plans to make the coop look like a little house or barn rather than the traditional coop you may remember. All it takes is a little planning before you get started.
You’ll need to make sure you plan enough space for each chicken as over crowded conditions can lead to sickness among the chickens. The general rule of thumb for space is to have approximately four square feet of space for each chicken though it never hurts to have more. As you’re building the chicken coop take into consideration the area where you live.
If you live in a northern state where snow and ice are a regular part of the weather, you’re going to need a coop that’s adequately insulated to keep the chickens warm. You don’t want to have to bring them indoors for them to survive. If you happen to live in an area where the winters are not as harsh, but the summers are scorchers, you’ll have to make sure the coop is built to provide maximum cooling.
When building the home for your chickens, you don’t have to spend a lot of money buying brand new materials. You can build it from recycled materials, such as wood left over from a home project – even hinges salvaged from old kitchen or bathroom makeovers can be put to use as hinges for a chicken coop door.
Whatever materials you use to build your backyard chicken coops, make sure you’ve provided good ventilation in the snug home for your chickens otherwise you can get an ammonia build up that’s not good for you or the chickens.