So, you’ve bought your chickens, now you need to think about how you’re going to house them safely. Everyone deserves a roof over their heads, and chickens are no different. Finding the right home for your chickens is a big choice, so make sure you get it spot-on. If you cheap out on your chicken set-up, you run the risk of putting your chickens in jeopardy.
Chicken coops are important to install before a chicken can be raised and kept domestically. They’re a protective indoor space that enables your poultry to rest while being protected from predators and weather. It also provides them with a secure place to lay eggs, if egg production is why you have decided to keep chickens.
Sure, chickens need food and water, however, their need for shelter is equally as important – it’s all part of proper chicken maintenance. Wild chickens will instinctively make their homes in hideaways such as bushes and brushes. You can’t simply place a chicken in a garden with no shelter. Chicken safety is an absolute must, which is where a coop comes in.
Leaving a chicken to find shelter could work out badly for you as the owner, as the chickens could choose anywhere as their home. This isn’t great news, as they may end up in a shed or other places you don’t want them to be.
How Does A Chicken Coop Protect Chickens?
The dangers of not having a chicken coop include being attacked by predators such as foxes, hawks, stray cats, dogs, and, to a lesser extent, rats. It’s important to make sure your chicken coop is robust and secure enough to withstand an attack from a predator with sharp claws and teeth.
Contrary to popular belief, foxes don’t just attack at night. They’re quite happy to make their attack in broad daylight. So, don’t be tempted to let your hens loose in the garden if you aren’t around. It’s best to keep your hens in a coop at night to keep them protected and prevent a fox attack.
Foxes are extremely skilled diggers, so be sure to:
- Lock up your chickens in the actual housing part of the coop at night
- Line some bricks and pavers around the outside of the coop to stop foxes from getting inside
There’s no difference between free-range and chicken-run chickens, as a coop’s where these chickens sleep at night. Regardless of the areas in which they’re allowed to roam, they’ll always need a place to rest in the evening. This is why a chicken coop is paramount, as it provides them with a safe and comfortable place to do so.
The basic purpose of a coop is to provide:
- Protection from the elements. Chicken coops keep hens safe from cold winter weather, rainstorms, and warm summer days. Make sure you insulate your coop in winter and provide the correct ventilation to ensure air flows through the structure in humid weather.
- Protection from predators. Foxes, hawks, stray cats, and dogs like to prey on hens, while racoons, rodents, and snakes may take your chicken’s eggs. Look out for an elevated coop that’ll keep your chickens off the ground, making it more difficult for predators to get in. Motion lights and automatic doors are also useful to enhance chicken safety.
- A comfortable place to lay eggs. This is arguably one of the main reasons why a coop is so important. Nesting boxes need to be placed in the coop so your hens have a handy, safe place to lay their eggs peacefully. One nesting box for every four hens is ideal and raising each box a couple of inches off the ground increases safety as well.
- Plenty of food and water. Placing a hen watering system and feeder inside the coop gives your flock a sanitary space to eat and drink each day. The coop helps your birds establish a comfortable routine as well. You can also observe their eating behaviours to make sure each bird has a healthy diet.
- A comfy sleeping place. Just like us, hens need a comfortable place to sleep at night. You could even add roosting bars and other raised spaces – just be sure they’re smooth with rounded edges to stop splinters. Make sure you provide enough perches so there isn’t any squabbling between your birds.
Overall, a chicken coop provides your birds with a comfy living space that is protected and allows you to provide for them. It also allows you to keep all their necessities in one place, including shelter, food, and water.
Eggshell Chicken Coops
At Eggshell Online, we supply safe and secure chicken coops that protect your feathered friends. The right chicken coop is essential for its occupants’ health and happiness. Discover a chicken coop that’s perfect for you and your chickens by contacting Eggshell Online today at 01903756121 or contact us now.