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 hen journey, it’s essential to know the fundamentals of constructing and sustaining a hen coop.

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

A small backyard chicken coop
A hen coop’s measurement relies on what number of chickens you personal, so one this measurement is ideal for a few chickens. (RandallJSylvia, Getty Pictures)

Coop Dimension

With regards to constructing or shopping for a hen coop, measurement is a crucial consideration. The quantity of area wanted for every hen will range relying on the variety of birds you intend to maintain, however a normal rule of thumb is to offer 2-3 sq. ft of coop area per hen and 5-10 sq. ft of run area per hen.

Bear in mind —chickens sleep within the air, perched on a limb, so be sure that to incorporate sufficient area for them to sleep comfortably.

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

Coop Elements

A hen coop sometimes 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 area for the birds to sleep, relaxation and take shelter.

With regards to flooring, use supplies like sand, hay or pine shavings. These supplies are snug for the chickens and straightforward to wash. Additionally they take in 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 area, perches, and appropriate supplies for the birds, will make sure that they’re snug 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 Pictures Signature)

Egg Manufacturing

A wholesome hen will sometimes lay one egg per day, together with her reproductive cycle lasting between 24-27 hours. Nonetheless, the precise egg manufacturing can range relying on quite a few elements reminiscent of the quantity of daylight, consolation, predators, and diet.

  • Daylight: Chickens want a minimum of 14 hours of daylight with the intention to lay eggs. Within the winter, when daylight are shorter, egg manufacturing will naturally lower. You need to use synthetic gentle to complement the daylight, nevertheless it’s essential to make use of the suitable kind of sunshine and the correct amount to keep away from stressing the birds.
  • Consolation: Chickens want a clear, dry and protected place to put their eggs. A well-maintained hen coop with nest containers will present the consolation and safety that chickens want to put eggs.
  • Predators: Chickens that really feel threatened by predators is not going to lay eggs. It’s essential to guard your chickens from predators by securing the coop and the encompassing space.
  • Diet: Chickens want a balanced weight loss plan that gives the required vitamins for egg manufacturing. Feed particularly formulated for laying hens will present the suitable stability of protein, calcium, and different important vitamins.

Apparently sufficient, a rooster just isn’t essential 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’ll need 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 reminiscent of corn, barley, oats, wheat or different grains. (maerzkind, Getty Pictures)

Hen Meals

There are a number of varieties of hen meals out there in the marketplace, every designed to fulfill the particular dietary wants of chickens at completely different phases of their life.

  • Starter feed: This sort of meals is formulated for chicks throughout their first six weeks of life. It comprises a excessive stage of protein, round 20-24 %, to assist them develop and develop shortly.
  • Grower feed: Because the chicks develop, they want completely different meals. Designed for chickens between 6-20 weeks previous, grower feed comprises a decrease protein stage round 16-18 % as they don’t want as a lot protein as once they had been chicks however nonetheless want sufficient to assist their development.
  • Layer feed: Chickens are adults as soon as they attain 20 weeks previous, in order that they now want a special kind of meals. Layer feed is formulated for egg-laying hens, so it comprises a better stage 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 measurement and are usually extra palatable for chickens.
  • Mash: Mash is made by mixing collectively completely different grains and protein sources. It’s normally moist and straightforward for chickens to eat.
  • Scratch: Scratch is a kind of feed that’s made up of entire grains reminiscent of 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)

Price to Feed Chickens

With regards to feeding your chickens, a great 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 hen 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 by day, it’s a small value to pay for the scrumptious, contemporary eggs they supply.

Along with common hen 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 and so they normally value round $10-15.

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