Setting your chicken coop interior successfully is fundamental to the well being of your chickens. Happy chickens lay more eggs and have fewer health problems. This makes a coop interior central to raising chickens.
Each chicken should have at least two square feet of room inside the coop; three is even better. There should be at least one nesting box for every four chickens. There should be enough room in the bedding for all the chickens to stand on it simultaneously. There should be roosting spots available. The roost height should be about 2-3 feet as a minimum.
Ideally, the windows should be facing south. This provides plenty of light during both winter and summer. Not only is sunlight very important for the hens’s comfort and productivity – the windows also will provide warmth during the winter (Of course, if you’re installing heaters this second consideration becomes less important).
Ventilation is very important as it will take care of the odor and help dry the manure. A nice breeze in the summer will keep the hens happier as well.
A gravity feeder makes it easy to keep the hens fed, even if you’re away for a day. If you place feeders and waterers in the interior of your chicken coop, the chickens will have better access to them if these are along the walls. Feeders will prevent the chickens from scratching the food, which could cause some health concerns.
One reason poultry farmers tend to prefer very slanted roofs is that this guarantees the hens won’t lay their eggs on it. If you live in an area that experiences snow in the winter, this makes a second reason why a very slanted roof is a good choice. If you have vents or windows on the eaves, make sure these are covered by mesh wire to prevent small predators from getting in.
Special attention should be given to the floor. The flooring should be dry – damp floors can cause sickness, or create infestations of mites or lice. This makes cement floors the best option – they’re the most sanitary and they keep rodents and predators safely out; but this can be costly. If you’re just getting started, wood flooring is a good option, as long as it’s kept dry. If you’re not using flooring at all, make sure the soil is dry. Place your coop in an elevated area, where moisture won’t accumulate.
A dirt floor is not the best option. If you´re using a dirt floor, place about two inches of sand on it and change the sand at least once a year.
Chicken Coop Interior Resources