Chicken Coops For Protection and Comfort
Your Eggs Are The Best Eggs
We know the benefits of having our own homegrown foods. We know where they came from, we know what fertilizers have been added and how they have been handled and processed for eating. One of the most satisfying foods you can have on hand are your own chicken produced eggs. It is so important that you take proper care of your chickens in order for them to produce eggs at all, and a major consideration is their protection and comfort.
Why do organic chicken eggs taste better? Your home chickens will eat a variety of grains, bugs, worms, snails and even dirt. This variety in their diet leads to a healthy egg that has a bright yellow yolk. Factory chickens are fed a diet of quick gruel and that's it. Cheaper to feed, but does nothing at all for the flavor. The chickens are also dosed with big doses of antibiotics which end up in the eggs, and the eggs themselves get a chemical bath to make them white and shiny. Not hard to figure out why it's a great idea to have your own home-grown eggs!
Chicken Coop, House, Run or Tractor?
It is a fact that happy chickens lay more eggs. They want a place out of the weather and would much rather lay their eggs in a protected roost rather than under a bush somewhere. Your enclosure should also protect your chickens from predators and have plenty of room to move around and relax. This is when you will get the most number of eggs.
A chicken coop is a self-contained house with walls, floor and a door
A chicken house is a building with proper ventilation and easy access for you
A chicken run provides controlled access to bigger areas, separate or attached to coop
A chicken tractor is similar to a coop, but portable and has no floor
Free-range chickens have no enclosure at all and in the right conditions, a combination of free-range and chicken coop will yield the happiest chickens. Remember though, when your chickens are left to roam freely, they are at the greatest risk to predators and toxic plants. You will also find not-so-chicken-friendly dogs will show up at your place.
Building Your Own Chicken Coop
There are so many options and variations for building your own chicken coop. Depending on the size and whether or not you are wanting a coop you can enter, and stand up in, your project can easily be completed in a weekend. There is quite a lot of satisfaction to have your first chickens safely scratching about in the chicken coop and "run" you, yourself have constructed.
I tend to do best with easy instructions that lay out what materials I'm going to need, and even pictures that show me step-by-step how to build something that is going to last many years.
I will tell you that the Ebook, "Building A Chicken Coop", by Bill Keene is probably the best I have come across for having easy instructions and diagrams that truly could be used by a total beginner. There are a lot of extras that show you the cheapest materials to use for building, and the best positioning for the coop, and lots more. I love Ebooks as you can use the information almost instantly.
Keep Them Chickens Happy
A happy chicken is a clean and safe chicken that can get to the bugs and grubs in the yard. A run paired with a coop or house is an ideal situation.
Check that they have fresh water a couple of times a day, or provide an automatic waterer and feeder to free you up for other duties.
Using the droppings in your compost bin or sprinkling it directly on your garden makes for great fertilizer and your neighbors would even appreciate some!
Don't forget to include nesting boxes in your hen house, and fill them with straw to keep the hens comfy and to protect the eggs. You will want to change out the straw regularly.
- Bantam Chickens
Bantam chickens have been domesticated for centuries. In fact, they are one of the oldest known domestic animals. Marco Polo wrote about banties in his journal. While all bantams are chickens, not all chickens are banties.
- Benefits of Free Range Chickens and Their Eggs
If you are aware of current food trends then I am sure you have heard the phrase