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Chicken coops and chicken runs
A chicken coop also known as a hen house is a building that chicken are kept. A coop could either be purchased as pre-built kits or they could also be made from scratch. Proper chicken coops should have the following features; chicken runs, the hen house, the perch or the roost, a chicken feeder, a chicken waterer and a nest box. The chicken run is a secure place where the chicken stays when not in the chicken coop.
The chicken runs have a role of protecting the chicken from predators and also help in containing the chicken in one area. Before purchasing or building a chicken run one needs to consider the number of chicken that he has and also how much space the chicken will need. This will prevent one in wasting money and time on a run that is too small to accommodate his chicken.
As much as chicken runs allow fresh air and adequate sunshine, they also tend to expose the chicken to predators, both the domestic and the wild. For instance, if the run is near a grazing area, the grazing animals will want to reach the vegetation that is in the chicken run. This call for one to choose the most appropriate fencing for the run that will suit different environments and circumstances. The different types of fencing are the chicken wire, the electric fencing, wooden fencing, the chain link fencing and the netting.
Chicken runs are very important and it offers various benefits to both the chicken and the owner. If one is wondering about the necessity of having a chicken run, here are some of the reasons as to why the runs are essential.
1. Cleanliness. A chicken run facilitates an easy cleaning process. By simply moving the hens to the run, one will have plenty of space to tidy up and clean up the chicken coop.
2. Safety. A chicken run allows the hens to enjoy the fresh air and sunlight as safe and sound as ever. The run will prevent the risks posed by predators especially in the gardens that are less secure or in those communal farms that have no proper fencing.
3. Fitness. Just like human beings, animals too need to keep fit. The run allows the chicken to move around and stretch their legs and by doing so they keep fit ad healthy. The good thing about chicken coops with runs is that one does not need to constantly keep watch over the chicken or worry as the chicken will move freely around without getting into any harms way.
4. Weather friendly. The chicken coop with a run is appropriate for all kinds of weather. For instance, during the rainy or windy season, the chicken will stick indoors in the coop, but during the sunny weather the chicken are free to get out and wander around without any form of harm such as being blown away by a gale.
5. Happy chicken. Though living in a chicken coop is luxurious for the chicken, having a chicken run will ensure the hens stay happy and healthy as they will have freedom, get sunshine and fresh air and also keep fit. This will further facilitate productiveness.
There are different types of chicken runs. The portable, fixed and split coops.
1. A portable or a mobile run is a coop that is a coop is a good one since one is able to move it from one place to another. It is suitable for those that want to move it around the compound. For instance, during spring, one would move the coop to a place where there is adequate sunlight for the chicken, while during the summer one could move it to a place where there will be sunshine in the early morning and good warm shade during the afternoon. The pros of this type of coop is that it can be easily transported to another temporary location whenever necessary, the maintaining and the cleaning process is easier and they do not require a large space. The disadvantage of this is that it is not as durable as the fixed coop due to the wear and tear due to regular movement.
2. Fixed chicken run are stuck in one area and so they cannot be moved from one place to another. Due to the fact that they are permanent structures, the fixed coops are more durable. the requirement for a fixed coop are that one should have adequate space for the coop before purchasing or building it, since one it is set it will not be moved. Also one needs to locate this coop at a convenient location, a place that will not cause any inconvenience to him or his neighbor.
3. Another type of chicken run is the split chicken run. This is a fenced in run that is connected to a fixed chicken coop and which has a divider fence at the middle. The divider fence prevents the chicken turning the grass into gravel as they will keep alternating from the two sides.
Chicken coops come in different sizes and designs. The type of chicken coop one should have should depend on the number of chicken. A good coop should be the appropriate size for the chicken so as to provide adequate space which will ensures that the chicken remain productive and happy. A chicken should have a minimum share of three square feet of the coop space.