Backyard “chickening” is a trend which has taken the world by storm. Those living in an urban or suburban lifestyle are able and excited to have a small taste of farm life right in their backyard. Besides being really fun pets, backyard chickens provide many benefits including fresh eggs (mmm, imagine a spinach omelet straight from your backyard!), fertilizers, meat, and slug control. If you’re looking to add some chickens into your life, your first step is finding the perfect chicken coop for your backyard. Here are some tips to consider when deciding between backyard chicken coops.
Getting Started with Chickens
Getting started with chickens can be a fun and exciting experience. Before getting your backyard chickens, you’ll need to address a few things:
- Check your local ordinances and code regulations to make sure you are legally allowed to own chickens in your area. Some places limit the number of chickens and may require permits for a coop.
- Ask your neighbors how they feel about having some chickens living next door. Even if you’re only planning on owning hens, chickens do make noise and some people aren’t too fond of that!
- Depending on your reasons for owning chickens, you’ll want to read up on the different aspects of having them. For example, if you want pet chickens, you may have to take them to the vet once in a while. It’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of chicken illnesses so you can identify them when you see them.
- Pick out the perfect spot in your backyard for your new companions. You’ll also want to figure out how many chickens you want and what type of coop will work best for them. This is the fun part!
Choosing Your Perfect Backyard Chicken Coops
When choosing the perfect backyard chicken coop, there’s a few things you’ll need you consider:
Functionality: You’ll want to find backyard chicken coops with enough room for your chickens. Ideally, every hen should have around 2-4 square feet of space. Additionally, you’ll need at least one nesting box for every 3-4 hens to lay their eggs. Roosting bars are also crucial to allow your chickens to perch.
Design: For some people more than others, the look of the coop is very important to match the overall theme of your home. There are some great inspirations here and here. Glance over these to learn what your chicken coop taste may be!
The Run: Having a run for your chickens will allow them space to move around, go digging for worms, and stretch out their wings. Depending on your budget and allocated space, this is an important piece to consider for all backyard chicken coops. Free-range is also an option, but beware the potential dangers of predators.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks from people who own chickens!
From Farmer Liz:
Coop placement is important (shade in the Summer, dry location in rainy climates). Don’t plan on just getting a few…it’s an addiction. There will always be more. Make sure the coop and run are predator proof. Research the different breeds as some do better in the heat, some do better in the cold, some lay more eggs than others, some are more inclined to brood and some are more or less friendly than others.
From Chris Anderson:
I’m still fairly new to keeping chickens but I can give you some frustrations and tips I’ve been given. I have lots of fruits and veggies growing in the yard and I am constantly trying to keep the chickens from eating everything when I let them out of the coop. I’ve learned that if you free range them, feed them heavily just before letting them out. Chickens can’t over eat so if they are full they stay out of your goodies.
If you’re looking for the backyard chicken coop of your dreams, make sure to check out Advantek’s line of chicken coops, available online and at hundreds of pet retailers throughout the country!