Your Backyard Chicken Coop & Small Flock
chicken coops are becoming
increasingly popular as more families turn to raising their own egg
laying chickens and even meat birds. Our parents may have been
with buying eggs from the supermarket, but they knew less about the
The way that birds at commercial farms are mistreated is abominable. Most hens are kept in cages too small for them to stretch their wings or turn around. It is really a shame, especially compared to the beautiful environment enjoyed by backyard chickens. As many small chicken flock owners will attest, having your own hens is an enjoyable and rewarding endeavor. But first, it's essential to properly prepare for your birds. They need a structure that will keep them safe from attackers and inclement weather.
>> Want to see coop designs and pictures? Check out these pre- built coops and professional chicken coop plans to find the best coop and chicken run solution for your backyard flock. <<
Our hens get a lot of exercise, thanks to our coop and chicken run and daily free-ranging, yet the eggs they lay are much larger than those you get in a grocery store. Sometimes, it is hard to find an egg carton that will fit the eggs.Depending on where you live, there may be some zoning issues in regards backyard chicken coops and chickens, epecially noisy roosters. You might not be allowed to let your chickens roam freely, but with some of the latest coop designs, you can make it seem like they are roaming.
They call the mobile backyard chicken coops tractors. You can move them around your yard as often as you like. The chickens get to hop down out of their roosts and dig in the grass. They get to eat insects that fly into the cage and worms they dig out of the ground. It’s fun for them and it is enjoyable to watch.
Some of the simplest designs include a half indoor, half outdoor coop. Both sides are on the ground. You can adjust the size to suit the number of birds in your flock. The triangular shaped pattern keeps the costs down and the design is still movable.Research has shown that eggs from commercial farms are alos lower in nutritional value than thsoe from free-range hens. Mass priduced eggs contain fewer antioxidants. Some of the antioxidants found in fresh egg yolks include beta- carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Beta-carotene is the vegan form of vitamin A. It is necessary for good night vision, among other things. Lutein and zeaxanthin are also good for your vision and optical health. Several studies suggest that increased intake of the antioxidants may reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases.
Eggs from commercial farms contain too many omega-6 fats and not enough heart-healthy omega-3s. That is because of the feed the farmers choose. By keeping the hens in cages and feeding them a corn- and soy-based diet, they ensure that the hens will live and priduce eggs for a year, which is the commercial chicken grower's main concern.
The chicken’s natural diet includes grains, grass and insects. Some of our chickens don’t even like corn. It is easy to understand why the eggs in backyard chicken coops are more nutritious. Delightedly, they also taste much better.
There is one thing I will bet; you will enjoy the eggs from your backyard chicken coops, no matter which coop design you choose. You can buy a ready- made coop or build one from plans available for download. Just be careful to buy or use only lumber and building materials approved for outdoor use, such as salt-treated wood or other long-lasting materials that will not rot after some time in the rain and elements.
How to Build a Chicken Coop - detailed plans and construction guide for making backyard coops, including small coops.
These chicken coop plans and building guide are the best I've found, and purchased them myself to build our first coops. There are five different chicken coops included, beginning with the most basic double-story ark and culminating with the largest design, the Chicken Barn with attached screened-in chicken yard. I want to use their plans again for their largest chicken coop, the chicken barn, when we are ready to upsize our chicken flock's habitat. The coop pictured here is a medium-sized all-in-one design.
Recommended Chicken Books:
- Homemade Living - Keeping Chickens: All You Need to Know to Care for a Happy, Healthy Flock by Ashley English
- Storey's Guide - Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow
- Barnyard in Your Backyard - A Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, and Cattle
Favorite Chicken Quotes
“ A chicken you eat only once — eggs a hundred times." ~ Tajikistani Proverb
“ You cannot cook one half of the chicken and leave the other to lay eggs." ~ Sanskrit Proverb
“ You don’t have to kill the chicken to get eggs." ~ French Proverb