The most important factor that can never be ignored in the process of keeping chicken in your back yard is the availability of good backyard chicken coops. Just as other birds build nests to rest at night or during certain times of day. Coops are the ultimate shelter for your backyard chicken and you cannot afford to keep chicken without providing them with shelter.
Besides roaming around in the yard, chickens need a homely atmosphere to go back to incase of needs. When chicken want to lay eggs they will automatically run back to the coop and choose a favorable area within to lay their eggs. In the event that there is no coop to go back to under such circumstances, the chicken may resort to laying eggs along the fences or any other funny places where they may feel safe such as flowerbeds or even in the kitchen garden. This habit may result in the loss of several eggs.
Qualities of a good backyard coop
Several designs are available in different shapes, sizes and color. Although the sizes may vary and is mostly determined by the number of hens you have, the most important attribute of good backyard chicken coops is their functionality. The coop must be spacious enough to hold the number of hens intended with estimates of about 2 to 4 square feet per hen. The floor must be made of good material that can hold the wood shavings frequently used as bedding for a long time without rotting. It should also be able to withstand the dampness that it will be subjected to because of the wood shavings. The best material recommended for chicken coops is wood. The coop should have good openings to allow in enough light so that the interior does not become very dark and damp as this condition may give rise to infections.
It is also important to ensure the coop has good height that can allow you the owner to walk in at times when you need to collect eggs or during cleaning. It is equally important to seclude an area to keep the young chicks before they are old enough to mix with the rest of the flock. Having a few perches strategically erected within the coop will give the chicken good perching pleasure since they like perching above the ground.
During extreme weather especially winter, it is advisable to have the temperature of the coops regulated by the use of lamps to prevent the chicken from freezing to death. Chicken can withstand unusually high temperatures but freezing temperatures are a major killer and should be avoided at all costs. Chicken are very punctual and maintain regular times thus for checking in at sunset or leaving the coop at day break, for this reason, it is important to ensure the coop has a secure door which you can lock after they check in and open at day break to ensure their security during the night. It is notable that there are automatic doors for coops, which will open at, designated times and close similarly, perhaps this may save you the pain of having to do it manually every other day.