CHOOSING, BUILDING AND DESIGNING A CHICKEN COOP
The chicken coop is an important part of poultry farming. It provides your birds with shelter and keeps them safe from predators and the elements. Poultry coops built for small scale or free range chickens are not the same as the chicken houses built for large scale producers.
- For anyone who wants to engage in poultry farming in Africa, the choice of a chicken coup must take into account ventilation and insulation. This will protect the poultry from extreme heat, such as that found in places like Botswana. Chicken need to be comfortable so that they can live well. The structure should be designed to let some sunlight in.
- Always consider that chicken are vulnerable to attacks from predators like dogs, cats and even large rats, which can attack young chicks. Ensure that there are no cracks between the floors and the walls on either side, which allows you to be assured that they cannot be attacked at night. You may want to bury chicken wire one foot deep; this will make sure that even burrowing predators cannot access the poultry coop. One more option, which is popular which chicken farmers from countries in Africa.
- Take into consideration the number of chicken you want to keep. Never overcrowd them because it can lower egg production and increase the likelihood of diseases, some of which are capable of causing major losses. Try to maintain approximately 5 square feet for each chicken.
- Ensure that there are enough nests. Generally, build three nests for eight chickens. This is because hens don’t like their eggs exposed, they want to lay eggs in a private area. In fact, free range chickens have been known to lay eggs in their owners wardrobes! Chicken also need a system for feed and water installed. Each chicken must also have a perch at least 9 inches above the floor. This will keep them safe from cold, in case some air at night leaks in at the bottom and also make them feel comfortable. You also want your chicken coop to be built for your comfort, make sure every part is within easy reach. This will ensure that cleaning is not too difficult. It should be easy for you to collect droppings, if they are needed for use as fertilizer. This means that the floor should slope upwards away from the entrance.
- It is good to take aesthetics into account. A neat looking poultry coop will impress visitors to your farm. This is obviously good for business. On the other hand, a disorderly chicken coop is just plain bad for business.
- Lighting is a very important consideration in putting up a chicken coop. should temperatures go south, there should be electric or fluorescent lamps that can be switched on to help keep the chickens warm.
- Chicken coops are ideal for raising chickens in your backyard for egg consumption, and maybe to sell on a small scale. A bigger project would require a chicken house. Generally, farmers use locally available materials to put up the coop – wood, iron sheet, and chicken wire for the most part.
Other Africa Poultry Information
- Profitable Chicken Farming Business
- Successful Poultry Coop Building
- Build an Affordable Long Lasting Chicken Coop
- Successful Egg Hatching for Baby Chicks
- Successful Chicken Egg Laying Strategies
- Successful Chicken Feeding
- How to Raise Chickens Stress Free
- Raising Chickens for Meat
- Successful Chicken Disease Management
- Chicken Resources