Tips for Chicken Coop Designs

By Kor Rassad

If you've taken an interest in chicken-raising, either as a hobby or a way to acquire eggs and chicken meat without having to buy them from the grocery store, how to house your new birds will be one of the first things you want to tackle. The standard for housing poultry is to build them a comfortable chicken coop to live in. Of course, how you construct it will vary depending on your specific scenario, how many chickens you plan on keeping, what kind of area you live in, and so forth.

Regardless, though, there are some aspects of chicken coop designs that are identical no matter the circumstances.

* Make sure your birds have enough living space. Inside the coop, you'll want to give them at least 4 square feet each in total area. This means if you have 5 chickens, you need to have at least 20 square feet for them to live comfortably in the coop.

* Make sure you leave room in the plan to attach a chicken run outside the coop itself. Chickens need 10 square feet each to walk around in, otherwise they will feel cramped.

Other than these space concerns, much of what you look for in your chicken coop designs is up to you. You can design the exterior of the coop to look like anything you want, from a victorian house or a greek temple to a functional and minimalist wooden box. One thing you should make sure to keep in mind, though, is that your coop will need to be big enough for you to get inside for cleaning purposes. If you can't get into it, your job of keeping your chickens healthy and happy will be that much more difficult.

A few other things you want to include, regardless of your chicken coop designs are adequate ventilation and predator protection. There are many animals which prey on poultry, from foxes and hawks to wolves, wild dogs, and even wild cats. With all this to worry about, your birds will feel much safer"and thus, will be much more productive and healthy"if you ensure that their home is solid and hard for wild animals to get into. Use solid wooden walls instead of a wire frame mesh. Of course, you shouldn't use wood to frame your chicken run; for that job, wire frame mesh is just fine.

Ventilation is important because chickens do not like extremes in temperature regardless of whether it's too hot or too cold. They prefer cool weather, but if it's too cold they will get just as unhappy as if it's too hot. Make sure you include some windows when planning out your chicken coop designs to account for this preference of your birds. A window towards the top is a good idea, because the hot, stale air will go out of it naturally, and you won't have to worry about installing some kind of mechanical system to circulate air.

Other ideas include adding nesting boxes for your hens to lay eggs in, roosts for them to sleep on, and easy-to-clean bedding boxes for the chicken droppings to fall into. Roosts are especially important, because chickens do not like sleeping on the ground. Regardless of how you make your chicken coop designs, just make sure your chickens have enough room and stay comfortable. They'll thank you for it. - 32515

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The Incredible Chicken Coop Plan

By Kor Rassad

To avoid any problems after the chicken coop is finished and ready, it is imperative to start out right. Before you go ahead with the construction, contact your municipality or local council and learn about the regulations on keeping chicken in residential areas and ensure that you are not breaking any laws.

Next, do some research on plans for chicken coops and shortlist a few that you prefer. You can find a multitude of options online, at the local library as well as the local bookstore. After this, try to get the plans for the chicken coops you like. Choose one and you can use this as the base for your coop plan.

Now go out in your backyard and decide where you will place your coop. Keep in mind the dimensions of the plan and ensure that it will fit. Each chicken needs 4 square feet of space to itself, and if you don't plan to add a run, then make that 10 square feet.

Also consider the following factors:

1. Is there enough natural sunlight available for the coop? 2. The ground should be well drained and must not be damp or wet. 3. Check for the nearest water outlet for cleaning. 4. Will the coop be exposed to any drafts? 5. Check if the boundary or fence will be strong enough to withstand predators. 6. Are hawks and owls a problem? You many need a net on the coop for security. 7. The ground should slope so that water doesn't collect in puddles. 8. The coop must not be too close to the neighbor's house. 9. The coop should not stick out like a sore thumb in the surrounding area.

The next step is to sketch out the coop to figure out the technicalities of the plan. This must include:

Windows for sunlight

1. Vents 2. Feeders 3. Perches 4. Lights 5. Flooring 6. Nesting boxes

The placement of these must avoid:

7. Dampness 8. Lack of light 9. Moisture 10. Smell caused by the buildup of carbon monoxide 11. Feeder height should be appropriate, and 12. Safety

Now that these have been sorted out, you can now start with the coop plan. You might want to work out an estimated cost of the materials and construction. Once everything is sorted out, it is most likely that you will not face any problems with your coop. - 32515

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Chicken Coop Plans - Elements for Success

By Kor Rassad

There is much more to selecting a chicken coop plan than just the aesthetics of the designs. It is essential that the design fits into that of your backyard, but there are other factors that you must take into account while choosing plans.

You chickens need a particular amount of space to be happy and healthy. Each chicken should have at least four square feet of space all to itself, as overcrowding often results in feather picking as their quality of life is reduced, and is even known to cause cannibalism.

Light is another important factor in chicken coop plans. Light is needed to stimulate the laying of eggs in the coop, and is important if you want your chickens to lay eggs throughout the year. Electric or tungsten bulbs should be placed inside the coop to provide light. These even serve as a source of warmth on colder days.

Chickens possess a natural instinct to perch, hence it is necessary that you give perches so that they don't perch on the feeders or nesting boxes as this leads to these areas being covered in chicken droppings, which you don't want. Eight inches per chicken is enough.

As strange as it may sound, chickens sweat. Chickens can live in cold conditions but not in moist ones so it is essential to their health that you add vents to your design. They can be in the shape of small windows or vents in the walls, but it shouldnt be windy inside the coop. you can make this possible by ensuring that the side which has the vents doesn't face the wind. By doing this, you will allow fresh air and oxygen to enter the chicken coop while letting the moisture and stale air escape.

You will also need nesting boxes if you want your chickens to lay eggs. Six chickens can share one nest, but these must be dark. Make sure that they are four inches deep and fill them with wood shavings or straw.

Your chickens must be safe from predators such as hawks, raccoons, coyotes, foxes and rats. Ensure that the structure is strong and that it is impossible to be knocked over by a person. Add wire fencing around the coop, up to one foot deep underground so that rodents and foxes cannot dig through.

Remember that these predators can be quite cunning so be certain that your coop is safe from them. - 32515

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What is a Chicken Ark?

By Kor Rassad

A chicken ark is a particular kind of housing for chickens that is a bit different from a regular chicken coop. In the United States, this kind of housing is often referred to as a chicken tractor instead, but the building is the same thing. It's just the name that's different. Essentially, it is a portable chicken coop without a floor. This makes some things, like cleaning, much easier, because most chicken droppings will simply fall directly to the dirt.

The most common design for a chicken ark is an A-frame, which is kind of the same structure as a saw-horse. For this kind of ark, you attach two end-pieces with a long horizontal beam at the top. The end-pieces consist of two beams put together with roughly a 45 degree angle (or greater). These vertical beams are then connected to each other with a cross-piece, forming roughly the same shape as a capital A, hence the name A-frame.

Once you have the frame constructed, you can attach walls, chicken or similar wire, and nest boxes and a roost within the frame itself. Since there is no floor, and not a whole lot of heavy wood attached to the chicken ark, this type of house for your birds is usually more easy to move around your garden. You can attach wheels to it to make the process even easier. This type of design is not perfect, though, because the lack of floor makes it a bad choice for cold environments. If you live somewhere that gets extremely cold, you may wish to consider using a different kind of portable chicken coop instead, or your birds will get sick from the temperature.

A different design looks more like a wheel-barrow or hand-cart, with a more traditional coop on the end in place of the cart. This design is still very portable, and still has a wire walls at the bottom with no real floor on the coop part of the ark, but provides a little bit more protection from the heat. They are also heavier, though.

Another problem with using a chicken ark instead of a traditional coop to house your poultry is that they are not very predator-proof. Since the construction of the bottom part consists largely of wire mesh, your birds will not feel very safe if there are animals prowling about which want to eat them. The lack of a floor means that if any predators manage to get in through that wire, your chickens will be in dire straits indeed. Make sure you don't have large numbers"or ideally any"natural predators of chickens if you construct an ark.

However, if predators and temperature are not big problems where you live, then a chicken ark may be the ideal solution if you plan on raising chickens. They are very easy to clean, and most designs come with detachable walls to make this even easier. They can also help to let your chickens range the yard without walking completely free, which while nice is not always an option. For instance, if you live in a suburban area but have a very large garden, this kind of housing is probably a much better bet than a larger coop and just letting your birds walk free, where they will probably get into your neighbours' gardens as well. - 32515

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Having Fun with Hummingbirds in Your Backyard.

By Van Wystan

Numerous things can be done to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Some easy adjustments can be made to make your garden hummingbird friendly, so that you are rewarded with the presence of feeding and nesting hummingbirds alongwith their young ones.

The diet of hummingbirds consists of insects, flower nectar or artificial sugar water. Thus, artificial sugar water solution can be kept in your garden to attract them. The hummingbirds do not have any sense of smell and they rely on sites to find their source of food. If you are making a first attempt to feed the birds, you can hang or plant some red flowers near the feeder. The hummingbirds will be attracted to these red flowers and will easily find the feeders.

The hummingbirds are attracted to the red color, so any feeder having red on it will attract the birds. If your feeder doesn't have the red color, an artificial red flower can be tied to the feeder and stay away from using the red food coloring in the sugar water which is harmful to them. You must also remember that the hummingbirds are very territorial. Male hummers may show their dominance by hovering or chasing away the other hummers from their feeders. So you can add other hummingbird feeders to your garden and thereby attract more of these birds.

You should use the standard sugar water solution for feeding the hummingbirds. Make this solution at home which you can store in the refrigerator for a week. Avoid using honey or sugar substitutes for feeding the birds which can harm them, as honey promotes a fatal fungal disease and sores in the mouth of hummingbirds. Placing the feeder in a shady and cool spot will prevent the nectar's spoilage.

Hummingbirds are habitual creatures and will be discouraged from returning to the feeders in your garden if the nectar is bad. Thus, it is important to keep the feeders clean as sugar water ferments in hot weather. The feeders have to be cleaned every 2-3 days using hot water with a little amount of white vinegar instead of soap. The hummingbirds don't like soap traces left in the nectar. You should also remember to clean not only the bottle, but also the bottom and ports of the feeder.

The feeder of the hummingbirds can be invaded by insects like bees and ants, driving away the birds. To avoid this you can use the feeders with built-in bee guards and use moats or nectar protectors to control ant invasion. When the moats are attached above the feeders filled with water, they block the ant's pathway.

Planting some of the favorite plants of hummingbirds will also attract them to your garden. Some of these plants include honeysuckles, petunias, trumpet vine, fuchsias, lilacs, bee balm, geraniums, manzanita, azaleas, butterfly busch, mimosa, columbine, salvia and Indian paintbrush. You can ask your local nursery or garden store for the other plants which grow well in your area. Do not use pesticides on these plants as they can sicken or kill the hummers, if ingested. - 32515

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Why a Good Feeder Important Is.

By Jaden Morgen

Hummingbirds usually get all their energy they need from flower nectar and sugar. The birds have great metabolism and the humming birds are active throughout the day. The birds rely on the proteins and nutrients that they get from the nectar to aid their thirst to fly and navigate continuously. Humming birds are actually flycatchers and go after flies; they need the sugar as a fuel to go after their actual target. Hummingbirds are hungry most of the time, this is the main reason that people have found that the best way to invite these birds near the house is to have feeders and other devices that can dispense sugar and nectar to get these birds to eat and fly around them.

Hummingbird feeders have come a long way since their inception. Many research projects have given way to good styled efficient feeds that can invite the birds near these feeders in large numbers. The first hummingbird feeders were made of glass. Nowadays the feeders come in various different materials that give you choice to choose from. The feeders that are manufactured now are made of plastic, glass and ceramics. Since these feeders were only invented recently many birds do not come to know them as food source but most of the birds tend to learn soon and invite other birds too. The birds also learn to use these feeders effectively. In case you find the birds near your home to be more familiar with one type of feeder to the other, then it is because they are familiar with that. You can change and try many feeders before you settle upon one.

Placing the feeder is as important as the choice of the feeder. Many feeders are of different designs that support only a few places. If you make the feeder an uncomfortable place for the hummingbirds to feed, they would rather go to a place that is much more comfortable for them. Many new models of Hummingbird feeders have different kinds of feeding units to make life comfortable for the birds.

Many different kinds of feeders are available in the market today. The basin type feeder is the most used one. There are other types of feeders too that can be used. The modern ones come in many shapes designed to lure the hummingbirds to come and eat here. There are several different kinds of innovative feeders that are in use. People have to choose the one that they think will work for them and install it at home. The basin feeders hold the syrup or nectar very well thus attracting more hummingbirds than other type of feeders.

There are different kinds of hummingbird feeders that are manufactured every year. The humming bird feeders are becoming more complex and efficient year after year. There are many feeders that also provide resting place and other amenities to the hummingbirds. There are many feeders that come in several different colors and even add a bit of art to it. This makes it ideal to keep in a garden or a back yard. The number of people who own a hummingbird feeder have increased over time in the United States. This has also increased the innovation in the industry. - 32515

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Bird Cage Guide: Advice on Choosing a Bird Cage

By Mike Fallen

If you have chosen a bird for a pet, you have to have a place to keep it! Naturally, you will house your pet in a bird cage. There are many different kinds of bird cages available to choose from, making it easy to find something you like and something that is perfect for your bird.

Bird cages come in many different sizes, and the size you choose should depend on the size of your bird. If you have a canary or a finch, you'll want something smaller, whereas if you have a larger bird like a hyacinth macaw you will need a larger bird cage. Depending on the style of your house and how much money you are willing to spend, you may opt for a plain bird cage or you may go for something more ornate and elaborate. Aside from selecting your size and style, you will also have to select what you want your bird cage made from. Some options include stainless steel, brass, wire, and wood.

There are a few things you should take into consideration before deciding on a bird cage for your new pet. The bird cage you choose should be something that keeps the bird safe and comfortable. It is important that the bird has plenty of room, so make sure and buy the largest possible size appropriate for the size bird you have in order to allow it free movement in its cage.

It is important to consider the size and space between bars on a bird cage. Bars that are too thin can be easily bent broken by large bars, possibly causing an escape. An escape is also possible if the bars are too far apart. Bird cages with bars too close together can cause birds to injure themselves if their beak, foot, or wing happens to get stuck in between the bars. Of course you will also want to take into consideration how the bird cage will look in your home and how much of your time will be taken up with maintenance procedures as well.

You can buy high-end bird cages to keep your pet safe at retailers such as Avian Adventures and Midwest Homes for Pets. Their cages have individual stainless steels food and water bowls, hardwood perches, a removable tray, and a toy hook for the bird's entertainment. Play-top cages enable you to take the bird out of the cage and place it on a stand outside of the cage to give it a change of scenery with the familiarity of the play-top cage.

When you begin shopping for a bird cage, you can find what you're looking for at a variety of places, including pet stores, department stores, and even discount stores! Online is another good place to look, but remember you will have to pay shipping costs. If you are looking for something cheap, check out local newspaper advertisements, garage sales, and flea markets, but remember you must disinfect a second-hand bird cage! - 32515

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