Ask Danny | Ep. 27: Constructing & Sustaining a Yard Rooster Coop

At this time’s House owner TV host Danny Lipford and At this time’s House owner Media Manufacturing Supervisor Corey Wilson. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Elevating yard chickens could be a enjoyable and rewarding expertise, offering recent eggs and even a supply of companionship. Nevertheless, earlier than you begin your yard hen journey, it’s vital to know the fundamentals of constructing and sustaining a hen coop.

At this time’s House owner Manufacturing Supervisor Corey Wilson is becoming a member of me to speak hen.

A small backyard chicken coop
A hen coop’s measurement is determined by what number of chickens you personal, so one this measurement is ideal for a few chickens. (RandallJSylvia, Getty Pictures)

Coop Dimension

In relation to constructing or shopping for a hen coop, measurement is a crucial consideration. The quantity of house wanted for every hen will range relying on the variety of birds you propose to maintain, however a normal rule of thumb is to offer 2-3 sq. toes of coop house per hen and 5-10 sq. toes of run house per hen.

Bear in mind —chickens sleep within the air, perched on a limb, so ensure that to incorporate sufficient house for them to sleep comfortably.

Chicken coop or hen house
Hay flooring absorbs moisture so the underside of the hen coop stays dry and smells recent. (GarysFRP, Getty Pictures Signature)

Coop Elements

A hen coop sometimes contains a number of key elements: nesting packing containers, roosts, runs, and an enclosed space for sleeping and safety.

Nesting packing containers present a secure and safe place for chickens to put their eggs, whereas roosts give the birds a spot to sleep.

Runs are important for train and foraging. The enclosed space serves as a protected house for the birds to sleep, relaxation and take shelter.

In relation to flooring, use supplies like sand, hay or pine shavings. These supplies are comfy for the chickens and simple to wash. In addition they soak up moisture, which helps preserve the coop dry and smelling recent.

A well-built and maintained coop is essential for the well being and well-being of your chickens. Offering sufficient house, perches, and appropriate supplies for the birds, will make sure that they’re comfy and wholesome and may produce eggs effectively.

White hen laying eggs in a chicken coop
Egg-laying chickens lay as much as one egg per day at their peak. (georgeclerk, Getty Pictures Signature)

Egg Manufacturing

A wholesome hen will sometimes lay one egg per day, along with her reproductive cycle lasting between 24-27 hours. Nevertheless, the precise egg manufacturing can range relying on quite a few components corresponding to the quantity of daylight, consolation, predators, and diet.

  • Daylight: Chickens want no less than 14 hours of daylight with the intention to lay eggs. Within the winter, when daytime are shorter, egg manufacturing will naturally lower. You need to use synthetic mild to complement the daytime, however it’s vital to make use of the precise sort of sunshine and the correct quantity to keep away from stressing the birds.
  • Consolation: Chickens want a clear, dry and secure place to put their eggs. A well-maintained hen coop with nest packing containers will present the consolation and safety that chickens want to put eggs.
  • Predators: Chickens that really feel threatened by predators won’t lay eggs. It’s vital to guard your chickens from predators by securing the coop and the encircling space.
  • Vitamin: Chickens want a balanced weight-reduction plan that gives the required vitamins for egg manufacturing. Feed particularly formulated for laying hens will present the precise steadiness of protein, calcium, and different important vitamins.

Curiously sufficient, a rooster isn’t essential for a hen to put eggs. Hens will lay eggs whether or not or not there’s a rooster current. Nevertheless, if you wish to breed chickens, you will want a rooster.

Chicken feed with many different sorts of grain, corn and seed
Rooster scratch is a kind of feed that’s made up of entire grains corresponding to corn, barley, oats, wheat or different grains. (maerzkind, Getty Pictures)

Rooster Meals

There are a number of forms of hen meals accessible in the marketplace, every designed to fulfill the precise dietary wants of chickens at completely different levels of their life.

  • Starter feed: This kind of meals is formulated for chicks throughout their first six weeks of life. It accommodates a excessive degree of protein, round 20-24 p.c, to assist them develop and develop rapidly.
  • Grower feed: Because the chicks develop, they want completely different meals. Designed for chickens between 6-20 weeks outdated, grower feed accommodates a decrease protein degree round 16-18 p.c as they don’t want as a lot protein as once they have been chicks however nonetheless want sufficient to assist their progress.
  • Layer feed: Chickens are adults as soon as they attain 20 weeks outdated, so that they now want a distinct sort of meals. Layer feed is formulated for egg-laying hens, so it accommodates a better degree of calcium to assist the formation of eggshells.
  • Pellets: These small, easy-to-eat items are handy to make use of and retailer, and are sometimes used as a whole feed for chickens.
  • Crumbles: Just like pellets, crumbles are additionally compressed, however they’re smaller in measurement and are usually extra palatable for chickens.
  • Mash: Mash is made by mixing collectively completely different grains and protein sources. It’s often moist and simple for chickens to eat.
  • Scratch: Scratch is a kind of feed that’s made up of entire grains corresponding to corn and barley. Chickens are inspired to forage, so this kind of meals is can used as a deal with.

Chickens gathered along a fence outside their chicken coop
On common, a flock of 10 chickens will eat about one bag of feed each three weeks. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Price to Feed Chickens

In relation to feeding your chickens, a superb rule of thumb is to plan for about one bag of meals each three weeks for a flock of 10 hens.

On common, a bag of hen feed can value wherever from $40 to $50. This will appear to be quite a bit, however when you think about the truth that chickens will lay eggs virtually on daily basis, it’s a small worth to pay for the scrumptious, recent eggs they supply.

Along with common hen feed, present your birds with oyster shells for calcium. That is important for sustaining the power of their eggshells. You should purchase oyster shells in a bag and so they often value round $10-15.

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