A chicken coop is basically the bird version of the doghouse, only it’s a more complex structure seeing as how dogs are capable of fending for themselves way more than chickens are. Meant to be a construction that houses chickens, these coops have now become full-blown structures with so many characteristics that we never thought we’d see in a hen house.
Advantages of a Chicken Coop
There are plenty of reasons why having a chicken house is the way to go if you’re serious about giving your birds the best conditions to live in.
- First and foremost, you birds require a safe place to sleep that will shield them, predators. Never assume that just because you live in a safer area, there are zero chances of foxes or raccoons or whatever other predators ever sneaking in and running away with your chicken. Chicken houses provide more than shelter, they also provide protection.
- Aside from protecting and sheltering the actual chickens, you can also protect their eggs. Eggs that come from hens that you grow, feed, and take care of yourself, will have that natural taste that people crave for with so many shelf products that lack the natural savor.
- The best mechanical hen house door will also keep your birds safe from bad weather. You don’t want your chickens to be out in pouring rain or during freezing winter nights. In fact, there are plenty of owners to install heating pads or other heating sources in their chicken coops during the winter, to make sure the birds are sleeping in optimal temperature conditions.
- Because coops keep chickens away from bad weather, they also serve as a protection against disease. Don’t think that just because it’s a bird, it can’t catch a cold. And it only takes one bird to get sick to spread the disease to the rest of the chickens. Of course, that is also a threat to the eggs.
- A chicken coop that you decide to build yourself will also provide you with a creative way to repurpose some old things that have been lying around the house/yard. For instance, if you look for creative chicken coop ideas online, you will find that basically everything can be turned into a nesting bed, that you can repurpose old furniture to make housing for your birds, that you can use pieces of wood that have been lying in the shed for ages in order to construct your own coop for chickens, and even how to turn an old shed that you haven’t used in a while into a luxurious walk-in coop.
Chicken Coop Doors
Chicken coops have multiple doors that serve different kinds of purposes. One of them is the main door, the one that allows the birds to get in and out of the coop. This door can be manually operated, which means that you’ll have to close it yourself every night and then open it in the morning when you’re ready to let the birds out to get some sunshine.
There are also main doors that come with automated mechanisms, but note that you can also purchase these separately and then install them on your existing setup, so that they may automate the chicken coop doors that you already have.
The second set of doors that a chicken coop has is basically a way for people to access to eggs that the hens lay inside the coops, but some of them are also used for cleaning out the coop. Chickens are known for their “generous” amount of droppings, which makes cleaning the coop on a regular basis a matter of necessity and hygiene that you can’t ignore.
Whether you are buying a ready-made coop or building one yourself, you need to make sure that the design features a way that will quickly grant you access to the eggs so that you can collect them, but also to the area that needs cleaning (if you have a tall walk-in kind of chicken coop, you might not need this additional door). If you’re making one from scratch, it’s best to sit down and draw out your plans with a worksheet first.
So, the general idea is that chicken coops have the main door to help them in and out of the shelter, but also a door that grants access to the eggs. However, both of these doors can have variations, and a chicken coop is in no way limited to just two doors.
For instance, if you have a more complex hen house, you might have an access door that allows the chickens to exit the coop and roam freely around the yard, but also a second door that, when opened, grants them access to a more secluded area. These areas are like small parts of the yard that are surrounded by some sort of wire fences. They are like playpens for your chickens to bask in the sun over a limited portion of the garden, with the purpose of keeping them protected even throughout the day.
Every door that you’ll ever find on a chicken house has a very specific role and will never be placed there just for show. Considering that the idea behind the chicken coop is to keep the birds as protected as possible, no owners want an unnecessary number of doors that can be easier to open by predators rather than just having the breakthrough a coop wall.
For the most part, chicken coops have a minimum number of two doors: one is the access door for the birds and the second is more like an access door that allows you to clean the coop and collect the eggs. Of course, coops can have other doors as well, like roof doors to let the sun in, doors that grant access to ramps and concealed outdoor areas, and even sliding drawers for easier coop cleaning.