Raising Chickens is relaxing, rewarding and enjoyable when done the easy way. New chicken keepers often have to rebuild or rework their henhouses to make chores easier after using them a few months. Rebuilding henhouses takes time, money and effort. This is unnecessary if you plan your poultry coops right the first time around. Besides, who wants to redo that work when they could be collecting fresh organic eggs or laying in a hammock? Click here for Plans for easy to build, affordable henhouses.
Years of experience raising hundreds of Heritage and Rare breed chickens has helped us learn quickly, the hard way! If you want to find the best ways to get started, we will share our time and labour saving resources!
From getting started and building your henhouses and choosing the right breeds, we can improve the efficiency of your hobby. We can save people making mistakes we have made, and keep chicken raising fun! And you get some hammock time too!
The henhouse should be as close as possible to water source as chickens need free access to water all day. A large waterer in the poultry coops will keep them supplied all day but is heavy to carry a long way. Water will spill in a barrow or cart. So run a hose if possible to the henhouses.
Henhouses should have electricity to run light to the coop in the winter. This is to give 14 hours of light to keep the hens laying eggs year round. Also in colder climates, a source of electricity to heat water in the winter make life much easier so you are not replacing the water multiple times in the day as it freezes.
You will save a lot of work while the birds get free access to feed with larger automatic or self filling feeders. You can fill once a week or so, saving you time each day. Weather and pest proof feeders are a great idea if henhouse space is limited. The feeder can go out in the run but won't need moving inside and out daily.
Locating henhouses in a sheltered area will help reduce drafts and even feed costs. Windows of the poultry coops need to be covered to eliminate drafts in Winter to cut down on drafts. Chickens have an insulating layer of downy feathers that keep them warm as long as they trap the warmed air over the chickens skin. A cold wind or draft in the poultry coops replaces the warm layer with cold air and the chickens get chilled.
Food Storage bins
Build or place storage bins close to the henhouses you build. If possible, locate them near the poultry coops where you can drive to them for transferring bags of feed. Feed bags are heavy and feed should be stored close to the poultry coops, if not inside. If it is not possible to locate them to a location you can drive to, use a dolly cart to save your back. Make sure the storage bins are waterproof and pest proof. A simple wheeled garbage pail with pest proof lid works very well for us.
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