1. Chickens are more addictive than M&Ms. Believe me, you will end up with more chickens than you start with. You’ll probably want more eggs. And you’ll also likely get interested in some of the more unique and exotic looking breeds. So that’s number 1.
2. Chickens need space. If you start with a small coop for a certain amount of chickens, and then think that you could fit or squeeze a few more in there, you’ll be setting yourself up for chicken disaster.
Chickens need space, not just for space sake. They need space because when they are overcrowded they often end up developing really bad habits that can adversely affect the entire flock.
And the problem with bad habits is that once they develop, they are really, really, really hard to break. So the key is, don’t let the bad habits develop, and a key to preventing that is giving them enough space.
The following are some questions you should ask yourself that will help you determine how large you should go.
Egg Production: Backyard chicken-rancher wisdom says that at least two laying hens are required for every member of the household who likes eggs. Are you looking to supplement or replace the factory-farm egg supply with its healthy alternative ?
Profit: Do your chicken-keeping plans range somewhat beyond two or three hens kept as pets with less than a dozen eggs a week as a bonus? Are you looking to make a little nest egg, a little profit?
Beauty: Chickens can be beautiful and interesting creatures. Are you interested in having a large number of birds representative of the beautiful variety available in the chicken breed world? Are you a chicken aficionado?
If you answered “Yes!” to any of these three questions, do yourself a favor and invest in a larger coop.
Remember the rule of thumb regarding chicken living space: Three square feet per bird in the coop. Ten square feet per bird in the chicken run. Around one square feet for each nesting box and one box for every three layers.
Then, of course, there is the coop cost. As you consider the budget for building and maintaining your large chicken coop, keep a few things in mind. If you have the skills and the tools, you can save money by building your large chicken coop yourself. Chicken coop plans are readily available online. Consider using scrap wood or recycling old structures such as old dog houses or plastic playhouses that children have outgrown.
Large chicken coop kits are available that only take a couple of hours to build without having to purchase any tools beyond what’s found in the typical household. Check coop prices on the Web.
Type “large chicken coops” into your browser and you will find enough information to keep you and your calculator busy for any number of hours as you figure and re-figure your large chicken coop budget and investment strategies.
Also, keep in mind that the economies of scale will allow you to keep a dozen birds just about as easily as keeping four birds. The initial outlay will be a little more expensive, but the expense will dwindle over the months as your investment starts to pay off. If you’re looking for “nest egg” money, if your looking to put a “healthy” dent in the household food budget, or if you just enjoy the “odd bird” aspects of these beautiful creatures, investing in a large chicken coop will give you the best returns.
So of course, getting your coop right is super important. It is the headquarters of your entire chicken-raising operation. If you want more information on coops, you can download my free report, “Top 7 Chicken Coop Mistakes.” It covers crucial issues regarding coops, and will help you avoid the worst – even fatal – mistakes many new chicken raisers make.
To get your free copy, go here to: http://www.mysnazzychickencoop.com/free-report/.