HOW MUCH SPACE DO CHICKENS NEED?
All of our coop plans provide you with information on the size you’ll need for the flock you want.They will need space for exercise, dust bathing, and exploring, either with an outdoor run or by allowing them to free range in your backyard.They’re very social animals, and make great garden companions!
If I let them free-range, how will I get them back into the coop at night?
You won’t have to, they’ll do it themselves! Chickens know when it’s time to go home to the roost, and will do so willingly around dusk. If you need to put them in earlier, they are usually willingly coaxed with the promise of a treat.
DO YOU NEED TO HEAT A COOP IN WINTER?
Generally, no. Our coops are designed to provide weather protection – from both heat and cold. If you live in a cold climate, or you’re just a anxious mother hen yourself, you can add a heat lamp if you want, but it should only raise the temperature a few degrees, as a sharp increase from the outdoor temperatures will actually be detrimental to the chicken’s ability to regulate their body temperature.
SHOULD YOU USE SUPPLEMENTAL LIGHT IN THE WINTER FOR EGG PRODUCTION?
Hens need around 14 hours of daylight to produce eggs, meaning some winter months will fall short. If you choose to add artificial light in winter months, it should be set on a timer in the pre-dawn hours of morning and not the evening. If it gets dark outside and then the hens go in to roost in a lighted coop, they could become disoriented.The bulb should be no brighter than 40w for a small or medium sized coop, and no brighter than 60w for a large coop.The real question is should you add light at all? Some chicken keepers say no, that it’s detrimental to the health of a hen not to give her the natural rest her body needs, and suggest foregoing homegrown eggs for a while.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I COLLECT EGGS?
Generally speaking, hens will lay their eggs by 2 or 3 in the afternoon, so an afternoon collection is probably ideal. If it is particularly hot outside, you may want to collect twice a day, just to be sure they don’t get overheated. If you’re just excited to find eggs, collect as often as you’d like. It’s a delicious treasure hunt!
HOW LONG DO CHICKENS LIVE?
On average hens will live between 5-10 years, with their most productive egg laying time being the first 3-4 years. Older hens make wonderful nurse maids to chicks and younger hens, so even in their senior years, old girls can earn their keep!
WHAT IF I CAN’T FIND CHICKENS LOCALLY?
Have no fear, we are here to help! Contact us, and we’ll set you up with one of our partners.