In recent years, trends show an uptick in chicken owners in the UK. Chickens are beautiful pets that produce fresh eggs. It is not surprising many homeowners are choosing chicken ownership. Under UK law, you can host up to 50 chickens in your garden without registering with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Baby chicks are super cute and a great addition to your family. Around 18-22 weeks old, chickens will start laying eggs. Before they reach this age, you will need adequate space to house them. Chicken coops are available in various shapes, colours, and sizes. Here are four factors to consider when purchasing your new chicken coop.
- Number of Chickens
Chickens need space to walk, run, and explore. One chicken needs at least ten square feet. However, you should provide them with as much space as possible. Baby chicks will be housed inside until they get their feathers. They do not need nearly as much room as they will when they are fully grown. If you have a small garden, you should measure out how much space you will allot for your chickens and plan accordingly.
- Nesting Boxes
Whether you decide to purchase an A-shaped wooden chicken coop or build a hoop coop, you will need nesting boxes. It is suggested to provide at least one nesting box for every four chickens. For example, if you own ten chickens, you will need three nesting boxes. A nesting box is where your chickens will lay eggs. The best chicken coops offer easy access to nesting boxes. You will want to check the coop daily for eggs. You must quickly remove broken chicken eggs. Chickens that begin to eat broken eggs may start to eat fresh eggs.
- Chicken Runs
Chickens are prey to many animals. Raccoons, skunks, foxes, larger birds, coyotes, and many other animals will attack your chickens. Chicken runs are a safe option for your chickens to roam without fear of attack. The best chicken coops will include chicken runs attached to the coop such as the Felton Poultry House with Run. These combined packages are much more expensive than a chicken coop. However, you can go to work, out with friends, or shopping without worrying your chickens will be gone when you get home.
- The Material
Chicken coops can be made using metal, wood, plastic, and other base materials. Some homeowners will pour a concrete floor for the chicken coop and leave grass for the chicken run. Whatever material you choose, you must ensure it is sturdy. The housing unit should protect your chickens from predators. If you use loose or open nets, gates, and fences, a predator can easily hunt your chickens.