How to build a family chicken coop
How to build a family chicken coop. Image: Cynthia Farmer – Shutterstock.

This chicken coop allows up to 10 to 15 laying hens in a family production model. Whenever there is a larger or smaller space, limited by some type of fence, hens over 5 months old must be allowed to graze. Pecking in the field allows the animal to incorporate good quality protein (soil bugs), and the incorporation of seeds also provides essential nutrients. This “grazing” activity makes it possible to diversify the diet and improve the physical condition, which increases the birds’ resistance to diseases.

It should be borne in mind that for an ecological management of animals, it is recommended that they have a space (exercise and pecking area) of 4 m2 per animal (FAO data). For 10 hens, an additional 40 m2 would be needed, which would have to be rotated with an additional 40 m2, so that the vegetation is regenerated in each farm.

In case you need to keep the hens permanently locked in the space indicated, it is recommended to house 10 animals as long as the proper cleaning and feeding conditions are met. It is very important to carry out the breeding to the first positions, in a closed and protected place, so that the animals get used to the place and lay their eggs in the nests we prepare for them and not elsewhere.

The roost and nest must be protected from prevailing winds and must have good exposure to light, the openings are protected by woven wire to prevent the entry of nocturnal predators. In very cold weather, transparent plastic (polyethylene) curtains are placed in these openings, of the type used for greenhouses. It is important to remember that laying hens need 14 hours of light. In autumn winter when the days are very short, artificial light should be used from 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. or in the morning before sunrise, to ensure sunset.

The construction with cardboard sheets on the roofs and sides allows better shelter for birds, in very cold areas.

You can find the detailed construction guide in this link: family chicken coop