Having decided to go ahead with your plan for backyard chicken raising, the first and most important thing you will need is adequate housing for your birds. After all, you do want your feathered friends to be safe and comfortable so that they are going to reward you with a constant supply of those delicious, healthy eggs each day. So, choosing a hen house should be looked on as an investment.
Here are some basic factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a hen house
a) allow sufficient room for your hens. Convention says you should allow 1 sq ft of floor area per bird in a coop
b) ensure that the access door is large enough to allow ease of cleaning and egg collection
c) nest boxes should be low down and in the darkest place in the coop to encourage egg laying
d) perches should be higher that the nest boxes so that the birds do not choose to sleep in the nest boxes
e) it must give adequate protection against the weather, summer and winter
f) the hen house must be substantial enough to provide complete protection against those critters that view your chickens as an easy meal
Of course there are other considerations to be made in order to avoid wasting your money and these are basic commonsense.
First and foremost is the quality of your hen house. Of course you can choose a cheap hen house that will give you a few years service. But will it give your egg laying pets the safety and comfort that they need? Furthermore, should you decide to increase your flock, then, having invested in a much more substantial hen house, will give you the opportunity to sell it and offset the cost of the new one.
So when you finally get down to choosing a hen house, think carefully how it will be when occupied by your chickens and what it will look like after a few years of service.
Most importantly, full consideration of the health, comfort and security of your chickens will provide you with a enjoyable experience. While your available budget will be a major factor, invest wisely and you will certainly reap the rewards.
One final point. It is possible to provide your chickens with a substantial home and save a great deal of money into the bargain. If you have some basic handyman skills and a few tools, then with the right guidance you can quite easily build a hen house yourself. Apart from the money you will save, it will definitely add to the fun side of your project.