I suppose everyone has a bit of the farmer in them…live off the land…feel the grass under your bare feet…be your own boss…set your own schedule etc.
Oh, so a great place to start is with a portable chicken coop. Hmm…the ability to collect your own fresh eggs from your chicken coop, cook up an “everything but the kitchen sink” omelet with eggs from your own Colorado backyard, not your local supermarket has great appeal!
So, let’s have some lessons on portable chicken coop care as well as the care of its residents!
1. Check with your Local Township (and the neighbors) before Getting Your Portable Chicken Coop
There’s nothing worse than starting a project only to discover outside forces will keep you from finishing it. Stay on the good side of your neighbors by offering them your cracked eggs or even an occasional dozen of perfectly formed ovals to make up for the occasional smell that may waft their way! It would be neighborly to position your portable chicken coop so the prevailing winds blow away from them! 😊 Be neighborly as well by planning for a sturdy fence to keep your chickens from nesting with the neighbors.
2. Make Sure you have Sufficient Space for a Portable Chicken Coop
You may discover the outdoor space a chicken should have (10 square feet per chicken) is more than you thought. With all the wide-open spaces in Colorado, you should be able to spare a few square feet and enjoy your fresh eggs daily. If you’re limited in space, consider this ingenious idea for a chicken run.
3. Do Your Research when Preparing for a Portable Chicken Coop
Check out some of the excellent resources online so you can see what is involved in a chicken coop project (here is one). Make sure you know what you’re getting into. Chickens are living creatures that will need DAILY care; rain, snow, sleet, or hail! Here are several things to consider:
- How many eggs does your family need per day/week?
- Do you want extra eggs to give to the neighbor and friends?
- How much space do you have? Moving your portable chicken coop from one spot to another from time to time will give the grass time to recoup from constant hen pecking.
- Is there space to build a chicken run attached to your hen house?
Buying the little chicks from the start is rather inexpensive. But remember, chicks turn into hens and they need to be fed! We’ll look more at feed later.
4. Is a Moveable Chicken Coop Practical?
Maybe you’re thinking instead of buying a portable coop to have your local carpenter and build a chicken coop on site. Think Again! You can save time and money when you buy a backyard chicken coop that is ready to go when it arrives! Take a look at the practical chicken coop design with great pricing and with features ranging from built-in nesting boxes to a sturdy floor made for easy cleaning. This is NOT your grandmother’s ramshackle hen house!
5. You’ve Purchased a Backyard Chicken Coop. Now What?
If you’ve done your preparation homework, you’re ready to select those feathery ladies! What kind of hen to choose may depend on your area, as well as your purpose for raising chickens. Do you want the biggest and the best eggs? Are you looking for soft and furry chickens? Make sure you know what your choices are before diving in!
Check out these web pages for helpful tips on choosing the right chickens for you:
Image from Ublio
6. Prepare the Bedding in Your Portable Chicken Coop
Your ladies aren’t necessarily picky (although they are pecky!) but watching what you put under their feet will make a difference. Pine shavings are ideal (and great smelling) and can be found in most farm stores. Shavings give your chickens good traction and have the added benefit of keeping your chicken coop from smelling so bad. Other bedding possibilities are straw. leaves or shredded paper.
7. Food and Water Containers for Your Portable Chicken Coop Residents
Every day and many hours of the day your chickens will need fresh food and water. You could go the whole way and purchase state of the art feeders and waterers for your ladies. But if your budget won’t support that kind of investment, there are all kinds of ideas out there that work. Check out the photos for some ideas.
8. What will your Chicken Coop Residents Eat?
Good quality feed is one of the most important factors in determining how productive your feathered ladies will be. While it’s good to have a run available where your hens can scratch and peck to their hearts content it’s also essential to provide a commercial mash or pellet so they have a balanced diet. Any agricultural retail store will be able to direct you to what’s best for your particular breed.
Generally, it’s best not to give your hens table scraps since they will then eat less of their feed, and may not produce well. However, if you like rich golden yolks in your eggs it is a good idea to give them some greens such as cabbage leaves.
Image from Pinterest
9. Is Cleanliness Next to Godliness in a Moveable Hen Coop?
Certainly, if you want to keep your neighbors happy (see #1) the cleaner your coop is the better! This may mean weekly freshening up of bedding and likely no less than a monthly complete cleanout. This is important both from your chickens’ health point of view as well as keeping down annoying smells. Olfactory senses do NOT need that kind of stimulation!
Cleaning your coop in between flocks is important as well; all of the bedding, etc. should be removed and the floors and walls of your portable chicken coop should be the recipients of a good scrubbing. Use an organic cleaner or create your own vinegar and water solution.
10. Maintenance of Your Portable Coop
While all of the points we’ve made are important for the success of your chicken venture, all will be in vain if you don’t take care of the PORTABLE CHICKEN COOP itself. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Ensure there are no holes where the cold Colorado wind comes in.
- Check the roofing and if necessary patch shingles where needed.
- Oil the window cranks for ease of opening and closing.
Last but not least, while it’s not been proven that chickens produce more eggs when their abode is kept freshly painted, such upkeep is essential to the longevity of your portable chicken coop.
HAPPY CHICKEN COOPING!