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Lawsons are the largest independent timber, building & fencing merchants in London and the South East of England. Established in 1921 Lawsons now have a number of branches offering the complete range of building materials.

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Tips to Help You Build Your Own Chicken Coop

Chickens are an increasingly popular pet throughout the UK – unlike rabbits and cats, they earn their keep by offering 150-300 eggs per year per hen! There are a number of different breeds, including a number of friendly, affectionate, and docile breeds that will enjoy socialising with the family.

While there are a number of ready-made coops on the market, the truth is that you will still have to do some assembly and you pay a hefty price for letting somebody else do the planning and arranging. All of this means that you could pay less for a higher quality coop by making it yourself – the best part of this is that it will perfect fit your needs and garden, rather than just following a boilerplate design.

A good chicken coop has a number of elements to keep your chickens happy, healthy, and protected. Your plans should include:

  • Roosts – these are just horizontal bars that are lifted off the ground for your chickens to sleep and rest on.
  • Nesting boxes – these are boxes where your chickens can go to lay eggs. They should have enough room for them to comfortably access and sit in, but you also want high walls to keep the eggs safe and let the chickens lay as much as they can. A good rule is to have one nesting box per three hens.
  • Food and water – the feeding area should be inside the coop and off the ground, but away from the nesting boxes and roost so that they are not disturbed while laying or sleeping.
  • Bedding – this keeps them warm and comfortable. Wood shavings and chippings are the best bedding material, but straw is cheaper.

You may also want to build a covered area for them to roam without being afraid of predators, which should include some shade. If you do not plan to build an open area, it’s best to have a larger coop. The entire coop should be elevated to prevent it from becoming damp in the rain and to provide further protection from predators.

It is essential that your coop is ventilated, protected, insulated, and watertight. In that case, it is essentially a small shed with more access points so that you can get the eggs and clean out the coop easily.