Hello Chicken friends,
I am new to Backyard Chickens, and new to raising chicks. My husband and I just got our 5 baby chicks this week (5 days old today).
So fun and exiting!!!
We have been researching chicken coops for a couple of months already and still unclear on size and style (on the ground, off the ground, run included, etc).
I envy all of the handy, creative, savvy people out there that make their own - but we are not one of them. I would be happy to find someone to make one for us, but we aren't the ones to do it.
I have searched my local area- shops, websites, craigslist, and my network trying to find a coop to purchase or someone to make one. While we have looked at many, I am confused as which ones are really best and would love some input from experienced folks on this forum.
We live in Northern California with mild winters and mild summers, so freezing temps are snow are not an issue for us.
- how big does it need to be for 5 full size hens - I don't want to cramp my chickens. I do plan to have them free range as much as possible but still want a run for those times when we go away. I want my chickens to have ample space.
- We think having a raised coop is better for predator protection, agree or disagree?
- Does the additional L-shaped wire cloth help with predators if you have a coop on the ground? I want my chickens to be very safe.
- I want something that is easy to clean - I thought something we could stand up in - my husband doesn't think this is necessary - thoughts?
- How many nesting boxes per hen do we need? I have heard varying answers from 1 per every 2 hens to 1 big nesting box for all 5 is ok? ????
- Any idea on a reasonable price for a coop that fits our needs? The ones I have seen that I like and are large enough with plenty of run space are upwards of $1000 plus.
I apologize for the lengthy email and questions but appreciate your help very much!!