Natura Chicken Coop with Outdoor Run
A chicken coop or hen house is a small house where, typically, female chickens or other fowl are kept safe and secure. There are nest boxes found inside the hen houses for egg-laying, and perches on which the birds can sleep.
A chicken coop usually has an indoor area where the chickens can sleep and nest, as well as a fenced-in outdoor area where chickens will feed and spend the majority of the day (which is typically made from chicken wire). The coop should be cleaned after every two weeks, and the straw shifted every day, similar to a litter box. At night, the coop should be locked with all the birds inside of it, so that they are protected from predators. Both the inside and outdoor floors of a chicken coop are often strewn with a loose material such as straw or wood chips to deal with chicken droppings and to provide ventilation.
During much of the year, the average hen will lay an egg nearly every day. Although we might like to think chickens are happy to provide us with breakfast, the truth is they are only interested in finding a safe location where they can lay their eggs in peace. Those new to chicken keeping may find themselves wondering why their hens aren’t laying eggs, only to later discover a clutch of eggs hidden away in long grass, under the porch or in a corner of the coop obstructed from view.
Providing a secure and welcoming location for chickens to lay their eggs not only makes it easy to collect eggs without hunting for them, it can reduce stress in the coop as chickens learn to rely on a consistently comfortable nesting site. Nesting boxes can be made of a variety of constructed or re-purposed materials, but a few guidelines will help to make them not only inviting, but easy to access and maintain.