The practice of keeping chickens in the backyard has experienced resurgence in the United States, partly due to the many recalls of contaminated products which have made the news. Those who maintain chickens in enclosures on their own properties will know where they came from and can be assured of their quality and freshness, but to ensure the chickens are protected and kept in good condition, they must be contained within a quality enclosure.
What are Chicken Enclosures?
A chicken enclosure, also known as a hen house or chicken coop, is a miniature domicile where the female chickens reside and are secured from predators and the elements. The enclosure will almost always contain a collection of nest boxes which the hens will use for laying eggs and sleeping.
Why Should You Get Chicken Enclosures?
For one thing, it allows you to have your own source of food. Chicken is one of the most popular forms of meat to be consumed by Americans, but because of poor practices by agribusinesses, a number of mass produced chicken products have been subject to recalls and had to be removed from shelves due to people getting sick. As a consequence many Americans are wary of buying chicken products from store shelves and have instead decided to grow their own chickens, as their ancestors did.
An enclosure is a method of keeping the chickens contained, but will also protect them from predators. Chickens, like turkeys, are birds that don’t fly and as such they are not able to readily escape from cats, dogs, bobcats, coyotes and raccoons. As such it is important to protect them and a good chicken enclosure is the best way to do this. When designing the coop it should always be placed in an area with lots of shade, preferably under a tree. During summer the canopy of leaves above will ensure the flock stays cool, while during winter a bit of sunlight will get through the branches, which will provide the chickens with a bit of warmth.
The nesting area itself should always be elevated, from two to three feet above the ground. This ensures that the feet of the chicken will remain dry during rainy days. Adding a ramp will allow the chickens to move easily from the coop to the run, while double doors which are stacked will give them ready access to cleaning areas.
Why Choose Fitz’s Fish Ponds for Chicken Enclosures?
Fitz’s Fish Ponds has an extensive background in working with animals and designing landscapes for them. While we are best known for the work we’ve done with pond fish, particularly koi, we are adept in designing enclosures for chickens. For instance, we understand the importance of placing light within the coop, as we know from experience that hens that are not exposed to sufficient illumination will not produce as many eggs. This is just one of the many design elements we’ll include in your enclosure; there are others. Contact us today to learn more about our services!