These are the Basic Supplies Needed for your Backyard Chicken Flock
Coop – The first order of business is to determine housing for your flock. There are several items that need to be considered when deciding on your needs and there are many different options out there for your coop. If you enjoy DIY projects there are many free plans available online. For those of you less ambitious, there are coop kits available on Amazon, or you can pick up pre-built coops at places like Tractor Supply, Orschelns, Home Depot and many online stores.
Make sure that you have a big enough coop for your flock. The rule of thumb is 3-4 square feet per bird IF they are free ranging. If they will be inside the run all the time, you need to have 10 square feet per bird. It’s always best to give them as much space as you can, if they are too crowded it can lead to health issues in the flock.
Also make sure that your coop is predator proof. This means that they can go inside the coop at night and that you have a door that can close up for the night to keep your flock safe. Also think about the run area and make sure that that is also predator proof. Remember that predators can enter through, under and above the fencing and plan accordingly.
Nesting Box – A necessity for your coop. You do not need to have a nesting box per hen but can figure 3 hens per box is a good number. Boxes can be made very easily and you can upcycle many different things to make your nesting boxes. Make sure that you add some bedding to each of the boxes so that the eggs have a soft place to land!
Roost- Your coop needs to have a roosting bar (or two). These need to be at least 2’ off of the floor and long enough for everyone to perch for the night. Make sure that they are free from any drafts so that the flock won’t get cold during the winter.
Feeder- There are many options for feeding systems on the market these days. Whatever method you choose, it will need to be picked up off of the floor to keep it from getting pooped in.
Water fount- Clean, Fresh water is very important for your flock. Creating a clean environment by either hanging the water source about shoulder high for the birds will keep them from making it dirty. You can put your waterer either in the coop, in the run, or both. Just make sure that they have access to it at all times.