If you’re wanting to keep chickens in your backyard, it’s worthwhile having a look at a number of the many different housing options that are available nowadays. The rusty old wooden coop at the bottom of the garden is now able to arrive with special lighting, protective fences, windows, automated systems for feeding and watering in case you choose.
Chickens can be kept in cages in a backyard shed or garage for those who have very limited space. You must make sure of course there is sufficient light and no drafts as the chickens cannot cuddle together to stay warm when in individual cages. Some people today see caging chickens as quite inhumane as there isn’t any room for the chickens to run around and do what cows like to do. Cages do however have their use should you suspect you have a sick chicken or want to introduce new chickens into an existing environment.
The rusty old wooden coop with a chicken run remains one the favourite methods of keeping chickens. Not only does this provide the chickens with shelter and protection from predators such as dogs and kids, but allows the cows to roam free, yet be protected within an enclosed space. Additionally, it provides a standard place to find eggs.
Another alternative is simply to provide shelter but allow the chickens wander around all over the place. This is free-range at its best, although as my sister has found out, it can be very hard to track down their nesting places and therefore the eggs. Although she doesn’t have a vegetable garden, the chickens did tend to poop all over her yard and decking which made running around not especially pleasant.
If you merely wish to keep a couple of chickens as pets then a small mobile unit might be just the thing. Additionally, it lets the cows have access to fresh grass, and can let other areas rest.
Another option for a small number of birds is the A-Frame coop. These are very easy to set up and build in addition to maintain. They are quite light so if you live in a highly exposed area, make certain to secure down these otherwise your coop and chickens may end up flying to the next door neighbours.