Portable chicken coops boast many advantages for new or aspiring chicken farmers. The advantages include free fertilizer, pest control and best of all fresh eggs. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need a large farm or several acres to devote to your chickens. There are many designs that can fit easily into your backyard even if you live in a large city.
Portable chicken coops may also be called chicken tractors. Some chicken tractor designs even attach to wheels for easy relocation when your chickens need a fresh patch of grass. Chicken tractors are often built in an A shape and some don’t have a bottom.
Before you even consider setting up portable chicken coops in your backyard, you will want to check your city ordinances. Some cities prohibit raising livestock while others don’t.
You’ll want to ensure you aren’t breaking any laws by keeping hens on your property. Even if there are no city ordinances preventing you from raising livestock, you will still want to keep your chicken coop looking and smelling nice so you don’t irk your neighbors.
Another consideration before setting up your portable chicken coop is what will happen to your hens after their egg-laying years. Hens stop producing eggs around the age of six or seven, yet they can live around fifteen years. This is a very important consideration if you will be housing only a few chickens in your backyard and will be keeping them for egg production.
If you have or plan on building a portable chicken coop, you’ll need to provide your chickens with some type of protection from the elements. This shelter should have be a source of warmth during colder seasons.
Insulate your chicken coop or use a heat lamp to keep your hens warm. Some chicken farmers even report moving their portable chicken coops into garages or sheds to temporarily protect hens from the elements or to prevent predators from easily accessing them.
Also keep in mind is that you will most likely need straw, pine needles or some type of padding to put in the bottom of your nest boxes. The eggs are less likely to crack if you have some padding underneath the hens.
Prior to setting up your portable chicken coop, you need to think about how you will protect it from rats and mice. You can’t always protect your portable chicken coops, but you can take precautions such as covering holes and gaps with sheet metal, feeding your chickens in the early morning and late afternoon, and only feeding chickens what they will eat.
As you can see, before setting up portable chicken coops in your backyard, there are some special considerations you need to make so you don’t end up an unhappy chicken farmer.