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Choosing the Right Chicken Coop for Your Urban Backyard Chickens

As more people strive to be self-reliant, they are choosing to raise chickens in their backyards. Choosing the right chicken coop is essential to keeping your flock healthy and happy.

Backyard chickens are becoming popular today in many cities, including Albuquerque, Seattle and New York. Cities across the nation are revising their local zoning and land-use laws to include backyard chickens in the regulations.

Before bringing new chickens home to your backyard though, you need to carefully choose the right chicken coop for your situation. Be sure to check your local city regulations before buying your chickens.

Tips for Choosing the Right Chicken Coop

Talk to city officials. How many chickens are you allowed in your yard? What is the distance they need to be kept from dwellings? Any other special regulations?

Choose the site best for your coop. The site needs to be well drained-you don’t want your chickens standing in mud! Expose the coop to the south to provide good sun. Keep in mind the prevailing weather patterns in your area. Face the door so the coop is protected from the rain and wind.

Complement your home and yard with the right chicken coop design. Matching the design of the coop to your house or neighborhood makes it pleasing to look at and promotes backyard chickens to your neighbors.

Remodel an existing structure into a coop. You can turn a garden shed, a playhouse the kids outgrew or another outdoor structure into a chicken coop with a little creativity, tools and materials. You can even turn a corner of your garage into a chicken house and build a run outside.

Pre-fab coops are more expensive, but easier and quicker to get up and going with your chickens. Just order and the coop will arrive ready to be moved into your yard. You can also order “some-assembly required” kits.

Build it yourself. If you love woodworking or want to learn, building your own chicken coop can be a great project to hone your skills. You can purchase chicken coop plans and blueprints online. Once your neighbors see your hand-built coop, they may set you up with woodworking projects for them!

Chicken Tractor- No, you’re not hitching your chicken up to a plow, but the concept of working the soil is the same. A chicken tractor is a movable coop that allows you to move your chickens over fresh grass in your yard every day. They eat the bugs and weed seeds, scratch at the soil and fertilize it. And they give you omega-3 rich eggs to boot. It’s a win-win situation.