Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Content

Chicken Coops: Everything You Need To Know To Start

Here’s an inside look at what it takes to become a chicken farmer.

First off, why do you want to do this? Are you looking for egg layers? Meat birds? You could do both!

You’ll have to decide between heritage and hybrid chickens. Purebred, heritage chickens are genetically preserved. A hybrid chicken is developed for a purpose, and cannot reproduce. Something to consider.

Also, do you want a mama hen ruling over the brood and raising chicks? Don’t feel like you have to decide that now … we’ll get into it further, later!

Raising chicks: Where do I start?
In this case, the chicks come before the eggs. Here are the basics you’ll need to get started.

Your chicks will need a safe place, away from the elements and predators. You’ll have to line it with easy-to-clean litter, too.

For the first four to five weeks of life, chicks will need heat. You’ll want lamps installed somewhere sturdy with plenty of support. It should be easy to lower and raise as need be.

A radiant heater is a bigger investment. It will better mimic a mother hen's warmth and isn’t as big a fire hazard as lamps. Also, radiant heaters allow chicks to decide how much heat they need.

They will keep food and water contained and fresh as can be. You’ll want feeders big enough for the chicks to eat all together. The same goes for waterers, but not so large that it presents the chance chicks could fall in and drown.

You should also know …

  • Chicks can leave the brood for other enclosed places at around four to five weeks old. But ONLY if the temperature stays above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for outdoor coops.
  • Egg layers will become productive around 24 weeks old. Don’t worry if the first few eggs are small from a juvenile chicken. They will increase in size as the chicken grows up.

A coop should be two things:

  1. A protector of chickens from the weather and anything that would want to eat them
  2. Big enough for every chicken that will use it as a home

You’ll also need:

At least one for every four to five hens. They need a place to rest!

Each chicken needs about 10 inches of perch. Again, they must rest!

Keep those foxy predators at bay with a latch and coverings on every window and ventilation hole.

There’s a right way to keep chickens fed. They will need:

  • Calcium for strength. This will strengthen eggs. Crushed oyster shells are a nice source of calcium.
  • Protein for warmth. Chickens molt feathers in the fall and winter. They will need plenty of protein to keep them warm in cold months.

Where should you go to get started? Agri Supply
You’ll find everything you need to get started — and then some — at Agri Supply. Looking to grow your farm? We carry incubators and egg turners to get you started on the right foot!

Share this post