While we’re stuck at home, this is a great time to get started on your backyard chicken coop. Before you start, take the time to research everything that is needed and make sure you are taking all the right precautions. To get you started, here are four things you’ll need to think about first.
Check the laws in your area
All states have different laws for backyard chickens and even within some states, certain regions have different laws so make sure you’re aware of them before starting your coop. For New Jersey ordinances, click here.
Get the right-sized coup
The size of your chicken coop depends on how many chickens you’ll have. Obviously, the more room the better, but you want at least 2-3 sq. ft. per chicken with additional 10-15 sq. ft. per chicken for the run.
Pro Tip: make sure you maintain your coop properly! Here’s how.
Have daytime and nighttime security
Even though your chickens are in your backyard, they are not safe from wild animals. No matter where you live, there can be vicious predators that your birds need protection from. Chicken wire is typically not a safe choice, but a ½ in. heavy-gauge hardware cloth or ½ in. welded wire mesh should do the trick. Motion-activated lights and reinforced locks will also help a ton!
Pick the right breed
The breed you choose to raise will determine so much about how you raise them and what you need. Here is our guide for choosing the right bird.