How much room do my chickens need?
There are no specific regulations for backyard owners regarding the stocking density – the amount of space each
chicken needs. However as a guide most experts would recommend that you have at least, but probably more than 1 sq metre of space per bird. When thinking about the number of chickens and the space required it is important to think about the winter and the amount of time they spend in the run and ensure there is ample space. Clare Taylor (The Chicken Whisperer) recommends that a run of 3m x 3m is appropriate for approximately 4/5 chickens.
What type of housing is best for my chickens?
Buying priorities for a coop are to choose good quality and the best that you can afford, which is easy to clean and maintain. Wooden housing can harbour red mites, so a plastic coop that can be dismantled for cleaning will be helpful. If you really prefer a wooden coop, then either get one that has a removable roof, or one that is large enough for you to stand up in, to enable easy and effective cleaning.
You will also need to consider a run for your chickens to get some fresh air, and this should be made from weldmesh, which is secure from predators and covered with a clear waterproof roof to keep them dry.
How often should I clean out my coop?
As a minimum you should clean your coop weekly, although you can spot-clean in between if necessary, especially around the feeders and drinkers.
How should I clean the coop?
To effectively clean the coop, strip it all down and scrape off any dried faeces, scrub it clean with soapy water where possible and either dry in sunlight, or with old towels.
Spray the dried housing with Total Mite Kill RTU Spray, a powerful insecticide and disinfectant spray that contains permethrin which will clean housing whilst tackling any possible mite issues.
Take care to get into all the nooks and crannies by using Nettex Total Mite Kill Aerosol Spray in the hard-to-reach areas.
Next, powder the housing, bedding and any dustbaths with Nettex Total Hygiene Powder. This highly absorbent powder containing Diatomaceous Earth has a high affinity for moisture that promotes dryness and hygiene resulting in an inhabitable environment for mites. Lastly re-assemble the housing.