This month, we’re dedicating our blog posts to a few of the many ways you can transform your outdoor structure from an empty shell usually meant for storage into something practical. In the last part of this three-part series we’ll talk about keeping chickens.

Today, many families are interested in self-sustaining lifestyles for health, environmental, or economic reasons. You don’t have to live on a farm to reap the benefits of fresh eggs or raising your own poultry.

Adding a chicken coop to your property is a bit easier when you start with a ready-made outdoor structure, such as the sheds offered at Valley Structures. Here are some things to consider:

  • Each chicken will need about 4.5 square feet of space; think about your capacity! You don’t want overcrowding.
  • You’ll want to install roost-shelving/nest boxes to give chickens a place to roost. Many coops use a 2×4 board as a roosting bar.
  • Consider a droppings board, which would be installed under the roosting bar.
  • Chickens can share nests—three nests for every eight chickens is a good rule of measure.
  • Add in vents, windows, and doors. Vents and windows help with air circulation, and a door allows chickens to come out during the day for air and sun.
  • A need for more fresh air – depending on how hot it gets where you live, you might need more ventilation. You could remove one or part of the wall panels, and add in wire mesh.
  • Be sure to account for storage space for buckets, shovels, etc.

Once you have your coop set up, it’s time to get your flock! 

These days, when it comes to our food, more and more people are moving towards sustainable solutions for growing their own gardens and raising their own animals. We like to know where our food is coming from and how it was handled during the manufacturing process.

A lot of folks here in the Shenandoah Valley are beginning to raise their own chickens for the eggs they produce. There are a wide variety of benefits to this and here are just a couple to consider. You get fresh, healthy, organic eggs right in your own backyard that are rich in color, taste much better, and are healthier than any store bought egg. Chickens are also great for your garden in lots of ways, especially during the off-season (who doesn't love a little help in the garden?). They eat the grubs and bugs in the dirt that aren’t great for your plants, and fertilize the soil. They are a low maintenance animal so you won't be spending a lot of time taking care of them.

Here at Valley Structures, we are now offering chicken coops to give you a helping hand in getting started with your own flock of poultry. The chicken coop that is pictured is a 6×8 and has nesting boxes and perches that you can easily access just by lifing the outside access door, a small chicken door and ramp, two windows, a single door, and a drop vent in the back. These units provide a safe shelter for the chickens to lay their eggs while staying protected from any outside predators and give you an easy way to gather the eggs daily.

Let us know how we can best serve you!