If you have decided to raise chickens to provide organic eggs for the family, there are some essential issues you must first take into consideration. To raise poultry you must build some type of housing for your birds. But what variety of chicken house will best suit your needs? Prior to buying lumber, chicken wire, and nails to erect your chicken arks or hen houses, you should understand the major differences between them. Both have unique advantages, but it is likely that only one type will best work in your specific situation. You certainly do not want to erect a huge chicken coop and then realize afterward that a chicken ark would have been lots better with regard to your circumstances.
The terms chicken ark, chicken coop, and hen house are used interchangeably by many individuals, but this is technically not correct. Hen houses and chicken coops are the same, but a chicken ark, also known as a chicken tractor, is a structure unique from the others. Chicken coops are manufactured and put in a stationary (permanent) location. Once built, they will for all time remain in the same place. A chicken ark or tractor, on the other hand, is a portable hen house. It can be moved to a new location in the yard whenever necessary.
The Advantages of a Chicken Ark
Being small, chicken arks are very economical and simple to construct. You can build an entire chicken ark in a solitary day at a very small price. However, the key benefit is that it is portable. With transportability come a good number of advantages.
In view of the fact that tractors make use of the ground as their floor your chickens can hunt and scratch for some of their own diet. This will provide them with real live meals that they just cannot get in a pre-bought feed, helping them to stay healthier. It can furthermore lessen your feed costs. Once one area has had all of its insects and vegetation picked clean, it is an easy task to transfer the tractor to a brand new location possessing new succulent plants and bugs. Cleanup is also simple since there is none. Once you move the house to a new area nature will clean the previous spot for you.
The Advantages of a Hen House
If you are planning to successfully keep a dozen pullets or more you will almost certainly want to make hen houses. These are larger houses than arks and are able to hold a great deal more hens. If you are planning to turn out a lot of eggs a hen house will allow you to accomplish that goal.
If built properly you will be able to eliminate some extra work. Positioning it close to a water source will allow you to use an automated watering system, eliminating daily water replacement. With a tractor, the water fountain ought to be changed on a daily basis. The feeders can be a good deal larger, so it is possible to go weeks without adding feed to the feeder.
Nesting boxes can be situated to allow trouble-free gathering of eggs. It is even feasible to erect poultry housing that will allow you to gather eggs from the exterior. In addition, you will not need to move it to different places as you will with a tractor. With a chicken tractor, because the earth is the floor, you must move the feeders and water fountains separately from the poultry housing itself. It is quite easy to do, but it is one job that will not need to be performed with permanently positioned housing.
You might think that cleanup would be a significant chore with a larger poultry house, but if you erect a chicken coop a couple of feet off the soil, using wire for the floor, you will eliminate the need for cleaning. All of the droppings will drop beneath the coop, so the interior will remain clean.
Both chicken coops and chicken arks have their advantages and disadvantages. A tractor will be less costly and simpler to erect, supply living food to the hens, and do away with clean up chores. A larger hen house will permit the hens more space, demand less effort with feeding and watering, and if built appropriately, do away with the job of cleaning.