Chicken Coop FAQS
Do I need a nesting box for every hen? No, most of the time hens may actually use the same box even when several others are available. They will lay wherever they feel comfortable actually.
My hens are small but my friends' hens are almost twice their size, why is this? If a bird is small it can be from two things. One - you have a Bantam Breed, or two they are cooped up in an coop that is too small, and are spending too much time in it. The healthiest birds get a good amount of free ranging time along with time spent scratching and eating grub
How do I keep my hens cool during the summer months? First of all keeping your hens in the right coop is key. Depending on weather all times of year, you must ensure never to trap hens into a coop without them having a way to exit to cool off when needed. Second fresh clean water at all times is a must especially in Arizona. We even put water bottles in our freezer and swap them out with fresh ones through the day to keep the water cooler. There are also water coolers for pets as well that could keep their water cool. Frozen fruit and veggies are also good to have on hand during high heat.
At what stage are we able to place chicks outside? Typically you can put them out once their feathers come in. While they are fuzzy it's best to keep them indoors as they can't regulate their body temps just yet. This will also depend on the climate you live in. During the cold Arizona winters we keep heat lamps on for our hens even once they are adults.
For some great reading about raising back yard chickens check out this link http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/05/03/raising-backyard-chickens
Why would I want to have chickens? Well think about it they produce food. Whether you use your chickens for meat, or eggs they give back. They are fairly cheap to feed and raise, they are alarm clocks if you have roosters, they eat bugs and for those of us that reside in Arizona scorpions are horrid little creatures. My neighbor has dogs, and scorpions are out of control there. We live next door and have chickens and guess what? No bugs, no scorpions. We don't pay exterminators we have our pet chickens. So when you ask why have chickens? Why wouldn't you?
How many chickens can I have where I live? For the answer to this you want to check with the city you live in as well as the county. If you live in an HOA most don't allow roosters.