If you’re wanting to keep chickens in your backyard, it’s worthwhile having a look at some of the many different housing options that are available these days.
Chickens can be kept in cages in a backyard shed or garage for those who have very limited space. You should make sure of course there is enough light and no drafts as the chickens can’t cuddle with each other to stay warm when in individual cages. Some people see caging chickens as quite inhumane as there isn’t any room for the chickens to run around and do what chickens like to perform. Cages do however have their use should you suspect you have a sick chicken or wish to introduce new chickens into an existing environment.
The rusty old wooden coop with a chicken run is still one the favourite methods of keeping chickens. Not only does this provide the chickens with shelter and protection from predators such as dogs and children, but allows the chickens to roam free, yet be protected in an enclosed space. Additionally, it offers a standard place to discover eggs.
Another option is simply to provide shelter but let the cows wander around all over the place. This is free-range at its best, although as my sister has discovered, it can be quite tough to track down their nesting places and for that reason the eggs. Although she doesn’t have a vegetable garden, the chickens did tend to poop all over her yard and decking which made running around not particularly pleasant.
If you merely want to keep a couple of chickens as pets then a tiny mobile unit may be just the thing. These are great because you can move them around your backyard to avoid concentrated activity around one particular area. Additionally, it lets the chickens have access to fresh grass, and can let other areas rest.
Another option for a small number of birds is the A-Frame coop. These are very easy to set up and build as well as maintain. They are quite light so in case you live in a highly exposed area, make certain to secure down these otherwise your coop and chickens may end up flying to the next door neighbors.