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People from all walks of life are increasingly interested in owning chickens. Some folks want them as a source of fresh eggs, either for themselves or the marketplace. Other individuals want to raise and butcher their own birds so that they know exactly what went into that meat. Some people enjoy poultry as companion animals, or love seeing these colorful birds out on the landscape. And some folks want chickens for their bug-hunting ability in the garden or pasture. Whatever the reason, small flock ownership is increasing, even in suburbia and particularly within urban centers. But how to house them? Many books already exist on various other aspects of poultry management: breeds, feeding, health, egg production, meat production, showing, and marketing. What about housing? Every chicken flock needs shelter of some kind. A number of books provide chicken coop plans for free or for a small fee. Yet there is a lot more to providing good housing, than merely picking out a house plan. Issues of predator control, vermin control, waste management, flock production, disease management, hygiene and sanitation - all these factors help determine whether a chicken coop will be a pleasant, healthy addition or a costly eyesore. The Chicken Coop Manual looks at all these topics and how they interact: Section I covers 18 different design criteria which flock owners and coop designers need to consider BEFORE choosing or building a coop. Section II looks at eight different chicken coop plans, using conventional stud construction, for flock sizes ranging from only a few birds, to a commercial-sized flock of 100 birds. Section III takes a look at 12 alternative housing and shelter options, and how they may be a flock owner's best bet for cost-effective, attractive, functional and practical flock ownership. Section IV provides a list of additional resources for flock owners - websites, books and getting-started articles which focus on, or address some aspect of, poultry housing. Flock owners who study and apply this manual will be able to: * familiarize themselves with issues which affect flock health, hygiene, safety, productivity and cost * determine whether a particular coop design will work for their particular circumstances * know how to meet any relevant building codes, covenants or regulatory requirements * maximize their birds' quality of life and their own enjoyment of that flock, for years to come. This book is also helpful for teachers, mentors, policy makers and/or regulators who need to become familiar with all the issues pertaining to flock housing and chicken coop design. Even experienced flock owners will find some helpful hints and new ideas within these chapters.