Chicken coop / housing

Depending on what you're housing your hens in you'll need to carry out various tasks throughout the year.

I opted for a 6' x 4' wooden hen coop which can house up 12 hens comfortably.

The frequency with regards to cleaning the coop out depends on the time of year and the number of hens you keep. During the winter months with the shorter periods of daylight, the hens will spend more time indoors and the amount of droppings in the coop will increase. Whereas in the summer months the hens will spend much more time outdoors and the coop will stay relatively clean.

I carry out a mega clean twice a year and disinfect the whole coop using a product called 'Poultry Shield', specifically designed to use in coops.

Clean coop, healthy hens!

light sussex chicken near coop

Each morning after letting the girls out I grab a bucket and cat litter scoop and gather the droppings that have fallen in the night. By doing this it reduces the nasty odour in the coop, prevents the hens from treading in it and possibly carrying it up into the nest boxes but also, chicken poo makes great compost!

You need to check regularly that the coop is weather-proof and it's good practice to re-apply a coat or 2 of water-proofing treatment if you have a timber coop once every 6-12 months. Check the roof to make sure there's no damp or water seeping through. If the coop does become damp the hens respiratory system can be affected.

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Top Tip

Boiled eggs
When selecting eggs to hard boil, choose eggs which are over 3 days old to avoid the egg white clinging too much to the membrane (which can make peeling more tricky).