Housing your Chickens
Choosing a suitable house for your chickens
In general housing for your hens must:
- be waterproof
- be free of draughts but offer adequate ventilation
- have a dark area for hens to nest and lay
- have perches to allow hens to roost
- offer protection from predators
Depending on where you plan on keeping your hens, whether in your back garden or on an allotment, there are a variety of shelters to choose from.
Converting an existing shed will save money, needs only a few adjustments and is great if you plan on keeping more than 12 hens (based on a 6' x 4' shed). All that is required are some perches and nest boxes.
Chickens naturally perch at night so it is essential you provide perches. Perches should be around 60cm from the floor and be easily removed for cleaning or to replace. It is important to keep perches clean in order to keep the hens feet in good condition.
Eglu's are great if you want to keep between 2 - 4 medium size chickens or up to 5 bantams, and only have a small garden. They are waterproof, look great, easy to maintain, fox-proof and come with an optional run (also fox-proof). You can even invest in the starter kit which comes complete with the Eglu, a run, hens, and all the sundries like feeders and feed.
Traditional purpose built hen coop
Come in a variety of sizes with optional runs attached with built in nest boxes and perches. These look great and tend to be well built, solid structures but can often be quite pricey ranging from £180 upwards.