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    How to Build a Hen House

    ArticleThursday 09 December 2010
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    Poultry houses can be built in a number of different types and sizes. These can range from a large hen house you can walk into, to smaller ones that you reach into. Generally, it is recommended that when keeping chickens, each bird should have about 4 square feet of space.

     

    Planning

    Before you can build the chicken house you need to know what size you require. This depends on the number of birds you are keeping. Take the number of hens you have and multiply this by 4. This figure is the minimum number of square feet that the shelter should provide. Added space should be included for an outside area too.

     

    Perches

    Poultry houses need perches for the hens to rest at night. Each hen will need about a foot of perch space. Make sure that perches are not stacked directly above one another as the higher birds’ waste will drop down to the below hens. Old wooden ladders are ideal as perches if attached from the wall to the floor at an angle.

     

    Nest Boxes

    The chicken house should also have suitable nest boxes for the birds to lay their eggs. Each box should be about 40cm high and wide, which is adequate for about 3-4 hens. The boxes must be lined with a soft material to stop eggs from breaking when hatched. This can be carpet, straw or hay shavings.

     

    Bedding

    When keeping chickens, you will need to provide bedding so that the hens can have something to scratch. It also absorbs moisture and odours. Wood pellets, hay shavings or straw are ideal for bedding material. 

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