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Henhouse by Chicubes

Henhouse Information

 

 

The henhouse is an important feature to your hens’ lives as this is where they sleep and (hopefully) will learn to lay their eggs.  The two main materials options for the hen house are either wood or plastic.  The photographs below show some example henhouses. 

 

Henhouse by Chicubes

Modern and stylish henhouse by Chicubes 

 

Wooden traditional style hen house

Wooden traditional style hen house


Modern henhouse 'Eglu' made by Omlet

Modern henhouse 'Eglu' made by Omlet



The table below shows some advantages and disadvantages of the two materials

 

Plastic

Wood

Maintenance

Virtually no maintenance

Needs to be treated with a chicken friendly wood preserver roughly on a yearly basis to prevent rot and weathering

Ease of Cleaning

Very easy and simple as it can be washed and hose-piped down - easier if a curved formed with no corners.  The Omlet range has removable parts and a droppings tray

Will need to be cleaned thoroughly to ensure small cracks are not homes for mites and other insects.  Removable parts and easy access will make cleaning easier

Capital
Costs

Generally higher than similar size wooden projects

Usually cheaper than plastic alternatives

DIY capability

It is possible to convert an outdoor plastic garden product for use but can be quiet difficult

Relatively easy to make your own if you have the skills and the knowledge of the hens requirements

Appearance

The Omlet houses come in a range of colours and its shape is appealing.  Its appearance is as bought look and colour and shape are hard to change

Wooden houses can be painted to improve it appearance and there is a wide range of shapes and styles available

Security 

Make sure there are no hole for access by vermin such as foxes, badgers and rats. Locks on doors should be secure enough to withstand mauling by animals

Make sure there are no hole for access by vermin such as foxes, badgers and rats. Locks on doors should be secure enough to withstand mauling by animals 

Ease of use 

Generally easy to use, an access point is ideal into the nesting box.  Plastic is quiet light and houses with wheels will be easier to move

Removable roofs are common and make ease of use easier.  An access point is ideal into the nesting box.  Wheels will make moving the house, if necessary, easier

 

The size and requirements of the henhouse need to be considered too.  The houses offered by Omlet and many shop bought wooden houses will come ready made with the required features such as perches and nesting boxes.  Although as mentioned you can make your own henhouse and we converted a small children’s plastic playhouse and full details of this can be found in the Chicken diary section.  Various sources offer different information for sizes and specification, here is a rough estimate to the requirements and sizing for your hen house.

 

 

Perches

 

Perches are required for your hens to sleep on and they should consist of a series of bars between 25-50mm wide: this will provide your hens with an adequate grip.  Hens are capable of jumping up to perches but position them within a reasonable height to prevent injury when getting down.  At night time chickens create a lot of droppings so space underneath perches is very useful as it provides a place for the droppings to go and a removable tray placed underneath will make cleaning easier.

 

Perches
Perches which the hens sleep on.

 

 

Nesting Box

 

Probably one of the most important features of the henhouse from where we are concerned is the nesting box.  It is generally recommended that as a minimum one nesting box should be provided for every four chickens.  The nesting box needs to be lined with bedding material to make it comfortable for the hens, Battery Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) recommends chopped straw or dust-free wood shavings - please note that hay is not recommended.  Another alternative is shredded paper - this is a suitable way to use shredded documents providing a solution to identify theft - once the paper needs changing just add it to the compost heap.  We have made our nesting boxes 300mm deep.

 

 

Nesting Box
Nesting box with shredded paper bedding.
 

 

Ventilation

 

Ventilation is required within the henhouse to remove the odours caused from the chicken droppings as well as providing fresh air; the henhouse can become very stuffy and smelly on a warm summer’s night.  Ventilation holes should be draft-free and weather proof and situated towards to top of the house above hen head height.  A suitable ventilation method is the cavity vent used within homes as these have the option of being open or closed which could be ideal n the colder months of the year to maintain some warmth.  Lighting is not required within the house as hens like us like to sleep in the dark and they prefer some privacy when laying.

 

Raised henhouse

 

 

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