The Chicken Hen House

I had chickens… Long story all covered very recently. I now have four new ones….I have learned a lot recently. A real case of if I knew then what I know now. In brief snippet format here’s what I know

  • These hens are just over 6 months old.
  • All hens start laying at approximately 7 months
  • The run I have is over 6′ tall.
  • Its very sturdy [and built from old timber]
  • The wire mesh runs to the top and is very well attached
  • Foxes wont go in if there are dogs present
  • The shed faces away so I can collect the eggs/ clean out easily
  • The hens will only sit in the hatches if they are laying
  • They will eat anything… within reason!
  • It will take them 2 weeks to settle in
  • They are very friendly
  • I have called them The Supremes
  • Cocks are very loud – I didn’t take one
  • They will be fed on barley and whatever is leftover
  • My green waste bin should be very empty from now on
  • there’s a lot of money to be wasted on bad ‘eco’ books
  • not one book on sale could tell me what it would be like
  • Eggs are expensive
  • Eggs can be bartered for potatoes
  • Don’t cut the grass for the hens before they arrive – they will mow it for you
  • hens like a little bit of height a pole to perch upon

Regarding what I built for the hens… here’s the facts

  • the area of the run is 5m x 2.3m and just over 2 metres tall
  • the shed I got is a 6′ x 4′
  • the hens ‘boxes’/ rooms [?] are the shed width divided by 4-ish and are 40cm off the ground. Do include a lip so the eggs don’t fall out.
  • the wire mesh is just ordinary chicken wire – as its called
  • I used the green ‘tennis court’ type mesh because it was left over and I had ran out of chicken wire
  • the timber is approx 1.5″ x 2.5″ – it was whatever I had lying around
  • the timbers are 2′ below ground level and compacted in. No concrete was used.

anything else I’ve missed out on? what do you think… ?

Oh and have a happy easter 😆

10 replies
  1. Thomas Brunkard
    Thomas Brunkard says:

    What do you to do about foxes and cats? Would love to have chickens but am concerned boss would not take kindly to me spending day and night watching over them with a shot gun ensuring their safety. Not enitrely ok with shooting foxes or either.

  2. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:

    A Chara Thomas,

    i have two dogs 🙂 but the first thing is a well constructed pen/ run. The wire ensures the foxes cant get in and the last time I buried the wire 2 foot below ground level – just in case… The 2nd thing I’m told is that the foxes won’t come in to a garden while the dogs are there….and the dogs solve the cat problem too.

    are you gonna go for it….? 😆

  3. Thomas Brunkard
    Thomas Brunkard says:

    I seriously would, not in present accommodation mind (there are lots of foxes in the Liberties too).

    Will revisit topic when chicken suitable accommodation is a reality.

  4. Will Knott
    Will Knott says:

    I suspect you know more about the feeding habits of Chickens than I do, but could you plant the slug attracting plants in there e.g. Broccoli knowing that you have an chemical free slug collector and eater.

  5. Ed
    Ed says:

    That’s such a great article. I like the brevity of your points. It gives chicken rearing a neat flavour. Free eggs doubleplusgood.

    Also, the Easter Bunny video is so good we RTd on our own blog!

  6. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:

    you ‘could’ plant established slug attracting plants there… but the hens will probably [fact: they will] floor them before the slugs do mate… 🙂

    thanks mate – you just made me smile and I love your blog

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