Planning a Hen House – Get the Basics Right and Enjoy the Benefits For Years to Come

There is a boom amongst urban dwellers that is sweeping the country. Keeping chickens in the backyard has really taken off with people are being encouraged to become more self sufficient for economic, ecological and social reasons. If you are considering joining these urban warriors, then carefully planning a hen house for your flock of feathered ladies is extremely important, if you are to get the best from your project.

Happy chickens produce the best eggs and most people look to those delicious healthy fresh eggs as being the greatest benefit of keeping chickens. So, ensuring that they have the most comfortable and safe housing is vital to keep these ladies fully contented and in egg laying mode.

Planning a hen house is not complicated and as there are basically three factors that you need to consider, you should be able to start reaping the rewards of your efforts quite quickly.

(a) Location

Choosing the best location in your backyard is very important as chickens require sunlight in order to get into the egg laying mood. Avoiding positioning the hen house in a shaded area is best. Also try to choose a raised position if possible, one that it is not likely to get flooded during heavy rain.

(b) Design

There are several important design features that need to be considered so that your feathered friends will be safe and comfortable and eager to reward you with that delicious breakfast.

• Size
• Weatherproofing
• Roosting
• Nesting boxes
• Feeding
• Cleaning and maintenance
• Light and ventilation
• Protection against predators

Search online and you will find full information on all the important design aspects that need to be considered when planning a hen house.

However, you should also consider the overall appearance of your hen house, for two particular reasons

(i) it could impact on your relationship with your neighbours

(ii) you may want to consider selling it at a later date, for example if you want to house a larger flock.

(c) To buy or not to buy

Having decided on what your hen house should look like, the biggest decision you then have to make is whether to buy one, either complete or as a kit, or to take the plunge and build one yourself. Obviously your budget will dictate what you do but you should always aim to get the best chicken coop possible. Your ladies will certainly appreciate it.

If your budget is limited, you really should seriously consider building one yourself. Just as planning a hen house is not complicated neither is building one. If you have basic handyman skills, a few tools and the right guidance you can plan and build a hen house that you can be proud of. It will certainly add to the fun aspect of your project.

Get the basics right and you will enjoy the benefits for years to come. So what are you waiting for? Just think of breakfast and those delicious, healthy, fresh eggs.