Wednesday, 10 February 2016

How Big Should My Hen House Be?

Over the last few months one of our regular customers to the Flyte so Fancy Shop has been having terrible trouble with feather pecking in her flock of seven hens. Here at FSF HQ we suggested the whole gamut of solutions. Anti-feather pecking sprays, poultry saddles, extra treats to divert the chickens attention away from pecking.
Flyte so Fancy Information Page - Feather Pecking
A Hen who is a favourite of one of our cockerels

Unfortunately nothing worked, until the customer mentioned that she had them in a coop purchased elsewhere that claimed to hold up to ten birds, but in reality the space was no where near enough for the seven ladies she had inside it. The suggestion of a new coop giving them more room inside the house and also in the run for them to stretch their wings, has hopefully solved the issue and in the coming months we hope to see positive results.

Convention has always said that you should allow 1 sq ft of floor area per bird inside the house, for them to have enough room to be happy and healthy. Equally there should be around 7-8 inches of perch space per bird. giving them room to roost comfortably. You will also want to make sure that the perches are around 8 inches apart.

Over-crowding can be a real issue leading to health issues, the hen house over-heating with all your birds crammed inside and also bullying behaviour as hens jostle for room. Putting too many hens in a confined space can also potentially lead to suffocation, as hens over heat in the small space. Conversely, if you put too few hens in a large space that they cannot heat, they can freeze. It is important to get the right balance by getting a coop that suits the number of hens you have (with wiggle room for expanding your flock) and has plenty of space inside for each bird to roost and live happily. 

Flyte so Fancy Hen Houses
Maggie's Six Hen House
All Flyte so Fancy hen house are built to these guidelines to promote happy and healthy living for hens. We also make sure that the nestboxes and perches are set up in the best way for the birds. The nestbox should be low down and in the darkest part of the hen house to provide privacy and to allow your girls to lay their eggs undisturbed. The perches should always be raised up and higher than the nestbox. Hens always look for the highest point to roost and if the nestbox is higher than the perches, that is where the hens will sleep. This will make them dirty, which is not desirable. 

These simple considerations when choosing your chicken coop can avoid all manner of issues with poultry keeping, leading to successful happy hens. If you have any questions or need help choosing the best hen house, why not leave a comment below, or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team.

Thanks for Reading

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