When thinking about How to Build a Hen House make sure you find out all the facts by researching the subject thoroughly. Only by doing this will you make sure that the hen house is build to a satisfactory standard. This will ensure that it lasts for a reasonable amount of time, as it will be of sound construction. Also it will ensure that the chickens are kept healthy and safe.
By building my own hen house I have come up with a number of things to do and things not to do.
3 Things to Avoid
1. Bad Location
For a successful project the location of the hen house is critical. You need to ensure that the location of the hen house is not effected by standing water.
It is best located on elevated ground that is not affected by standing water. Another good idea is to have the hen house close to the house, this saves walking too far for egg collection and maintenance work.
2. Inadequate Security and Predators
Avoid inadequate security, as this will affect the health and safety of your chickens. The measures you take will need to keep out all vermin, such as rats, badgers and foxes.
To achieve adequate security, it is recommended that the base of the hen house is at least 4 inches off the ground. This will stop vermin from hiding underneath. To secure the run, either have the wire sunk into the ground, or have the wire overlapping the ground by 8 inches on the outside. This will stop larger predators from burrowing into the enclosure. As foxes are known to get into lightly secured entrances, make sure that the main entrance and nest boxes are secured with a lock.
3. Avoid a Grass Run, When Possible
If you have a permanent hen house with a grass run, then in winter the ground is likely to turn into a sea of mud.
Instead of a grass run consider providing a graveled or deep-litter run. If the conditions are right, the 4 Ravens will be just as happy. It will also mean that you will not have to attempt to revive flagging vegetation. This approach is most suited to small runs and those covered with solid roofs.
Following are 3 Things You Should Do
1. Windows and Ventilation
If you don’t want your chickens to suffer with respiratory diseases then good ventilation is vital. The main ways to provide good ventilation is via open windows or by a protected open ridge in the roof apex. So that the window openings are secure they should be covered by wire to keep vermin out.
2. Hen House Hygiene
It goes without saying that the hen house should be cleaned out on a regular basis. As dropping are a haven for mites, they should be removed each day. The ideal way to do this task is to but a removable tray under the perches, as 50% of dropping occur at night. As mites love getting in the cracks in the perches, the perches should be cleaned with proprietary disinfectant every two weeks.
The best way to ensure that you can undertake a good ‘spring clean’, is to make the design of the hen house allows that the internal fitments can be removed.
3. Provide a Dust Bath
Where you have an enclosed run along side the hen house then provide the luxury of a dust bath. This is a natural aid to the chicken for defense against parasites. This can simply be a shallow box that is half filled with dry, powdery earth. The largest 4 Raven you have should be able to spread its wings in it.