Housing is the most costly aspect of chicken keeping and with such a huge array of housing to choose from it can be rather daunting. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure it is made from treated wood that is of a decent thickness to prevent predators chewing in and to provide adequate insulation in the colder months.
- Felt roofs do harbour red mite and can make it extremely difficult to eradicate them. Ideally go for a wooden or corduline roof. If you do purchase a chicken house with a felt roof you can of course replace it with corduline, which is available from most DIY stores if you ever have a problem.
- Locks and hinges should be robust and of a good quality to prevent foxes chewing them off! It does happen.
- Chicken Runs – The bigger the better, made with decent wire, an area protected from the elements is advantageous.
If you need any help or advice come and visit us; we can offer ideas for your individual requirements, we have an array of chicken coops and chicken runs in use to suit most situations. We sell a small selection of chicken houses but can always point you in the right direction if we don’t have what you want.
Remember, how you set up is very important - it will determine how happy your hens are and also how enjoyable your experience is with your girls.
- Feeders and drinkers - plastic or galvanised? The choice is yours. We stock both - all are well made and practical.
- Dust pan and brush for cleaning and I find a paint scrapper very handy for cleaning out.
- Rodent proof storage bins to store your chicken's feed.
- Red mite powder – prevention is better than cure.
- Wormer – your hens will need worming regularly.
- A feed scoop makes topping up their feed easier.
- Grit is needed to keep your hens' digestive tract healthy and working well, they also absorb the calcium from the oyster shell to help keep their eggshells strong.
- Tonics are a good idea especially at times of stress.
- Lino – this is a really good tip – cut two pieces of lino to fit the bottom of your chicken coop, it will protect the floor and make cleaning so easy. Just roll the lino, empty the dirty bedding into a wheelbarrow, replace with the spare piece and then wash and dry the dirty one ready for the next clean.
- It is a good idea to have some antiseptic in the cupboard – purple spray is what I would recommend just in case your hens have any scratches or pecks.
- Something to collect your eggs in!
The Hollywater Hens shop now accepts credit cards. Also please bring a suitable box/pet carrier to transport your new hens home (We can provide cardboard transport boxes if required, but at a small cost).