Build Your Own Chicken House – Make it Move!

The chicken is a fantastic backyard pet to have. A conversation starter, a handy form of pest control, a source of fertilization, and best of all an ongoing source of healthy, tasty eggs! Those thinking about keeping hens should also think carefully about what kind of chicken house they are going to have.

When it comes down to it, looks don’t really matter. The chickens wouldn’t notice the difference if they were housed in a luxury cabin of quality woods or a shack constructed of scrap materials. What they want is a safe, dry place that is dark and quiet. If you can keep out the weather and animals that might eat your hens, the chickens will be pretty happy.

The house should provide easy access to water and food. It should be well-ventilated and have access to some light. You can add windows to your chicken house, with strong mesh coverings for added protection. Placed either side of the house, they will provide good cross-ventilation.

Doors make it easier to get into the chicken house and collect eggs or clean. Another idea that works well for smaller houses is to have a hinged lid. If you have doors, make a ramp leading up to the doors for the chickens to get in by.

The size of your hen house will reflect the number of chickens you will be keeping. Each chicken should have a nesting box and a good amount of perching space. They will need room to stretch and flap their wings.

To keep out the wet you may need to construct your hen house with a concrete base or raise it up on stilts. It is important that no dampness can seep in. Keep the ground covered with a good, thick layer of wood shavings or hay. Chickens will be encouraged to use their nesting boxes if they are kept well-supplied with fresh straw.
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