I have been reading some animal forums for a few months and I do not have any animals yet. I recently saw the movie Master and Commander, which I do recommend. On board the ship, 3 or 4 chickens were kept in a small cage; I estimate it to be 1ft by 1 ft by 3.5 feet. A crew man would bring the entirely wooden cage with the chickens to the main deck and take it below deck during battle or bad weather. I cannot say what facilities were below deck. This cage did not seem large enough to me, for general use, though perhaps big enough if the hens were laying. No chicken run was shown in the movie. Does anyone know historical examples of how they actually kept hens? I did Google around but found nothing. Considering modern humane treatment, can someone comment on some of my thoughts below. If one had to keep hens in a small cage, how small, and for how long? Anything special you have to do to make up for this unnatural confinement? I assume you could make a "run" even in confined conditions: fold-able chicken tractor.