Multiple hen houses

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mark, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. Mark

    Mark Songster

    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    We have 16 chicks and 1 full grown hen. The hen currently lives in a tractor


    It isn't clear how many birds can sleep in the hen house, but my guess is 10.

    So, here is my question. Will all 17 birds (should all the chicks grow to full size) want to stay in one hen house, even if 2 hen houses are available?

    My current plan is to build a second hen house about the same size as the first. Neither would be big enough for all the birds. DW thinks the flock will not want to split up.
  2. Nuggetsowner:)

    Nuggetsowner:) Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    What are the dimensions of your hen house? It looks to be a little small for all 17 birds. All my girls like to roost together. I am not sure about anyone else. Good luck!
  3. Mark

    Mark Songster

    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    Hello Nuggestsowner:)

    >What are the dimensions of your hen house?

    4' by 4' and about 4.5' high.

  4. Luke74

    Luke74 In the Brooder

    Jan 9, 2008
    Las Vegas
    The suggestions are that you have 2-4 sq. feet per chicken. So your 4'x4' would, at max, be for 8 birds. This has to do with the overall health of the bird. Now if you let them truely "free range" I would IMO let it be. They are only in there during the night and to lay. Secondly you will have to think about their bedding. There is a significant "load" to the bedding with that many chicken in such a small area, so that is something you will have to deal with.
  5. Mark

    Mark Songster

    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    Hi Luke74,

    I'm wondering if they will try to all get into one hen house.

    In my mind, if we lock half the chickens up for a few days in one tractor, and the other half in the second tractor, ... they will just naturally roost in the tractor we 'recommended' to them.

    DW thinks that it won't work, since they free range, they will all follow each other into one hen house.
  6. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I have to hen houses, but only have laying nests in one. They seem to have worked it out themselves as to who sleeps where. They all lay in the same tractor, though.
  7. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    You can train them to go into a particular coop at night.

    To train them, keep them up in the coop for a day or two and they will usually figure it out which one is their sleeping spot.

    If you don't want to keep them up for a few days, (or can't due to space limitation inside the coop) then put them up just as it gets dusk, but before they would usually put themselves to bed into the 'right' coop. It may take a few more days longer, but they will eventually get the idea.
  8. Your birds will tell you physically, too, if you've got them too crowded and I prefer NOT to let it go that far! They will be very scruffy, have feathers missing and miserly tail feathers from the pecking at each other when crowded. Best to break it in half before you see signs of cannibalism..

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