Since the start of the global pandemic, many people have decided to keep chickens in their homes, and since the rising cost of living crisis, it is continuing to grow in popularity. You can adopt egg-laying hens and give them a new home from places like the British Hen Welfare Trust. You can register your interest in adopting some hens, and they have locations throughout the country where hens are looking for new homes. However, before you collect your flock of hens and take them home, you will need to prepare your home to have somewhere suitable and safe for them to live.
Prepare Somewhere For Them To Live
You will need an area set aside for your hens, and they will need a coop and a run to get out and exercise. There are different sizes of chicken coops for sale, so you will need to get one big enough to keep the number of hens you plan to adopt. The chicken coop needs to be secure to protect the hens from predators and give them somewhere comfortable to roost at night and lay their eggs. The chickens need somewhere to go outside and scratch around, so they can take more space than you realise.
A Decent Size Chicken Run
You will want to fence off an area outside the chicken coop that the bords can use to scratch around and exercise outside. A rule of thumb you can use is that you will need at least one square meter of space per bird, and you will want to enclose the chicken run using a wire fence that also encompasses the roof of the enclosure.
Keeping Your Hens Secure
Many predators can attack your chickens, even in a built-up area, so you need an enclosure to protect your hens and keep them safe. Some of the animals that can attack your chickens and target their eggs also, include:
- Hen Harrier
You need to ensure your surround your chicken coop and run with strong chicken wire, and ensure it has a roof to prevent birds of prey from swooping down. Make sure there are no gaps in the fence that predators can exploit, and you can keep your hens safe and ensure they live a happy and relaxed life.
Choose A Suitable Location For The Chicken Coop
You will also need to ensure that the chicken coop offers the hens protection from the elements and ensure they are not too exposed. You will want the door of the chicken coop to face south so it gets the maximum exposure to the sun daily. Avoid having many plants, bushes, and trees too close to the chicken coop, as these can damage the chicken coop and give predators somewhere to hide.
Once your hens have somewhere decent to live, the last step is to get in lots of chicken feed to ensure they have plenty to eat. You can feed them some scraps from your kitchen, such as cooked rice or pasta, vegetables, and fruit, but you will also need to buy chicken feed, so they have everything they need to remain fit and healthy.