When it comes around to providing poultry cages or a chicken coop where you can house your hens, there are lots of things to think about. One of the first things to consider is, you have to make certain of when you develop or get a hen cage is that it large enough in order to comfortably house the whole flock.
You will really need around 4 square foot of area to provide enough room for each chicken. As an example, an 8X8 hen cage will comfortably house about 16 hens. If you have a huge run or field for the hens to roam around in, the square feet require each bird could be reduced to 2 square feet per bird.
I additionally advise that you not build or create housing that is way too large than what you need, as the hens will cuddle together with each other throughout the winter therefor a properly sized cage will ensure they remain warm and healthy.
Make sure to have a “roost” for your hens inside the cage. You will usually need around 6 – 12 inches of roosting area each bird. A roost could be made with a dowel or board 1 1/2 inches in size. Maintain the roost height 2 1/2 – 3 feet off the flooring of the cage.
Build or buy nesting boxes for inside the cage too. Nesting boxes aid to prevent the eggs from falling onto the floor and breaking, far from the manure. A box about 12 inches square should be fine. You want to set up one box for every 4 chickens you have in total, as they will share the boxes.
When possible, install a lot of glass or meshed windows in the chicken house. It will really help in providing enough sunshine during the winter months as well as air flow for ventilation in the summer season. If you can not figure out how to get screened windows in the chicken house or cage, make sure that there is some sort of air vent near the roof of the structure to provide some air movement and ventilate the humidity caused by the chicken feces and persperation.
Hen cages been available in various dimensions as well as chicken coop plans and designs. If you thinking of acquiring a pre-made poultry cage, you could anticipate to pay around $500 for a little hen cage, to more than $3000 for a huge one, that you may hire someone to build for you.
I would suggest building your own hen house. A strong poultry cage, large enough to house a few dozen hens, could quickly be thrown up for around $750.00. Something smaller for a few hens might run you 150.00