Raising healthy poultry requires a well-ventilated hen house that allows poultry to seek shelter from the weather. A draft-free hen house provides chickens with protection from harsh climates and extreme heat or cold.
A chicken house should be clean and free from moisture to help prevent disease and the proliferation of lice and mites. An adjoining area where chickens can roam, scratch, dust bathe, drink and search for food promotes a healthy environment. Chickens are social and thrive in flocks of 20 or under, since this number is ideally suited for the pecking order. It’s important to provide adequate room for the birds, since crowding causes stress and often leads to fighting.
Protection from predators is vital. Houses built on stilts or metal poles and wire fencing buried at least 10 inches into the ground around the perimeter offer added protection.