Top tips for buying your first chicken house

After 10 years in the chicken house business Jim, of Jim Vyse Arks, has heard plenty of hen house buying horror stories. Leaky houses, poor design, and hard to clean nest boxes are just some of the most common complaints from chicken owners.

If you’re new to chicken keeping it can be hard to know what to look for when buying your first chicken house – so here are Jim’s top tips to help you give your hens’ the home they deserve:

Buy quality, buy once

Generally speaking you get what you pay for with chicken coops so it’s worth spending a bit more on your chicken house to get a top quality product. As a rough guide £300-£400 will get you’re a carefully designed, well-built house.

This might seem a lot of money but you could spend far more than that having to replace poor quality chicken arks every year.

Fabulous or functional?

Whether you choose an elaborate design or a more simple style of chicken house is a matter of personal taste but it’s important that your house is practical as well as pretty.

When choosing your chicken house you’ll need to ask yourself the following questions:

• Is it easily moveable?

• Does it provide good ventilation?

• Is it easy to clean and maintain?

• Does it give your hens a high standard of welfare? (Look at perches, nest box size etc.)

• Is it made of top quality materials, for example, tantalised timber?

Runs and enclosures

If your flock isn’t going to free range then you’ll also need to purchase a chicken run or enclosure. Whether you choose a run that attaches to your chicken house or opt for a walk-in enclosure depends on your personal needs and space but quality is still important.

Your chickens will need room to spread their wings, scratch around, dust bath, and carry out other natural behaviours. Choose a design that provides as much protection from predators as possible to keep your hens safe.

Consider a bespoke design

If you’re trying to fit a chicken house in an unusual space or standard designs don’t suit your needs then why not consider a bespoke design? Prices for a Jim Vyse Arks bespoke chicken house start from just £350 so having the hen house of your dreams doesn’t need to break the bank.

As well as a bespoke design Jim Vyse Arks also offers a range of nine different paint colours to make sure that your chicken house is an attractive, robust, and practical addition to your garden, orchard, or field.

To view our full range of chicken houses or to contact us regarding a bespoke design please visit our website

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