Ventilation in Chicken Housing:
We have incorporated ventilation features into the Framebow designs, allowing clean air to be drawn up from under the eaves or base and the stale air escapes either via the ventilation louvres or the meshed apex, enabling a flow of clean air and exit of ammonia. Foul air can cause serious problems for your birds. Adequate ventilation in your chicken house is a very important requirement and one we have catered for very well in the design of our chicken housing.
Don't be tempted to add heat lamps to a hen house though, or artificial heat of any kind. Chickens cannot control their body heat as we do (and they are covered in a layer of feathers after all) so rapid changes in temperature are generally not good for them. If you heat the house overnight and then they exit into a very frosty outdoors this can cause respiratory problems or even death through shock.Nest Boxes & Perches:
Your Framebow Arch Coop comes complete with an internal nest box tray which is placed just inside the back door of the chicken house. This is a deep wooden tray with a plywood base and sloping plywood privacy walls (sloping to prevent perching). With the smaller Salisbury Chicken Coop
, the tray has a single privacy wall and is placed to one side.
Add a nice deep layer of bedding e.g. HempBed-E Poultry Bedding
, to the nest tray to ensure comfort for the hens and clean eggs for you. The nest box should always be lower than the perches, not only to prevent the birds sleeping in the nest box at night, but also to encourage them to lay their eggs in the cosiest, lowest part of the house. Egg collecting is easy by opening the back door to reveal the nest box tray just inside so you can collect all those delicious eggs.
Our chicken houses come complete with perches of course, and these are either free-standing (in the Salisbury Coop) or mounted on either side of the house (in the Arch House). All are easily removable, a must for cleaning them off regularly. Allow at least 20 cm (8 in) of perch length per bird, for larger fowl allow up to 25 cm (10 in) perch space, and this is how we assess the capacity of our hen houses (along with floor space). Our perches have rounded edges, made using 50mm x 38mm square timber, it's the ideal size so that the birds have a comfortable grip and can rest their breastbone on the perch.
The perches are at a higher level than the nesting box so that the birds will not sleep in the nest boxes at night and make them dirty. Always encourage your birds to roost on the perches to avoid leg problems, feather loss, mites & lice; you dont want the birds lying in poo and dirt for hours. It does also make cleaning the house much easier for you if all the poo is under the perches.Chicken House Pop-Hole and Automatic Door Openers:
The pop-hole is the small wooden door that allows the chickens to enter and exit the house into the run. We ensure that our pop-holes are large enough for most breeds of poultry at 29cm wide x 26cm high. The pop-holes have an internal vertical sliding door and can be opened and closed by the use of a drawstring cord. This enables you to open and close the door for your chickens without the need to enter the run area.
If you are new to keeping chickens, you've probably never come across the automatic pop-hole door openers
before. They are very cleverly designed little battery-operated devices that can be fitted to your hen house, either internally or externally. They can be set to let your chickens out in the mornings at dawn, by raising the sliding pop-hole vertically, and then close the door at dusk by lowering the pop-hole automatically.
We are able to supply and fit automatic doors to our hen houses; either Chicken Guard or VSB units (both are available on this website). It is important when using the automatic door for the first time, to ensure it is set up and working properly and the birds do reliably roost at dusk on their own before relying on this gadget. Overall, a great product, very robust and reliably built and especially useful for those winter months when you are returning home late from work and unable to shut away your chickens within the safety of the chicken house before dark.
Your new chicken house will arrive complete with a long ramp from the pop-hole to the ground, it simply sits on the ledge of the pop-hole door and the birds will hop down in the morning (or fly) and then in the evening will gently make their way up it to bed.Sliding Bedding Tray / Removable Floor:
Our large Arch Houses come with a slide out dirt tray as the floor. It can be removed completely for a thorough clean, either by pressure washing or by hand with disinfectant or purpose made cleaner (we do not recommend using standard household cleaners for animal housing - see our sister website Flyte so Fancy
for a full range of husbandry products).
As a tip, you could line the floor of the house with newspaper or an old feed bag, add some bedding, ideal for just quickly sliding out the hen house floor in the mornings and scooping out the paper, which can be easily disposed of either by putting on the compost heap or bonfire. Hemp Bedding is excellent for absorbing chicken mess and for lining the nesting boxes.