Scavenging Chickens Training Handbook – Housing


Village chickens need to be housed at night.

  • Do not allow them to roost in trees
  • Count them and inspect them for ailments often
  • Collect eggs from one place
  • Give them supplementary feed just outside the house at dusk

What kind of a house should I build?

You should plan carefully where you will build the house. It must be a strong house to protect your poultry:

  • From the weather
  • From predators
  • From thieves
  • It must allow in plenty of light and air movement
  • If it is off the ground this will allow it to be cool and unlikely to flood
  • The roof should have a good overhang

Where should I build my poultry house?

  • In a safe place
  • It should be built in a shady, dry area
  • On flat, raised ground to keep the floor dry
  • Close to your own house to prevent stealing
  • Put metal cones around each stilt or leg to prevent rats from climbing up

What size will my house be and what materials should I use?

  • This will depend on the size of your flock
  • A small house may be sufficient
  • For 10 to 15 adult birds it will be 2 large paces (metres) by 2 metres
  • It should be tall enough to allow you to enter comfortably (1.8 metres high)
  • It is better to make it large so that you can expand your flock size
  • It should have space for nest boxes. These can be a basket woven from coconut or bamboo leaves or made from stones or timber
  • Nest boxes should be off the floor
  • Put in dried grass and dry leaves as nesting material
  • Change the nesting material regularly
  • One nest box for 3-4 hens
  • Use as many local materials as possible
  • The floor can be made of split bamboo strips 2 cm apart
  • The floor should be easy to keep clean
  • Put in wooden perches – about 4-5 birds/metre and about 0.5 metres apart
  • You can collect the manure from under them and use it on your garden
  • There should be a simple drinker for holding clean, freshwater
  • It can be made from bamboo or an inverted can or bottle

There are several kinds of simple nest boxes

Next section: Furnishing the House

Furnishing the House

  • The feeder should be at a height that will allow all chickens to eat but not to scratch in it
  • It can also be made from local materials
  • You must allow your chickens to adjust to their new home by keeping them in with feed and water for a few days then let them out for a few hours at a time so that after a week they will know that it is their home at night
  • Place rocks in your chicks’ drinking water so they don’t fall in and get wet

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