Hen-keeping Starter Guide

Hen-keeping is an incredibly rewarding experience and ex-commercial hens are ideal for beginners. These hens make great pets, with fun and inquisitive personalities that will soon become part of your family. Here are some basic tips to get you started.

Choosing your coop

There are lots of coops to choose from but your girls will be happy as long as they have a safe, cosy and comfortable environment. Below are some things to consider to help you provide the best possible home for your girls:

Cleaning out the coop

Minimal daily cleaning is required to ensure your girls stay happy and healthy. We recommend the following:

Feeding and drinking


While it’s lovely to treat your hens, there are certain rules to be aware of:


Hens need daily care and aren’t the kind of pet that can be left for a couple of days unattended. They like routine so keepers should establish this from day one.

General health

Regular handling of hens means you’ll quickly pick up any health issues or abnormalities. Here are some points to be aware of:

We advise you to read our hen examination guidelines for more information.

Useful information:

Defra registration – We recommend all flocks, large and small, be registered with Defra. This will give you valuable information on what to do in the unlikely event that there is an outbreak of a notifiable disease.

Click below for more information on specific topics: