Too Many Hens

One may keep a dozen or a thousand hens, provided they have ample accommodations in the poultry house and are properly cared for. The great stumbling block to the success of some is that they try to keep too large a number of hens on too small a space. This is not always done intentionally as the hens appear to have enough room; but the roosts will be crowded with more hens than it should hold. It will not suffice for the hens to have room enough to sit in a row, with heads all one way, each hen touching the other, especially in warm weather. They should be able to turn and change position on the roost. The fear of thieves deter poultrymen from leaving the doors and windows open, and as a rule, the interior of the house is warmer than it should be. This is not surprising as the roof is low and the sun pours down on it for twelve hours. When the hens are crowded, their bodies increase the heat, and lice are quickly propagated, the warmth producing the most favorable conditions for their multiplication. More eggs will be obtained when the hens have plenty of room; and they will be less liable to disease. Crowding induces disease and lowers the vitality of the fowls. Each hen should have ten square feet of room in the poultry house, and twelve inches of room on the roost, to be comfortable.

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