What hens love to do all day

What hens love to do all day

Hens love routine, and there’s plenty of that here at Woodland.

Being very social creatures, hens tend to stay close to each other even as they roam.

Mostly hens love to forage. This means keeping moving, looking under trees for bugs and grubs. They do interrupt their search from time to time, taking time out to do a little dustbathing or to get into the sandpits and have a bit of fun. These sandpits are made from old tyres filled with a mix of sand and woodchip.

There are other amusements to fill their day. We have purpose-built or natural shelters for the hens dotted through the paddocks, and to these we often tie a carrot or a swede or even a pumpkin – a real favourite with the hens. They make very short work of them, believe us.

After all that foraging, scratching and feasting they may want to jump into a tree for a little nap. They have fun up in those trees too, seeing who can perch highest.

It’s a full day, made all the better for having all those trees to shelter from the sun or rain, get out of the wind, and worry less about predators.

As with humans, plenty of exercise is good for hens. It helps them maintain the right bodyweight, which in turn helps them produce more eggs. It also maintains their bone density and strength.

Feed is available to the hens at all times.

Where do the Hens go at night?

Like humans, hens like to be tucked up safe and sound at night. Generally they return to the barns with the approach of sundown, although there are always a few stragglers.

At Ti Kouka and Glenpark, between the barn and the woodland area, are "winter gardens" (or litter areas). These covered courtyards shelter hens from the elements, so that even in extreme weather, they can go to an outdoor covered area.

The barns themselves are very carefully managed to ensure each hen is well housed. Hens are very social creatures and prefer to roost close to one another, knowing they will be woken if another bird is disturbed. They will sleep for most of the non-daylight hours.

At Glenpark and Ti Kouka our housing systems come from Europe. Using the expertise of world-leading layer housing specialists, we have designed our barns to provide plenty of feed space, drinker space, perch space and nest space.

Litter is available as wood shavings or sawdust, for foraging and dustbathing.