While there are a great number of different hen house designs one of the most important things to take into consideration is that chickens are not the cleanest of animals. Like any bird they are going to leave droppings wherever they go. Your new hen house is going to need to be cleaned on a regular basis to keep your hens healthy.
Most hen house designs suggest that you start with a good solid floor, a poured cement one works well especially if you slope it a little towards one end. By using a cement floor you can use a broom to sweep the worst of the mess and then use a garden hose to wash the whole hen house out. To further make this easier, consider building a low wall out of cinder blocks before you build the wooden walls. Not only will this make hosing the hen house out easier but the cinder blocks will help keep out predators.
Many hen house designs include building the nesting boxes so that they can be accessed through a hinged roof. This will allow you to collect the eggs your hens lay daily as well as change the bedding on a regular basis. When it comes time to give the whole hen house a thorough cleaning you can prop the roof open and hose the nesting boxes out with the rest of the house.
Hen house designs should include feed trays that are easy to remove so that they can be taken out and scrubbed thoroughly. A simple feed tray needs to be no higher than the top of your hens’ backs and should provide at least 2 to 3 linear inches of space per bird. It should have a small lip built all the way around it to keep the feed in place so that your hens do not make a mess and waste feed. Good hen house designs include as many ways to simplify cleaning as possible. The cleaner you can keep your hen house the healthier your flock will be. A healthy flock will provide you with years of fresh eggs and meat.