We kept hens for a while, back in the last century, when we lived in Scotland. (The poultry above weren't ours; they merely serve as a pictorial introduction.) The impetus to keep hens came as a result of my daughter receiving as a 5th birthday present from her grandmother an old hen-house.
(Memo to self: I must try not to do this to my grand-daughter.)
It was a desperately rickety thing, held together only by gravity and encrusted layers of long-dried chicken manure. At night unappealing little red things came out and jumped about on it.
We got three bantams, the result of a frantic night-time chase by torchlight in a barn belonging to a colleague. "They're just stupid when they're roosting," she'd said. "They're practically comatose. All you have to do is lift them off their perch and stuff them in a sack."
They weren't enough to keep us in eggs, so we got four hens from a nearby battery egg farm. Two died within the week, probably from agoraphobia*. Another, Mrs Collapsed Comb, laid splendid eggs at a terrific rate and justified the whole venture on her own.
Infant innocence about gender led these hens to be named after prominent cricketers of the time. Randall (Notts. C.C.C. 1972-93) would come indoors if ever she found a door left open. Here she is nesting in the laundry sink.
Gower, Boycott, Kapil Dev and others perished when their hen-house, unsurprisingly, blew down one night in a storm.