I came across this snippet from a website.
All the old thatched houses had earthen floors, some of them more uneven than others. I asked one old lady why a particular kitchen floor had a rise in the centre and she said it was caused by feeding the hens inside. She explained that the reason for this practice was because if they were fed outside the neighbours' hens would help themselves to the food!
It was from Observations by Jack Fitzsimons.
Visit the website to read more.