The roof is detachable and is fastened by case clips either side. This way I can take the roof off and muck the roost out every so often. It is not too heavy, but it is probably best if two people lift it. I made sure that it sloped to the rear of the house so that the rain would run off onto the nesting box roof. I could probably fit a gutter if I got really fancy, that drained to a water butt. I will have a think about that, because it would be nice if the house could harvest its own water supply for the hens.
I attached a little nesting box at the back of the roost with a hinged lid so we can get at the eggs. I am still looking around for something to put in there. I should be able to put two nests in this space.
All I have to do now is finish off the water proofing, test for leaks, and then give it a lick of paint. That will protect the wood for at least a few years. They should stay warm in winter, and cool in summer, because under each piece of corrugated iron is a wooden ceiling to keep the elements out. This way the heat from the iron will not heat it up like a hot box. I don’t want to cook the chickens, I just want their eggs! The hen house cost me about $40 for, nails and roofing screws, 1 x 2.4 mtr length of wood (before I found lots wombling), the corrugated iron, two gate hinges, the case clamps, and a blade for the jigsaw. Everything else was found by wombling or I had around the yard. The fence pailings were given to me by a friend, and most of the structural timber was reused from other projects. I have a half a can of external heritage green paint in the shed, so that is what colour it will be next week. Not a bad price if I say so myself. I was filled with a sense of achievement when I finished it. After I packed the tools away and Kim took the photographs, I felt like I could take on the world!
As I said, I finished the hen house off this afternoon, but I have been a busy boy. In the last post, you would have seen my wonderful loaf of wholemeal bread, however I put the ingredients into the bread maker very early this morning, and set off for my bi-weekly scavenge around the local building sites. I love to find good stuff that the builders have thrown away, and in a way I am a bit like a Womble (I don’t look like one).
“Make good use of the things folks leave behind”, you know, reuse it (it was a ’70’s thing kids). Anyway, wombling aside, I found some good lengths of timber to finish off the chicken cage, so all I need now are some galvanised 10 x 100mm nuts & bolts, and some rolls of chicken wire which I may have to pick up at the hardware store, . I might be able to find some off of eBay this week, so fingers crossed I should get that cheap as well. The two CCA round logs were bought from the timber yards so they don’t count.
I also came across this fantastic find in a junk pile at a dead end street in the new housing estate. It is a nice length of shade cloth that will fit perfectly over the chicken run. I was gob smacked when I found it. It would have cost me a fortune as would have the wood. You can see the area where the chicken run is going to be located to the top left of the picture. I am never going to buy wood again.
What a great find, and of course Butch could not miss another photo opportunity! Aside from the wombling, after I got home with my lovely booty (arrrrh, Pirate noises), I watered the vegetable patch, fertilised the citrus trees with Powerfeed, did a little bit of weeding, cooked dinner, and wrote this post. We had a chicken stew with bok choy, made in the pressure cooker of course, with a few slices of my wholemeal bread. What a great way to finish off the day!