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.
Here is a picture with the roof taken off, so you can see what I am on about. It comes off in one piece.
And here is an inside view so you can see the raised floor. The floor will have straw on it to make it easier to clean up their droppings.
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.
This is the nesting box with the lid up. Look who decided to have a look at my handy work! Butch gets into everything.
As you can see it has a cute little opening at the front, and I figure that if Butch can fit through it, a chicken should have no problems at all.
There he is! He was so excited for me, and I think that he thinks it is his house. I have a rude shock for him when the three chickens turn up!
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!
have you put a patent on that chook house mate. Its a thing of beauty. I can only see one problem with it mate, the dog thinks its his !!!!
Love it, Gavin. Our place is a storehouse for all timber abd steel offcuts and things people are throwing out and, eventually, they come in handy, like with my seed fram and other structures around the place. Sometimes, though, “eventually” can be a darn long time!!
Sharon J says
The wombles were clearly well ahead of their time. What clever creatures we had inhabiting Wimbledon Common 🙂