Petidote of the Day 2012-08-17
The best hen house ever! (Part One)
A few weeks ago, Correntian insanely sane mentioned that she had chickens. And so I'm all like, "Pics please," and voila -- here they are! Insanely documented the building of the hen house, made largely from found materials and what was on hand. So even though it looks plush, it cost very little. Plus, there are pictures of baby chicks (awwwww!) in their new home. Even if you're not into chickens, this is a very cool story.
I documented the journey from ideas and plans to building the house and outdoor coop. I started around Thanksgiving time Fall 2011.
Front of hen house
By Feb 2012 the house and coop were finished and furnished and I was ready for baby chicks. I got 11 peeps ( all girls... supposedly) on March 30, 2012. They were 3 days old. All were eggers that lay brown or blue shelled eggs. I chose a mix of breeds based on friendliness and calmness and also egg laying. I was going for a "laid back" bunch of layers, LOL
So now, 4 1/2 months later, we have 10 nearly full grown pullets and they will begin laying in a month or so. My first time for this, so we are all going to learn together. (Eleven chicks but one turned out to be a rooster. We found him a new family. )
So far the hens are happy and growing.They free range during day and then at night they go into "Ft Knox"... I have an automatic closing door. All windows have heavy wire nailed over. I have motion sensor lights and predator lasers that flash at night. I just went for it!
The interior framing wood for coop was milled from a Redwood tree that I grew for 35 years too close to our house!! It had to come down so we used it to build the coop.
It's a big shed, 12' x 9'. Chickens in the back third. Storage for my stuff in the front 2/3. Chickens go out a back door into a fully enclosed heavy wire wood framed outdoor coop. They are safe in there. From there, they can be let into the orchard all day, then they go back into caged coop and house by dusk, locked up secure for the night.
We have coyote, foxes, raccoons, bobcats, hawks and big owls here, so I took every precaution.The house and secure coop is as safe as you can make it.
I stole ideas from assorted internet chicken houses. I also came up with details with my carpenter friend who built it for me. For weeks, I went to recycle places and junk yards and got all the wooden windows and doors for free or really cheap. Same with hardware, lamps, chair, pictures. Nothing cost more than $15.00. Most was free.
There is so much info on chickens on the web. Lots of great ideas.
Fancy Farm Girl was shamelessly copied! She is awesome.
But it's about the birds.
My birds are a nice mix.
5 Buff Orpington
2 Black Australorp
We are all gardening organically together! They till and poop and I plant and harvest. They get some of the harvest every day!
We plan to sell some eggs and also share some with family.
Thanks, insanely -- this is such a great story. I love the way you recycled materials and made something useful and attractive out of things that were being thrown away. But the chickens are the frosting on the cake -- brilliant!!
Next Friday, Part Two: Baby Chicks Grow Up!
Click on the images for the full-size version. Click here to see the entire series.