Friday, September 30, 2016

Subsidized Housing For Chickens





We believe  all birds have the right to adequate cold weather shelter  regardless of their income, breed, color or sexual preference. Therefore we pay for everything for these slackers, some of which we know are not even laying eggs as per our agreement.

But we've been rotten landlords so fair is fair.

Since we moved here in April 2015. our feathered flock has had to tolerate all kinds of temporary housing. At first they took shelter in the trees (last spring) then a converted pig farrowing building, then here and there in the feed shed. Everyone and their brother, chickens, guineas, ducks are totally free range, meaning that right now, they are laying their eggs every which way and loose.

So we'll forget where their most recent drop site is and then "SURPRISE" we'll find a nest of 10-12 eggs with no sentry and wonder just how old those eggs are. Did I collect from this place just a few days ago or was it a few weeks ago.? If there is any doubt the eggs go to the pigs, so they are never wasted but still, it's nice to to have to play Russian Roulette with your eggs.

Soon though, the foul on our property will have their new housing project completed. At first this wooden A frame building was probably a wood shop of some sort based on the antique pulleys and wheels still intact within.


At some point in its past,  the bottom third was hacked away and the abbreviated structure became the well house, covering and protecting the original 19th century well from creature explorations. This must have worked well for 80-90 years but by the time we arrived, the building was beginning to fall apart.

Plus the well had to be repaired. So the shop turned well house soon to be chicken coop was hoisted onto a hay wagon and moved closer to the grain bin house. For the last few days Keith has been remodeling the structure for its final purpose of housing chickens and ducks.

Of course as is our annoying trademark, the rebuild has been with 100% recycled and repurposed items. The wood is ever present, Keith has been collecting it for decades, truly, decades. The windows came off a relatives mobile home when she put in new windows this summer. The door was created by Keith, nice and wide to accommodate the third window allowing lots of southern sun to enter the abode this winter.

We have an old set of metal nest boxes which will be moved in soon and plenty of limbs around to craft roosts. The roof does leak in several area but we have shingles on site to repair it. Of course they won't match the shingles already in place but only the very tall visitors and the very low flying pilots will find that design flaw.

I'll up date you as the project progresses. Don't bother about asking for blueprints or plans to follow to build a similar chicken house. Keith pretty much makes it up as he goes. He's a wild man that way.

23 comments:

  1. Pampered hens. I hope they reward you with plenty of eggs; all laid in their proper nesting boxes!

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    1. When this is done they best be laying in order by time of day!

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  2. That's one hell of a chicken shack! With all those windows, they should be laying year round.

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    1. We do hope all the light will help. Keith put in another window in the back wall today.

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  3. The chooks will thank you, in eggs hopefully. Great design/placement re winter sun. I love the way its all coming together.

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  4. Housing for our birds has always been the first job we sort out, I'm not too sure just how many houses we have but they range from a 10X6 for fifteen birds to a 5X4 for a trio of Buff Orpington's.It's rare for us to find a nest outside the house but if we do we check the eggs in a bowl of water, if they float they aren't fresh and get given to the dogs.

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    1. You are definitely the farmer all chickens need. I am much more lackadaisical about egg nests. One I cracked open an egg and a puppy came out.

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  5. Nice digs. No one can accuse you of being a Slum Lord.

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    1. Well, they could in the past year but this year, the chicks are moving on up.

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  6. Bravo! Very nice (and creative) job of repurposing. :)

    We've got a stack of those same windows and doors here that we've accumulated over the years from dumpsters and roadside giveaways. Maybe they'll be incorporated into a greenhouse someday. For now they serve as coldframe covers in the winter.

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    1. We also used some for cold frames Bill, and I too would love an entire greenhouse made of old windows and stained glass windows, if anyone has some of those to give away! I'm very partial to blues and greens.

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  7. Geez, those chickens are going to live better than I did in my first apartment! Not only does it look better kept, but undoubtedly the view will be 1000000% better than I had. Great transformation on the shed, Donna.

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    1. no kidding. My first apartment was a dumpy single wide trailer. To check the weather one only had to lean against the living room wall and voila...instant outdoor weather.

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  8. My old hen retire to free ranged If they make it that far. Then the fox or a dog walkers dog normally ends up with them. The circle of life!

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    1. We too have our share of free rangers, but we are blessed with Fannie our great Pyrenees who is one awesome livestock dog. She even barks at the hawks who circle above over little chicks and scares them away. Her only fault: she does nothing when the little chicks wander into the pig pen and get eaten up for snacks. We all have our limits I suppose.

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  9. WOW, not that's a building save if I ever saw one. I need to show this to Dan. He can really appreciate Keith's creative fixer-er-upperness.

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    1. Thanks Leigh. Keith and I are planning a hot date re-reading your recent blog abut installing the sliding barn doors. we want to put one in as our bedroom door. Thanks for all YOUR great "fixer-er-upperness" posts.

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  10. My poultry would be thrilled with a palace like the "after" picture... and I could fit SO many more chickens in it. Hmm...
    The soaps cam earlier in the week - thank you! They are gorgeous!!!

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    1. Thank you and You are most welcome. Now go clean up your act!

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  11. It's great to get those projects ticked off the list, when it comes to housing/fencing farm critters. It makes annual management, so much easier. I don't know how you could live with free-range chickens, tearing up your gardens. But maybe they were good chickens. ;) Or maybe you just didn't have a choice, either way, until the coop was finished.

    I love the look. It has been totally transformed, and I'm sure will make exceptional accommodations for winter. :)

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  12. I love the transformation. Nothing wasted, everything re-used and re-purposed, just brilliant.

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  13. A hipped roof and a gambrel roof are not an easy task to Home upkeep calls for roof inspection in all weather, conditions and situations and leaks always be dealt with Best RV roof Leaks repair product these are golden policies what made me secure from remodeling and renovating .

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