22 December 2010

Happy Hen House

The current poultry compound.

It occurred to me recently that it has been quite a while
since I posted about our little friends in the backyard.

Some of the following photos will be familiar
to long-time readers, as they are being imported over here
from our private blog.
To the rest of you they will be new material.

A little over a year ago we began constructing the current hen house,
and for some time now it has been finished and in use.
I just forgot to update you about it!

To keep this as brief as possible,
I'll mostly recap the building process with photo captions:

This is an old pop-up camper the Man salvaged only because he wanted
the trailer frame. Hurricane force straight-line winds did this damage
one fine summer day, insuring that the trailer was indeed trashed!

When I see the Man in this stance, I know his wheels are turning and the
creative process is starting!

And then, when he begins digging through what I affectionately call
"The Poor White Trash Pile,".....I can be certain that something is up.

Here he is, cheerfully de-constructing the camper.
Demolition is always the fun part!!

Down to the frame, and floor, almost ready to start building.....
as soon as that back bumper comes off!

And here is the beginnings of the new hen house.
We pirated a general design from a commercial structure we'd seen,
but a lot of the measurements and such we had to figure out as we went.
Like I said.....creative process.

A family project.....the Treasure learns some new skills.

The frame taking shape.

Roof and sides are on, time to fill in the ends.
Where will the door fit?

And here it is, all cozy and complete.
The "tractor" to the right is the portable summer apartment,
we move the hens around to whatever greens need decimating--
usually garden weeds!
The pen on the far left is a dog kennel that a family member
needed to find a new home for, and we put wire mesh over the top
to discourage the chicken hawks.

It is hard to get good photos because it is so small,
but here is a shot of the inside.
Water is in an insulated jug (keeps it from freezing in winter)
and their feed is in the galvanized trash can on the left.

The roosting poles go across the back of the building.
We intend to build 3-4 nest boxes where the lighter boards
are under the window, but at present this is not a priority
as we only have 3 hens and they are on strike right now.
(I keep repeating the rhyme my dad told me to say to them:
"An egg a day--keeps the hatchet away!"
They pay me no mind. Guess they know
they are pets and are in no danger of being eaten!)

And on the right side of the door you see the hanging feeder,
a water dish, and the current--but very neglected--nest box.

So there you have it, our portable little hen house.
Small, simple and functional.
We do plan to take it with us when we make our final move,
but I think we will place it on a larger trailer to transport it,
rather than try to run it down the road on its little wheels!

The hens love it.
It is so funny to see them lined up at the gate of the big pen
every dusk these past winter afternoons.....the Man has them trained
to march right into the coop as soon as he opens the door.
Inside, they cluck and murmur and scratch in contentment.

A house that makes the hens happy.

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