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Another new shelter for the chickens

Posted by on Monday 22 November 2010 in chickens, wood stuff | 1 comment

We made another shelter for the chickens yesterday. My mum calls them “smoking shelters” and I guess the principle is the same – although if I find out our little girls are smoking in there*, there will be hell to pay ;)

My original idea of duplicating the first shelter just using bigger pallets didn’t work out. Cut in half horizontally, the full size pallets wouldn’t be quite tall enough for our girls; cut in half vertically, it would be way too high. Instead we used one of the smaller size pallets and the crate that our greenhouse glass was delivered in for the sides and found some misc wood (an old table top? a gate?) for the roof. It’s not completely water tight at the moment, but I’ll fix that soon. As you can see, it’s already poop worthy.

The existing structure of the crate thing provides extra stability and also the sides of it should help protect the feeder from at least some horizontal rain. I might move the feeder and completely encase the crate bit actually – it might make an al fresco nest box for when they want to lay somewhere different.

I’m not as happy with this one as I was the first one – I have a feeling this is turning into a bit of a Goldilocks thing – the last one was a bit too small for the bigger birds, this one is probably a bit too tall, the next one should be just right though!

(Oh and in some more chicken related news, I think we’ve got our first rats down there – when John went down to check the girls were all in bed last night (they were), he heard a noise and when he turned the light on, the feeder was swaying all by itself. We’ve also found a little hole that could be a tunnel. It’s not a surprise really, given the run/coop is near a waterway and there is always spare food in the feeder. We put a lot of work into fox proofing the run but I guess we need to work on rat proofing it as well now.)

* More bad chicken puns. Top five cigarette brands that chickens would smoke: Clucky Strike, Beakson & Hendges, John Layer Specials, Reggal, Silk Cluck. (sorry.)

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Adding a second level to the chicken run?

Posted by on Thursday 23 September 2010 in chickens | 0 comments

In advance of possibly expanding the tribe, I’ve been thinking of installing a mezzanine level in part of the chicken run. A metre-square or so, depending on the dimensions of the building materials.

I’ve had two ideas for it:

1) A table-like design – but with a rim around the outside so that it could hold wood chippings like on the floor of their run, and essentially be just a raised extension of the ground, or

2) Something slatted/including perches, since they do rather like perching.

The first option (which I’d likely make with a solid-topped pallet I was given recently, or with old formica desks that John’s dad salvaged from the skip at the school near him) would provide extra shelter in the run but might have drainage problems. The latter (made with other wooden pallets) wouldn’t provide any shelter but wouldn’t clog up with mud either, and as I said, they do rather like perching.

Any suggestions/thoughts?

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