So, Hubs wants to keep chickens and he started by building a chicken enclosure complete with nesting boxes from mostly recycled items we had on our little homestead. I’m giving in and going with the idea we are homesteading in our fall and winter years of retirement. I have to admit the chicken house and pen are pretty genius.
There was a small dog pen that already existed that we would never use. It was a square concrete pad with tall chain link around it. Hubs started converting it to a chicken pen by securing some 6 ft. fence sections we removed from the yard around the two sides. That provides a much needed wind break and a little security from predators. He next built a frame to hold a flat roof. He bought new 2 x 4’s and a couple additional pieces of tin (there wasn’t quite enough left over from the barn) for the roof and the frame you see with the bamboo. FYI that large white thing you see on top of some cinder blocks is a water tank that collects rain off the barn roof. There is open area underneath for the chickens.
He recently finished a pole barn just a few feet from the chicken enclosure and decided to take advantage of it by cutting the fencing on the side facing the barn open and connecting to the barn. He used bamboo poles that grow outside the yard and a fence panel left from the horse pasture to create a fence on the front next to the barn.
With the walls, fence and roof done he went to work on some nesting boxes using wood boards left from other projects. He hinged (purchased) the top for easy cleaning and egg gathering from outside the pen. There are big openings for the chickens inside the pen. He even painted them with exterior paint left over from my front door redo. He thinks it’s a bit bright but I kind of like the bright pop of color and that lucky horseshow is too cute.
He added some roosting racks and ladders for the chickens to conveniently get up into the boxes and onto the roosting racks. It’s so cute right now the grands like to play in there. It won’t be long they’ll have to give it up though. The baby chicks have arrived at our local General Store.
The mix of bricks/cinder blocks/concrete flower bed borders lining the walls are an attempt to further deter predators. We don’t know how well it will work, but heck, they were free and worth a try, right? That metal pan under the roost is to catch some of their droppings to toss onto the garden. Again, don’t know how well that will work, but again, it’s free!
He made a baby chick nursery in the garage using a galvanized bathtub. There is mulch in the floor and a heat lamp to keep them warm until they are large enough to move to the pen. He made a water bottle with two 2 liter plastic cola bottles that is pretty smart too. He cut the top off one bottle and cut an oval opening about 1” from the bottom. The other bottle has the top left on but has holes punched just below the lid to allow the water to escape into the topless bottle that he forced over it.
He is looking forward to a little flock and the fresh eggs. I guess I am too, though I’ve been kind of slow to come over to his side. I’ll let you know how it goes. Meantime I’m reading up on chickens and if you have advice-I’m all ears.