Last weekend we had a break from the building work. The building materials for the retaining wall can't be delivered until tomorrow so we had to leave things as they were and get on with other jobs.
One job that has been waiting to be done for quite a while was to remove the old henhouse from Chicken World. Now as Lovely Hubby has made this into a veritable Fort Knox for chickens, there was no way we could get it out in one piece, so it it had be dis-assembled in situ.
It used to look like this ... and before you ask we would NOT recommend this house to anyone thinking of keeping chickens.
This is how it looked inside after we had been using it for a few weeks, we soon realised that the perch system was totally wrong for our birds, indeed for any birds with feathers sticking out behind them ... do you know of any birds that do not have this arrangement?
The first few birds to jump into the house automatically sat on the front perches, if they chose the rear perches their tail feathers would be pressed up against the back wall. Once the tail feathers of the birds on the front row were behind them, the three perches at the back were completely hidden. So four perches and only one was usable.
Birds late into the house ended up sat on the floor, indeed remembering back ....at first ALL the birds sat on the floor until we made them the little ramp you can see on the left of the picture.
We altered the perching system to look like this ... and it worked well for the birds.
With one perch completely removed and the others arranged in a tiered fashion all the birds could have a pick of where they wanted to sit .... and every perch was fully usable. Chickens have a very defined pecking order and usually you will find the 'top' birds will sit on the top perches ... it all makes sense.
However cleaning this house out was a feat of crawling on hands and knees and stooped perseverance and one that drove me completely mad. Also the nest box flap opened downwards instead of the more practical upwards and was constantly jamming on the hillside. So we decided to go for it, put right our mistake, grit our teeth and purchase our first love ... another Maggies 24 Henhouse from Flyte So Fancy. We had two of these before we moved, sold one at auction and sold one to our former landlord to save us moving with them, thinking we were doing ourselves a logistical favour by having a new henhouse delivered here .... what a mistake!!
But we were determined something good would come out of the old house.
Taking apart the old house and reusing some of the sections we made a perfect rainy day shelter for the birds. The two front posts are hammered deep into the ground to anchor the shelter in high winds.
It sits neatly in Chicken World alongside their new home.
We have plans for more of the component parts too, a patio table is being manufactured out of the person sized door, and the floor panel that you can see propped against the fence in this picture, is to be a windbreak at the top of the Veggie Patch with a bench in front so we can relax and enjoy the sun (if it ever reappears) during breaks from planting and working.
Chicken World is now a peaceful, roomy and pleasant place to be.
And the little trees, one Plum and one Apple are blossoming beautifully.
Head of the chickens Caldwell II, approves ... and if the top man approves it must be good.
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Thank you for a donation to my Live Below the Line fundraising page to Anita Robinson, it is very much appreciated. This now brings my total up to £421. You've all done me proud :-)