Thursday, 7 May 2015

Chicken World and Re-inventions

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 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.

So .... I designed this and Lovely Hubby built it.

A closer look.

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 :-)

Sue xx


  1. that's a spiffy chicken house. I guess happy hens means more eggs!

    1. And if Caldwell the cockerell is happy he doesn't chase Lovely Hubby quite so much !!

      He might be small but he draws blood if he gets you, luckily he loves me :-)

  2. Our chooks have to make do with a home made hen house, nothing fancy for them, we designed it to suit, cost us about £12 for ironmongery the wood was left over from a job, we brought it with us its been going strong for about 10 years now we ave just re-felted it. How many chooks do you have by the way ?

  3. Our yard is an acre- do you think we have room for a chicken coop?
    I grew up in the country on a ranch, so I am a country girl at heart.

    Enjoyed visiting,
    White Spray Paint

    1. Oh yes, an acre is fine, ours are on much less than that. They really have just the same space that they would get in a back yard, plus luckily access to a bit of woodland that actually belongs to our neighbour but which runs directly behind their area.

      Even in a small space four chooks would be very happy with a bit of grass and dirt to scratch around in.

  4. That shelter is really lovely, did you draw up plans you could post? We need to build a new one. If no plans could you do a few close up pics? Thanks xx

    1. I'll add a close up picture on this post for you to have a look at :-)

      The plans I draw for Lovely Hubby are usually scribbled n the back of an envelope over breakfast ... and then he goes out and upgrades the reality !!

  5. I remember the chicken houses from the days on the farm. I love your pretty rooster!

  6. Your rain shelter has inspired Mr D and I to fashion something similar from what we have in the shed! Excellent idea :)

  7. Hi Sue, that looks like a good secure hen house. I love your design. I've just had a look around here and love what you're doing. It's wonderful to see others getting stuck in, recycling, making do with what's available and being content, indeed, loving it. When I have a bit more time, I'll be back to read some more. xx

    1. It's nice to see you here Rhonda. xx

  8. There is nothing better than watching happy chickens :)

  9. Your new chicken house looks great. They obviously are much loved birds.

  10. You look after your chickens so well. More eggs from happy chickens!!!

  11. May your chickens enjoy their new house and rain shed happily!

  12. Aw, this is awesome! I´d sure love being a chicken in Chicken World. The name by itself already sounds like a nice place to be.

  13. Something I keep meaning to get around to is a wind/rain shelter with perching! The old coop and run, I leave the door open in the day time so they can shelter in there and even lay in the coop nest box is more than one hen needs to lay at a time.
    What a team you and Hubby are, planner, designer, design interpreter and engineer! xx


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