Posted by: kathandroger | December 18, 2012


The last house has had it’s day. It was built in a hurry, with all bits and pieces readily at hand, and now the rats have eaten into it and the floor has collapsed, but at least the occupants are still dry and warm. Time for a new chicken house.

I’ve had a lovely few days in my workshop. The weather has been poor, but mild, and so no freezing hands to hamper my building skills. A bit of Bessie Smith, some Tchaikovsky, lots of Beethoven on the CD, and sheer uniterrupted bliss. Even Dennis came to watch, but was not too keen when I started welding the chassis.  I have kept chickens for very many years now, enough to know that all they need is something to eat and drink and somewhere to be warm and lay their eggs. A bit like all females. Reading books about chicken houses makes it all sound too complicated. Laying boxes for instance are, in my opinion, a waste of time-again, perhaps due to their gender, a hen will change her mind and leave the most perfect box to lay in the house. As long as the eggs are easily reached there is no  problem. And whenever there are chickens there will be rats, so I try to make the houses movable to prevent the basement becoming a myriad of rat runs. That was another problem with the last house-the wheels fell off! Well after sawing, sanding, welding, biscuit jointing,IMG_2041 routing and some painting the house is finished. All done with waste bits from our building efforts and at total cost (for some long bolts) of a few euros. The roof hinges to reach the eggs and for cleaning, and there is one long perch, but again our chickens often seem to prefer to spend the night sitting on the ground. Incidentally cleaning is done about once a fortnight and takes about five minutes. The poules are fed on corn from a friendly local farmer, and the feeder is under cover one end of the house and the water is at the other end. All can be dragged about the orchardand even the wife can manage this one! We tend to give away most of our eggs, and they are hugely appreciated. I reckon that having to forage for the bulk of their food makes a huge difference, although the cussing when they have dug up the flower garden is a bit of a disadvantage. The “girls” are off on holiday soon whilst we go back to the UK, but they will be rehoused on our return.



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