Saturday, 18 July 2015

A hen house for £30.

The scaffolding is gone, the drainpipe has been reattached, the TV signal is back (blocked by the scaffolding), and the roofers asked if I wanted any more pallets, and could I use the broken ridge tiles?
Oh Yeah!
The broken ridge tiles are a curved, half cylinder piece - not intact but still plenty of room and curve on the large bits I kept. I'm keeping them for a pond project, they'll be fab for wildlife hidey holes near the edge of the pond. Might put some in the hen run for fun too.
Why are you laughing? Hens like fun too! I've had hens before and they do enjoy different height things to scratch round and peck at, and it helps them establish a strong flock pecking order. Different levels of things in the run also helps them keep their feet out of the mud when it rains.
Today is the first day of the summer holidays, the kids are at home - or out with friends, or being anti-social in their bedrooms.... and the sun is shining. Time to get out the power tools and get cracking with the hen house. I'd already placed the roof tiles and batons but not fixed them into place.
Three supporting batons running from the tall side by the fence to the lower side over the nest box, with 2 pieces of overlapping reclaimed roof membrane for extra waterproofing and insulation over those, and then 4 batons running across the supports to hold the tiles in place.
A recent trip out produced a length of guttering and a drainpipe that I can cut to size and fit to stop the tiles dripping onto the nest box. The drainpipe will take rainwater from the roof down into a container for the hens to drink.

It's not the size I was looking at getting but it was free! I'll need to find, or buy, the clips to fix the guttering and pipe in place, and a connector bit to fit the pipe to the gutter. But that'll happen at some point before the run is attached, after the wood preserving stain goes on. In the meantime I'm working on the roof, and then the back of the house - which is still open and needs a door - and the ramp.
The featherboard cladding is going on round the edges of the roof, with mesh cut from a reclaimed trampoline net being used to fill the gaps for ventilation - hens need plenty of ventilation.
The roof is really working, and I've been irrationally pleased with it. Having put the tiles in place to protect the membrane and batons, the inside of the house is staying nice and dry, apart from the back, which is open. But, it works, it really works, and I made it! I'm loving the lack of expenditure too.
Costs so far:
Screws and other fittings = about a tenner I think, might be £15. I've sourced everything as cheaply as possible and haven't kept definite track of the cost of each piece so far.
The wood preserving stain was £5.99 and was bought for the pallet planter project, but with other jobs in mind.
So, about £20ish so far, and I don't think I'll need anything other than the gutter fittings to finish the hen house. Those should be about another £10 if I get them new.
£30 for a spacious, solid, posh-looking, hen house? That'll do nicely.

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