Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Hen house build complete - ish.

OK, so the guttering and drinking water system isn't done yet, and it needs wood preserving stain painting on, which needs a dry couple of days... But it's pretty much done!
The rear access door is fitted, with a support for when it's open so it doesn't over strain the hinges.
Access door closed - it'll need a catch of some sort on the left side for added security, and the hasp on the right will need a peg or padlock, depending on how secure I decide I want it to be. The door opens from the top down and it's really quite heavy so I've made a frame to support it when open. It seems to work ok.
There you go, access door open, resting on the support. An added bonus is that I'll have somewhere to rest bedding or a bucket for cleaning out. The hens will have plenty of room in there, and I'll be making a perch to go in there too - a free standing one that I can take out to scrub now and then. Having had hens before, the perches can get disgusting!
After the rain we've had I'm waiting for the hen house to dry out properly, and a couple of dry days after that to get out there and paint it all with the wood preserving stain. At some point over the next couple of weeks I'll pick up the fixings for the guttering and sort that out too.
Then it's on with the run!
The hens can't free range in the garden here, it's just not safe, or fair to my neighbours who have, between them, several dogs, gardens full of veg, fruit, and flowers, and one who is scared of birds. So, my hens will stay securely penned. They'll have plenty of space, fresh air, and sun weather, and I'll make sure they get all the garden weeds and pests they can handle, but they'll stay in the pen.
Starting to plan the run.
The hen house is 4 feet wide, without the nest box, and that's where the run will start, widening from the house out in a sort of wedge shape. The straightest side will run parallel to the fence on the left and will be 4 pallets long and by the time it reaches where the garden drops away (the end of the hen area) it'll be 3 pallets wide (tripling in width from the hen house end)
It's going to be a massive run for them, when we get them. I'm still deciding whether I want 3 or 4? And how tall do I want the run?

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