Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hilltop house

This new coop has been dubbed "Hilltop", as it's on the highest peak nearest the house. I'll show you what I mean later. But finally, after building commenced a few months ago, the main undercover area is now finished. It started like this...

Then after a lot of splinters, aches and pains...we finally put it's clothes on!

The main cladding we used is second-hand roofing iron ($4 per meter) but the front door has a panel of see-through corrugated roofing, to let in more light. It was a secondhand off-cut, given to me by someone who was going to throw it out.

At the back, we used some flat perspex sheeting in the corners, to also let in more light. It had been laying around the yard for ages and needed a proper use. It may look like a complete unit now, but many days were spent finding the right materials and cutting them to fit. It's cheaper and more environmentally friendly to build in this manner - but it will take twice as long to finish the project.

Bear in mind, I also had to walk up and down a hill every time a piece needed to be cut, or to test different ideas I had for filling in the spaces.

This is the other side. The door was made out of recycled pallets, which were pulled apart and used as needed. This door could have more netting used, because the awning is going to extend over the run to stop the rain coming in. I've started the run too, as you can see. And our house is in the background.

Here is a better picture of the run. It will mostly be netted, but we'll also dig in some roofing iron at the base, as a deterrent for predators from digging underneath. It will go down about 30cms underground, and be attached to the lower cross-beams. The run will also have a separate door because I intend to put another lot of chickens in there - separate to the enclosed area, while I build the last coop.

Am I a glutton for punishment or what - yes, I have another coop to build after this one!

The new residents have been moved to the coop. Remember these little guys? Well they're not so little any more. These are the Gold Lace Wyandottes which hatched from eggs about 16 weeks ago. The two you can see in the centre and right, are both boys. The other 4 are girls. They certainly have grown.

Inside the coop again, these are the 3 girls up the front. The last one is in the upper, left hand corner, but you can barely see her beak in this photo. They seem happy with their new home.

Inside, consists basically of a roost, plus a food and water dispenser. No nest boxes needed yet, as these guys shouldn't be laying for at least another month.

This is looking through the two doors when they're open. OPEN!! Yep, they've been on their first few free-range expeditions in the afternoons. Don't they love it too.

Look at this cheeky girl...checking on my building abilities. That wasn't designed to be a roost!

Stick to scratching for bugs and leave the building to me, hey?

This is the hilltop I mentioned earlier - being located on top of the hill. This photo was taken from the clothesline, looking up the top. Hopefully I'll have the run finished soon, so the Araucanas can move next door.

By the way, they met for the first time while free ranging the other day. The bantam Araucana rooster came up to strut his stuff, and these 16 week old babies which towered over him, didn't seem phased by his appearance. The boys tried to play fight with him, but that was all really. They were all too interested in eating bugs.


  1. They are some lucky chooks! Unreal chook pen!


  2. Well done, it looks great, makes our chooks accommodation look pretty one star.

    I love those little chooks they are very pretty, I think I will look for some more attractive babies in the springtime, Isa Browns are great layers but not that appealing to look at.

  3. lovely work Chris! I know who to visit for advice when we get some chooks :)

  4. And I thought the first one was fab! (I had that post bookmarked to show M. - along with your clothesline area :). All I can say is WOW. I wish I had your skills and the space for more chooks. It's great that you built it all out of recycled materials. And your little ones are looking very healthy and happy. Well done!!

  5. Thanks for the positive feedback. For us it's fun and a challenge to build stuff we wouldn't think we're capable of. You learn something new every time.

    Personally from this recent experience, I've learned I need to do more exercise. ;) Felt like a right old lady by the end of the day!

    And Em, you're welcome any time. Don't think I can match your peppermint tea though. :) I'll try, but yours' is a tough cuppa to follow.


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