|Some of our chickens, staring toward their newly arrived accommodation.|
My husband has kept chickens since we moved out into the country more than six years ago, but we have never had a permanent structure for them. He has, over the years, built them several shelters out of lumber, small-gauge wire fence and blue tarps, around which he stacks straw bales in the winter for protection from wind and cold.
These have worked well enough most of the time, although they aren't very roomy in winter, and don't provide any protection from gnats in early summer, which can kill chickens in bad years (we lost three during this year's wet, gnat-filled May, which was really sad and upsetting).
So we resolved to spend the money to get a better structure for them before winter came. I contacted a local builder who has listed a number of small chicken sheds on Craigslist and he built us one to order in a "mini-barn" style and delivered it to us the other day.
|The new chicken shed arrives by truck...|
|...is backed up to the right location...|
|...and is set in place. Puppy looks on approvingly.|
|A new grand chicken hotel worthy of our noble birds. The screen door can be locked to keep out foxes, etc., while the outer door can be left open for ventilation until the very coldest (or gnattiest) days.|
|There are two other windows, which can also be opened for ventilation, four nesting boxes and two roosting bars.|
|A thick layer of wood chips makes it a soft place for the inhabitants.|
|And a closeable run door affords entry to the fenced-in chicken run.|
|A very nice addition to our Kitchen Garden area.|
Our chickens were a bit suspicious of the new shed for a few days, but they have started making short incursions into their new accommodations and have already laid a few eggs in there. I think they will be happy in their new digs, and we feel better, now that we are able to provide them with a nicer home where they can be snug in winter and safe from gnats and larger predators.
Thanks for reading! -Beth