Building a chook house - day 1

One of our goals with this house and the large yard was to get chooks. Apart from providing eggs, they also provide fertiliser and are very good at controlling codling moth in our apple, pear and quince trees. As with everything, we have been thinking we should leave it until the house is done but that is dragging so we've decided to go ahead and build a chook house now.

We have a ready made chook yard which the previous owners used to keep one of their dogs in - although apparently it yelped all night so they gave up and took it back inside the house. The kennel is too small to be a chook house so that is being dismantled and we are building a new one.

Its surprisingly difficult to find simple, detailed plans anywhere on the internet. Even when you find plans, the recommended parts are non-standard size and the people at the hardware shop recommend other ideas. This makes it very difficult if you have little idea what you're doing. We are running with a plan from a book called Keeping Chickens - An Australian Guide which we picked up from Fullers bookshop. The plan will still need some minor modifications to make it fit in our chook yard. So this is our attempt. We can fix the details later.
Day 1 (last Sunday) was a bit of a working bee. Andrew and Julianne were visiting from Sydney and Helen, John and Chiara came round too. We got all of the big stuff that we needed delivered from K&D and only needed one extra trip to buy more bits on Saturday afternoon. We also bought or borrowed all the power tools we thought we might need ready for the big day on Sunday. It was quite a cool day with fresh snow a long way down the mountain and a nasty wind.

So we had to clear out the garage and work in there.

There was "thoughtful" planning, ...

... measure twice, cut once (with one of the many tools on hand) ...

... and some handy work with the drill.


The day went well with three out of four wall panels completed, including the one with the larger hinged door, and only one minor injury - a hammered thumb. This photo shows the chook house with the two side walls in position which gives a good idea of size. You can't really tell from the photos, but this a very solid and heavy structure.

There were also plenty of breaks to warm up with hot drinks and food (the apparent temperature in Hobart went below zero on more than a few occasions that day).

Big thanks to the boys for the grunt work, Julianne (our official photographer for the day) and Helen for help with baby wrangling and delicious cherry and cheese sweet treats for morning tea.

We hope to complete the house in the next few weeks and get some girls in (most likely some ISA browns) as soon as we can.

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