Where we left off last time… open topped house
The story so far: a wooden chicken house was bought and housed some chickens before it became so infested with red mites that it was replaced with a recycled plastic house that became infested with chickens. The old wooden house was taken apart but not really disposed of, apart from the roof and hinged lid, that were. Some chickens died leaving two who hadn’t. Cue rebuilding of old wooden chicken house to temporarily act as a holiday chalet for new chickens that have been bought to replace the dead ones.
With me so far? Of course you are…
The things we now need are a roof for the house bit and a hinged lid for the nest boxes. We also need another leg – seriously, I’m not being smutty or anything. Without the run to stabilise it, the house might fall over onto the nest boxes if said boxes were full of heavy chickens, as could be possible.
So, what materials to use? My immediate thought was “pallets!” but then that and “chocolate!” and “wine!” form an awful lot of my immediate thoughts:
Observation: We need a new table.
Observation: I’m going to need some inspiration.
Observation: I’ve run out of chocolate and we needed a new table two hours ago.
However, that aside, there was actually something better suited to make a roof and a hinged lid. The remnants of our old compost bin includes two hinged lids and some wooden planks that formed the sides. The rotten stuff was burnt but the OK stuff was put to one side, you’ve guessed it, “in case it is useful”.
One hinged lid complete with wildlife and hinges
I constructed the roof of the house first from four of the planks. I reused the screws that had once held the original roof on, and everything fitted on OK. The only issue was that the wall with all the slats (the “Worst. Accordion. Ever.” wall) wasn’t secure – a screw that had held it in place had rusted through at some point. I had to use a new one for that, a long one so that it was properly fixed.
The planks had handy plastic runners on each short edge. So handy, I removed them. They may prove useful one day, like so many things do.
Handy Runners and screws
Then I clad – well, you know, covered – the roof with a piece of plastic from the side of the old greenhouse. I had to get jiggy to cut it though:
Note the lack of blood. The overhang IS deliberate, honest.
To make the lid, I only had to remove one half of the existing hinged lid, cut one side so that it could slot into the existing gap for the lid, and attach that bit of the hinge to the back of the house. Unfortunately, the slats on the back wall are pretty thin, so I had to screw the hinge through those into a couple of blocks of wood I scavenged from the unused piece of the lid. Because I had put the main roof on, I had to hold the blocks in somewhat blindly. One out of two of them is reasonably straight. Not bad for me.
Hinged lid in place with plastic cover and latch.
I used the off-cut of the plastic from the main roof to cover over the cracks in the hinged lid. I cannot tell you how amazed I was when it all fitted and worked!
I built a leg from a compost bin plank and a thick piece of wood left by the Limery builders. It is screwed to the underside of the nest boxes:
Actually, it’s a Formula 1 wing for McLaren
… and constructed a new ramp out of another compost bin plank and some familiar-looking plastic doo-dahs. I had to use new screws to attach these because I didn’t have any old ones that were short. Honest.
See? A lesson to always keep everything, “just in case”.
A smug-looking Author with all his fingers present.*
Time to lie down on a pallet with a bar of chocolate and a bottle of wine. Bliss…
* I want to thank nerdinthebrain because I guessed her 10-digit number in April and was awarded a gift voucher for thinkgeek.com from where I bought the T-shirt I am wearing here. In case anyone is wondering, the T-shirt depicts the Periodic Table entry for the element of surprise.