Friday, 27 May 2011

Beak House

Before we build our own perfect home, someone else was first in the queue.
Rose takes us through her labour of love:

I love my girls! The last hen house I built was with the old timber taken from the demolition of the verandah at Woodside Road. It had its flaws so here was the chance to improve and up scale-not that chickens really give a damn as long as their house is dry and they can perch off the ground.

We had a long discussion about placement and we finally settled on a sheltered spot in the front paddock, near the stream and facing east.

Al’s dad helped us put in six good strong 4” x 4” treated posts. In the interests of recycling the rest is constructed from the old packing crate that had been modified to form the pig house at Woodside Road.

  The floor went down next and fitted beautifully (well almost) and then a little framing, walls and a roof. I have to admit to the plan for this being in my head- I knew it needed to be raised off the ground to limit the hiding places for rats and hedgehogs-the natural accompaniment to feathered friends, the roof needed to slope and there needed to be a window and an exit but beyond that it was very much design as you go!

The framing meant that there was a natural space for some insulation- the Wairarapa winters can be fierce. I had a ready supply from work and so filled all the available spaces between walls and corrugated exterior with polystyrene squares. For some reason the girls love to eat this stuff so the battle raged between keeping it in position while I put the tin up, it blowing away and the girls taking every opportunity to peck at it.

 I put the pop hole on the Northern side, but realised after a few days of strong winds-mainly from the north that that wasn’t going to work, so it is now in the front access door-a door within a door!

 The girls (and boy) now have a well insulated, dry, watertight and if I do say so myself beautiful home. Just needs a lick of paint now...

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