Would you like to see the most over-engineered, elaborate chicken run door in the multiverse?
Of course you would.
Here it is:
You’ll note the piece of oak forming the latch. No cheap softwood for our girls. And that giant knob? I found it in a junk shop and was determined to make a door handle, then promptly forgot about it. Joe did not forget, and kept mocking me for leaving it lying around – so he turned it into a chicken run door handle.
We’re super-chuffed with our new Chicken Palace – and owe huge thanks to our lovely friend Jodie for gifting us the framework.
We chose a spot in the TinySheep paddock, at the back near the compost heap, and spent a couple of weekends moving several tonnes of earth. By hand.
It was bloody hard work, but when we’d done, we had a flat surface which we laid slabs on:
We ran out of enthusiasm and couldn’t be bothered to dig out the stump, so we left that space in the middle for the hens to turn into a dust bath. They love it.
We covered the framework with weld mesh, zip-tied it all together, and left a skirt of around 18 inches around the edge. We’ll bury it under a few inches of soil and that should keep foxes and rats out.
When we first made the run and put our new ex-battery hens in, the new fancy coop from Solway Recycling hadn’t arrived yet. It being warm, we improvised with part of our Wobbly Scaffold Tower of Death and a tarpaulin:
It worked pretty well for a few days – and all the girls, new and old, are now settled in and getting on well. We now have eight hens: five new ones joined Peggy, Eggwina, and Yolko.
So far, only two of the new ones have names: Chuck Norris, because she looks like hell and is a total badass boss. And Gimpy, because she had a limp for the first week (she’s better now). Any name suggestions gratefully welcomed. Winners get free eggs.
It’s been a big couple of weeks for The Dingle animals, but it’s fantastic having them all in one place. We can let the hens out during the day with the TinySheeps, and nobody can escape. Everyone gets grass and fresh air, and everyone’s happy.