Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Chicken Spa

All the sordid details:

We've been working on the chicken spa project for around a week now. It was a lot more work than I had imagined while I was in the imagineering mode.

Plenty of tea breaks were required:


The metal waste baskets make a nice mouse proof chicken feed container.

The blue shed has a lousy foundation, probably won't last another 10 years but in the mean time it will make a great chicken house. It has an efficient wood heater and power. But the stove pipes were shot and I wanted a better reflector behind it.
Here is the after:
We added an aluminum reflector on the floor to fire proof it. I don't want any embers falling on a wooden floor.

We made standoffs out of 1 " pvc held with metal tape while we secured aluminum to the wall to create an air space behind it.

We also added a thermo coupled fan to the back to push the warm air out into the roost area.

The green tubing is salvaged garden hose that we split to protect any errant hands from the sharp edges of the protective screen.

This summer we will add water. Actually it could get water tomorrow via hose from a nearby yard faucet.

The Shed has gone through a couple of iterations. Before we arrived on the scene it was used as a house while the main log cabin was being built. Apparently there was a couple of families involved. It then transmogrified to automotive shop, canoe fabrication shop, storage shed, carpenter shop and now Chicken Spa - with the piggy den soon to follow. But that's another post.

The biggest part of the project, as usual, was cleaning out all the crap and stuffing it in other places. My once clean work shop now requires an hour or so of "putting away".


I then re wired the place to get outlets and lights in the ceiling of the coop. It will be about eight feet by 15 feet. It has roosts and even a ramp to the roost.

Before Paint

And after painting with wood shavings added to the poop tub.

Complete with ramp for the elderly ladies..but really their not that old that they don't just hop and flap to the roost.

We put salvaged insulated garage doors down on the floor to add some insulation and make it a lot easier to keep clean.
We're thinking of getting twenty or thirty meat and layer birds. And keeping a half dozen or so over winter to provide globular goodness during the snow times.

We removed a really heavy main door that was failing on the hinges.

We made a custom fit door complete with salvaged vented aluminum window. A square door in a non square opening proved to be a bit of a challenge.


But at least we didn't have to call Mike Holmes in. Now we can get a nice cross breeze happening. Especially since we freed up the sliding window on the South Side.

The chicken spa will gets a tin "tub", that runs t up the walls to make clean up a lot easier.


We added a roost and under neath a poop ( er re-tired garden enhancer) catch tub under the roost. Who knew chickens like to crap in their sleep.. That will really make clean up a lot easier. It has a removable Chicken wire top so that the crap drops through but chickens stay on top. Jo-Ann did all the miter cuts on the big miter saw. She has it down to a science now. She even speaks Mike Holmes measurements: 36 and a half fat. ( that would be a tad past 36 1/2 inches. Leaving the line for a snug fit.



We added an outside coop door that will go to the chicken runs we are building around the East and South sides of the shed. From there they will have access to the tractor for fresh greens.The Dogs had a great time running in and out.
Just after I spray painted and before we closed the door we forgot about our helpers:

Cleo says all the girls are sporting white highlights these days..

And of course some Chicken viewing benches. All their dry food gets put in metal garbage cans to protect it from the rats and mice. We are going to entice Boose, the shop cat, back into the Blue shed to act as resident mouse terminator. That was her original hood when she first showed up here so it should feel like an old home, updated with expanded, padded, cat viewing shelfs in the windows. And C.B.C. radio for country ambiance.

We added some nests made out of 5 gallon plastic barrels for egg donation purposes.
I thought the girls might need a lesson in how to use the nests.


I think they got the picture:
Well add some more roosts when the new chickens are ready. Next comes some outside runs. But as there's an inch or so of new snow that may have to wait a day or so..

4 comments:

Donna OShaughnessy said...

I love Mike Holmes. I'm just sayin'

Wendy said...

Wow! That's a really fancy chicken home. My girls might want to come up for a visit to the spa :).

Art Blomquist said...

Wendy, best make it before the chicks arrive, it could get a little crowded..

Denise E said...

I think that picture of Cleo looking in through the chicken door is soooo cute. Such a genuine expression of "what the heck are you humans doing". The chicken spa looks great!