Did you know how much I love chickens? Well I like them a lot. On our fridge is the design I drew for our new chicken mansion. It is to house up to ten chickens and twenty guinea fowl. I have two separate areas for the chickens one side for sleeping at night and hopefully laying their eggs. This will be made of wood to keep them warm in winter and the one window will be able to keep them cool in the summer months. The other side will be for when I get them really small to train them to love their home and sleep where they are supposed to. This mainly applies to the guinea fowl who make a habit of sleeping in trees if not trained properly. Once the chickens and guinea fowl grow up they will then be able to roam free in the yard to their hearts desire. Once they start roaming the land the second inclosure will be for when I have little chicks again or keep a mother hen with her chicks, to train them up on where they need to sleep.
I think once I create a routine for the birds both them and I will sleep better. We have wild dogs and foxes that roam in the night. I have also learnt this week that we have a couple of day predators about one the grey-tipped sea eagle and the wedged tail eagle. All looking for some tasty chicken treats.
The design is based on my grandparents chicken pen. Pop (my granddad), showed me all the ins and outs of the pen. This one was built by his parents in the late 1800′s and it is till standing. I could not find a better chicken mansion to base my design on.
The nesting boxes nailed on to the back of the wall. They were once crates for the vegetables to be packed in. Pop opening the door for me to get in and take a closer look a the chickens.
All the timber used is from the property. Just like this one I want to keep one side open so the birds have ventilation as the days get hotter. Yet the window can still be covered over if the winter is really bad. Below the pen next to the enclosed chicken pen has a fig tree growing in the middle, proving shade in the summer months.
One thing that I really love is the water for the chickens. Carved out of a log the water once use to fill the log providing a drink for those that were thirsty. It is no longer used, the grass and weeds are slowly over growing the land as my grandparents get older. This is their pride and joy. I wonder if we will stay on our farm forever, like them be hobbling around after chicken, cows and tending the vegetable patch. I guess only time will tell.
This Thursday sees Roy and I start the foundation for the chicken mansion. If you don’t hear anything about it, then hassle us to get it done! We need the birds to provide eggs, meat and a tick-free zone.