Since last year, I have experienced the great joy of having chickens at home. In addition to always having fresh eggs on hand, hens are sociable, affectionate and really friendly animals. In addition, they are particularly helpful for weeding and compost!
In recent years, urban chicken coops have been in great demand and their prices are often not very affordable. So I wanted to share with you the manufacture of our chicken coop which was made from recycled materials.
Last year, we found a second-hand chicken coop on the classifieds. It is also an accessible and affordable alternative. However, over the summer, we realized that its format was not optimal for cleaning and maintenance. Also, the format was no longer adequate as we wanted more hens. So we recovered all the components of this first chicken coop and built the chicken coop of our dreams!
In addition to being ecological, the recovery of materials offered us the possibility of manufacturing a tailor-made chicken coop that completely matched our needs.
Every chicken coop should have a large aviary where the hens spend the day eating and dust bathing (it's definitely a sight to watch) plus an enclosed shelter where they will feel safe to lay their eggs and spend the night there. We must not neglect the space of the chicken coop to ensure the comfort of our hens and facilitate its maintenance. It is necessary to provide 1 to 2 square meters per hen so that they are comfortable and can stretch themselves fully.
For the aviary, we salvaged old patio railings that we tore down 10 years ago! These closed half-walls are by no means mandatory. The majority of aviaries are made up of only wire mesh stretched in a simple structure. On the other hand, these panels offered us the possibility of making a base very solid quickly and to limit the grilled portions. This part can be a particularly difficult task depending on the type of mesh used, believe me! We also recovered the old aviary which we transformed into a front door!
Hens need a covered space that will protect them from the weather and heat. On our side, as we will keep our hens in the winter, we preferred a roof over the entire aviary to facilitate the winterization of the henhouse. We fixed a polythene that we recovered from another project. However, you have to make sure to leave sunny spaces so that the hens are full of vitamin D. Good ventilation is also a key item in the chicken coop :)
The grass in the aviary only lasted a few days! Chickens scratch, dig, and bathe in dust! Since I can't move the chicken coop to provide the hens with plenty of fresh greenery, I regularly take them out of the aviary so that they can hunt insects and explore new areas.
For the nest, we dismantled and recovered all the materials from the old chicken coop. But it can be built with any plywood and other materials you have on hand. Little tip! Put a sheet of plexiglass over the entire surface of the nest (which will be covered with a good layer of wood shavings). This will definitely make it easier to maintain. We also opted for the opening on the side instead of the top to facilitate its cleaning. The important thing is that the nest box is well sealed and secure to prevent predators.
The musts for egg harvesting
It's no secret that good fresh eggs are one of the greatest advantages of the urban chicken coop. To make harvesting easier, wicker baskets are definitely a classic. As for storing your eggs, our locally made butternut egg trays are practical as well as beautiful!