We saved ourselves some money by constructing a Hen Chalet for $300. Retail value for the fancy one shown here is $1,795 (before shipping!)
Our Hen Ghetto-let is not as swank –but at $300, to me, it’s got all the right moves.
We have not yet put on the trim, and we still need to paint the front, but I got too excited to wait for pictures. Or more flattering light.
Can you see the World’s Best Garden in the background? The view from our back porch has reached a new level of quaint.
This little house holds about 20-30 chickens. Running count on the Teter farm is 22. We’ve lost five so far for various mysterious reasons –Sudden Chicken Death Syndrome?– but have nursed one back to health and the remaining birds look active and happy.
The Chalet has wheels inside and so we can pull it around the yard every day and let the birds fill up on grubs and bugs and grass. I believe the kids call it ‘free range.’
If you look closely, you can see how much they pooped and destroyed the ground in one half of one day. And they’re not even fully grown yet. These guys will not get to range as free as I’d like (the birds actually hate leaving the hut, but i like to see them wander the yard and have forced them to do so) because we have a feral cat who prowls around waiting to pounce.
Luckily, Maybel remembers the “Get that cat” command, and enjoys chasing our friend back into the barn. I think she likes to protect the flock.
Sometimes we get lonely in the country, so we make narratives on behalf of the animals who live with us. In one such narrative, we let Maybel–who has been insanely jealous of the chickens–pick the name of our favorite bird, a fiesty brown layer.
Maybel, of course, in an awkward twist of fate, suggested we name it Maybel.
Maybel TC (Maybel the chicken) and Maybel TD (Maybel the dog) have become fast friends. I could see them traveling the countryside together solving mysteries.
Here is a picture of Maybel TC giving a sermon to the rest of the chickens:
I told you it gets lonely on the farm.
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