2007 - Volume #31, Issue #3, Page #24[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Pampered Poultry Enjoy Chicken Cottage
"Medieval English cottages have always been an interest of mine," he says. "We thought it would be fun to build one for the chickens. Now we enjoy just watching them."
The 8 by 8-ft. house has 2 by 4-in. framing with OSB board siding. It's painted to look like stucco and finished with brown trim to give the house an English Tudor style. Even the signs on the building have an English look.
A perimeter fence and overhead netting, combined with electric wire around the outside, keep raccoons out and the chickens safe. Erick and Linda mounted nesting boxes on the back side of the house, giving them outside access for picking eggs. Inside the house a system of ramps and walkways give the birds access to the nesting boxes as well as several small windows and finally the roosts under the roof.
Walkways like some type of chicken jungle gym also extend out and away from the house. The Woods built them for fun and for the fun of watching the chickens use them.
"We haven't had any problems with the chickens pecking each other," he says. "They use everything we put out there, walking up and down and back and forth."
Everyone, including friends and neighbors, enjoys the eggs.
"It never ceases to amaze me how people go crazy over fresh eggs," says Erick. "We cover our feed costs and then some."
The flock consists of 18 hens from a wide variety of colorful breeds, including Blue Andalusians, Silver Penciled Hamburgs, Delawares, White Rocks, Black Giants, Salmone Faverolles, Birchen, Red Cochin Bantams and others. A fresh batch of chicks will increase the laying flock to 25 to 30.
The Woods are already planning a second hen house. "It'll have a different design, and we think we'll call it Egg Manor," says Erick.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Erick & Linda Woods, 693 Pleasant Hill Rd., Sebastopol, Calif. 95472 (ph 707 823-6489; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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