Come Home To Roost

As some of you may know, we pasture our animals in portable, secure structures that grassfed industry types call ‘tractors’.  They keep our animals on fresh grass daily, allowing them a clean and natural living environment that supplements their diets with a salad bar (bacon sprinkles being bugs with this analogy) and keeps (the many) predators from turning our critters into an All You Can Eat Buffet.  It also stops them from using my children’s swing set as an interactive toilet, depositing their waste on my front doorstep (a time honoured favourite) and destroying my garden.  Last year four hens decimated my one hundred freshly planted strawberry plants in one afternoon.

Our first year having layers, we kept them in our small barn and let them out into a static yard, with permanent fencing.  Quickly we learned that regular fencing is simply a suggestion to chickens, who even with clipped wings, will just flap harder, and opt to roost ten, twelve feet off the ground.  Since they turned their lush grass yard into a dust bowl within a matter of weeks, they also chose to clear the fence, to eat the green grass on the other side.

We then moved to the small portable chicken tractor, designs of which are innumerable via Google, and it housed half a dozen birds easily and happily.  Our grass was greener, the chickens were happier, nobody had to open their front door and step into a fresh pile of shit.

We’ve increased our number of laying hens, and required a bigger coop at home.  We had a variety of structures to chose from, and converting my garden shed seemed like the best route.  I purchased PoultryNet from Premier (whose catalogs have inspired, thrilled and educated me for years now) one roll of 48″ x 164′ netting and a solar energizer.

Craig Colquhoun of Hosbilt went about building me the Hen Hilton.  A coop beyond my wildest dreams.  Classic yet inspired, and built to last.

Here’s a picture of the chickens out in their yard.  We will rotate the position of the netting as the hens mow it down.  So far, nobody has realized they could fly over it, and it delivers enough of a wallop to keep them off of it.

The interior of the coop is exceptionally pleasing.  Branches were used for the perches and the roosts.  Very natural, and enjoyed thoroughly by persons and poultry.

Very proud to have a Hosbilt chicken coop!

31 comments

  1. Elizabeth · April 20, 2012

    Gracious, SWANK quarters, chickens!!! heh That’s really gorgeous, my poor chickens would be so envious.

  2. Mom · April 20, 2012

    Totally cool to see them outside! They must be the happiest hens this side of Lake Huron!

  3. Twwly · April 20, 2012

    I’ve let them out at the end of every day here, against my better judgement and brief determination to stop the reckless crapping.

  4. heidi · April 20, 2012

    Wickeddddd! We offed our chickens last fall – sorta pre-baby panic to lighten our load, plus our chicken house was kinda nast. I still feel guilty about it. But hoping to get layers again soon… that poultry netting looks rad. Thanks for the tip about the Premier catalogue… I’ll likely enjoy browsing it.

  5. Daniel · April 20, 2012

    I did a huge double-take when I saw Craig Colquhoun’s name. I’m a piper and his company makes a lot of the bass and tenor drums used in pipe bands around the world. Small world :).

  6. Brenda · April 20, 2012

    Are these the same chickens that you rescued? If so, they look great. Please give us an update.

  7. Twwly · April 20, 2012

    Daniel – Craig is an expert in creating… drums or chicken coops, world class all the way!

    Brenda – some of them are yes. There are also a couple of my older hens, and some newer hens from a nice free range operation. The rescued hens are very happy themselves. They are not very good however about not sleeping in their nest boxes (when life was a box, I would imagine it’s where they feel ultimately comfortable, even though it was horrifying). So they crap all in their nest boxes, which is a daily battle for cleanliness. They don’t know how to fly like everyone else, so they’re not roosting where they should be. They have gotten over their urge to lay their eggs on the floor and sort of bury them, which was a TRUE pain in my rear.

    So they are happy. Am I happy? A little less so. But they have finally learned how to use the ramp to get into their coop, and are making progress. They are all slowly getting feathers again. The most damaged still have pretty bare necks, but they are healing I am glad to report.

    Heidi – you will LOVE the catalogue!

  8. Minnie · April 20, 2012

    Have you heard of jackets for ex battery hens?

    http://littlehenrescue.co.uk/jumpers.aspx

    Apparently when they are warm and sung they are a little less mental and a bit more chicken-y. Its a pretty good website for anyone dealing with post industrial farm hens too.

  9. 6512 and growing · April 20, 2012

    what a lovely spot for a hen to live. lucky, lucky girls.

  10. Nancy · April 20, 2012

    Ashley,
    I miss you and wish that you were not so far away!

  11. Hi this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if
    you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a
    blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get advice
    from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  12. casting couch victims · April 20

    whoah this weblog is great i love reading your posts. Stay up the good work!
    You already know, many people are hunting around
    for this information, you can aid them greatly.

    Feel free to surf to my blog; casting couch victims

  13. Willis · April 20

    The show features many of the world’s exceptional fashion models like Tyra Banks,
    Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and many more.
    A different method to manage your downloads is actually
    to sync them up involving the PC as well as your Blackberry.
    Easy when you’re conscious what you are looking for in the product and
    difficult if you don’t have a process for choosing the very best Clickbank products.

  14. Donovan · April 20

    Hype started to develop and it seemed that if this deal was true, it would more than likely happen. The team should be lucky to
    have such an opponent in week 3, for a game they couldn’t win would present serious
    challenges down the road. With neither side a shrinking violet on the field, a
    good open attacking football game is in the offing.

  15. Downloadicus · April 20

    You are so awesome! I don’t suppose I have read through something like that before.
    So great to discover somebody with genuine thoughts on this
    subject matter. Really.. thanks for starting this up.
    This site is something that is required on the web, someone with some originality!

  16. Url · April 20

    Als gelicentieerde slotenmakers vrij zijn van fraude en ze kunnen worden vertrouwd om de kwaliteit van het werk.
    Na een geslaagde uitzetting sheriff, een slotenmaker kan gaan via het pand en beoordelen waar de beveiliging kan nog steeds worden misbruikt
    op verzoek van de verhuurder. U kunt over uw veiligheid plannen met deze residentiële slotenmakers met volledig
    vertrouwen en betrouwbaarheid.

  17. However, with the rapid pace in the progress of technology, Smartphones has subsided the demand
    of both, Desktop PCs and Laptops. The trend of the internet services availability hand have grown to
    be in each Smartphone accessible in the market place. There are numerous advantages which are
    provided by this platform, hence increasing the
    demand for Windows mobile apps.

  18. potential carpet · April 20

    Hi, its nice article about media print, we all know media
    is a fantastic source of facts.

  19. smoke · April 20

    White smoke should not be confused with the thin wisps of
    steam that comes from the tailpipe when you start your car.
    com, a leading service provider for fire and water damage cleanups.
    When your home or business establishment has
    been affected by fire or its aggregate damages like soot,
    smoke and fire retardants, it is best to consult or hire a professional smoke
    odor removal company to assist you in effectively handling the problem.

  20. flashcard cho be · April 20

    What’s up, yup this piece of writing is genuinely fastidious and
    I have learned lot of things from it about blogging.
    thanks.

  21. Angelina · April 20

    I’m not sure why but this weblog is loading very slow
    for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  22. Your style is really unique compared to other people I have read stuff from.
    Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this page.

  23. Many persons initially investigating, though already reading about photovoltaic cells will not be quite as conversant in solar power generation methodology two.

  24. Willie · April 20

    This is my first time go to see at here and i am in fact happy
    to read everthing at alone place.

  25. astuce outillage · April 20

    Every room in the home will be featured inside a showroom as well as
    many accent pieces. These ranges comprise a variety of furniture pieces
    that are distinctive because of the design,
    colour and finish each have. Once purchasing such
    refined furniture there is little chance that you will ever want to
    part with it, being almost definitely one of the most
    cherished bedroom suites material, it adds both a bold and beautiful
    appearance to the space.

  26. screen · April 20

    The app is free nevertheless a few of the pranks are locked.

  27. www.fishcampania.it · April 20

    You really make it seem so easy together with your presentation however I find this topic to be really something
    which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely vast for me.
    I am taking a look ahead in your subsequent put up, I will attempt to get the grasp of it!

  28. enterprise · April 20

    Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog stand out.
    Please let me know where you got your design. Bless you

  29. Hurrah, that’s what I was exploring for, what a data!
    existing here at this website, thanks admin of this
    website.

  30. Awesome blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little
    lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out
    there that I’m completely confused .. Any ideas?

    Kudos!

  31. plus.google.com · April 20

    It includes traditional paintings, photographs, and sculptures.
    He might not know alternative routes to get you to the airport
    as fast as possible or he might not have a good driving history.
    Additionally, you can agree to include some important details as the color of the car or the type of decorations
    they will provide.