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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:48 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:50 pm
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Location: Suburban Central Coast, NSW
I have recently completed a project where I converted my children's old swing-set into a chicken coop. I was inspired by Jo from this forum, but my construction turned out to be different to her's. I wanted to use corrugated colour-bond or similar, as Jo did, but I ended up using wood for most of the elements. This was due to wanting to use materials I already had around the yard and shed, rather than buying all new.

Some of the recycled elements include:
* the swing frame itself
* using old fence palings for the hutch part
* a shipping pallet for their next boxes to sit on
* old lawnmower catchers for next boxes
* a screen door purchased from a recycled building supplies yard
* bush rocks for fox-proofing from someone's side-of-the-road council pick-up
* bricks and pavers left over from when my house was built
* a log from an old retaining wall for their roost
* corrugated fibreglass from my parents' house renovation

Some of the items that I did have to purchase new include:
* the aviary wire
* screws, nails, hinges, hooks and locks
* some treated pine palings

Here are some "in progress" pics:

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And the finished product:

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I know it is far from perfect, but I am pleased with how it turned out. Keep in mind that I am a busy single mother, with three children underfoot and minimal (okay, no!) building skills.

Here are the next boxes:

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And my four new hens adopted from NSW Hen Rescue. They are former battery girls which is why they look so scruffy:

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I am happy to answer any questions about the chicken house and how I built it if anyone is interested. Thanks for looking! :)

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"Cute" the RIR "Sharp-Toe" the Australorp and "Pretty" the Leghorn


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:51 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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You've done a fabulous job!! It looks great!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:57 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: Outer Western Suburb of Melbourne, Vic
Great job, and I would now consider your "building" skills now up to "passable" rather than none,

And a wonderful job of re-using and recycling a greenie for you. :mrgreen:


Ron

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:58 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: NSW Central Coast
Brilliant idea!! And excellent building skills too!

How old are the hens? Do they still lay many eggs? I would love a couple myself :)

K

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:00 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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Location: Yeppoon Central Qld
:nail: :thumbs: Hey for a single Mum you are terrific, great job, your kids must think your super mum. I'm impressed :claps:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:17 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: Suburban Central Coast, NSW
Kylie, they are two years old. They haven't laid since they've been here, but they have been under some considerable stress - coming out of the battery cages, settling in at the property the Rescue has rented and then being transported here. I expect they will start laying again soon, but less than you would expect from a young ISA.

The Rescue asks you sign a document stating that you understand the chickens might not lay, and you agree not to cull them for any reason.

:)

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Kath :hiya: three children, three chooks
"Cute" the RIR "Sharp-Toe" the Australorp and "Pretty" the Leghorn


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:07 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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Location: Gold Coast
That looks fantastic and I bet they are loving their new home and freedom!

I presume the 'not culling for any reason' rule doesn't include if the hen is mortally sick or in pain from an injury? Commercial layers are known for having reproductive problems due to their massive outlay of eggs and kindness culling is definitely something which might have to be in the cards for them. (Sorry for the downer :( )

Its made me curious though..what happens if down the track you want hens which lay...does the rescue place take them back?

Good luck with your new girls and I'm very jealous of your building skills, I wouldn't even know where to start.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:17 pm 
Fabulous! You are totally brilliant and an inspiration.
I have built coops in the past (when the kids were little too) but nothing to compare with that.
I am sure your hens will love living in there.
It would be an easy one to weather proof in winter. A sheet of thick, clear plastic, rolled down from the top would keep everything dry underneath and could be removed, or replaced with shade cloth for the summer. The rain has been working against me thoroughly here. I just keep topping the runs up with dry straw, much to the pleasure of my hens, and the amusement of my husband who sees the floor level rising continually. LOL


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:03 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Location: Albany, Western Australia
Fantastic job! I'm going to add this to the housing index to inspire others!

NellyG (Mod)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:40 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: Suburban Central Coast, NSW
Roova wrote:
I presume the 'not culling for any reason' rule doesn't include if the hen is mortally sick or in pain from an injury? Commercial layers are known for having reproductive problems due to their massive outlay of eggs and kindness culling is definitely something which might have to be in the cards for them. (Sorry for the downer :( )

Its made me curious though..what happens if down the track you want hens which lay...does the rescue place take them back?


Hi Roova,

The Rescue document that we signed states that if we ever don't want or can't keep the chickens for any reason, they will be returned to the rescue. I expect that they will lay, but I'm not expecting them to lay everyday for most of the year, know what I mean?

I can't speak for other families who adopt through the rescue, but I did a lot of research on ISAs before I got these girls, and I accept that at some point in their futures they will probably need to be euthanised due to some kind of reproductive health complication. However, I'm hoping that that is at least a few years down the track and they can live out their lives in peace and dignity here with us.

I'm sure the Rescue agrees there is a difference between backyard culling due to a lack of egg laying and humane euthanisa to end the suffering of a sick animal.

I'm lucky that I also have other chooks who are all good layers (or at least, they will be when the days get a bit longer again!) so I'm not "relying" on the ISAs for eggs.

Cheers,

Kath :)

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Kath :hiya: three children, three chooks
"Cute" the RIR "Sharp-Toe" the Australorp and "Pretty" the Leghorn


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:48 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:32 pm
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Location: Gold Coast
Its obvious your chooks are lucky indeed you picked them to come and live with you, you have a very kind heart!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:32 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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You may think that it's far from perfect, however your chookens will see it as paradise !

Not to mention that I reckon it's pretty darned good, too. :thumbs:

I raise Ron's "passable" comment by a long way & would say that you could turn your hand to any number of projects with the skills you clearly have.

Winglet (what I wouldn't give for someone to magically produce one of those at our place !)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:45 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:14 pm
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Location: Southern Tasmania
Awesome coop Hillside, and how nice of you to adopt the girls from hen rescue :) Your girls may look scruffy now, but in time they will grow new feathers, develop confidence and love life - and you :)

I like that you have re-used materials that would otherwise be thrown out and wasted.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:12 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: North East Victoria, Australia
Fantastic I am jealous you have done a great job. :thumbs:

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140 chooks including standards (Australorps, Sussex & SL and BLG Wyandottes), Pekin bantams including Buff, Black, Columbian, Blue, Mottle, Mille, Mealy grey, Furness, Cuckoo, Lavander cuckoo & frizzle. Belgian D'Uccle in Blue & Mille.


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