DO IT: CHICKEN COOP

Fol­low Vanessa’s lead – in­vest in a chicken coop and some chooks and en­joy fresh eggs from your own ur­ban farm.

Homes+ (Australia) - - READERS’ HOMES -

IF YOU’VE EVER thought about keep­ing chick­ens, let Vanessa’s setup in­spire you and give it a try. Chooks are rather so­cia­ble, so a pair is a good place to start – all you need is a yard that’s at least three square me­tres, larger if you want more chooks. There’s no need for a rooster, so save your­self, and your neigh­bours, the has­sle and noise.

Buy or make a chicken coop with a pur­pose-built nest­ing box for egglay­ing, an en­closed area with ac­cess to light, air and lawn and a shel­tered spot with a perch for the hens to sleep on at night. Line the nest­ing box with fresh straw and in­stall a feeder for pel­lets and a large wa­ter dis­penser or bowl for fresh wa­ter. Now you’re ready to get your­self some chooks!

STEP 1 Place your kit on the ground and undo the screws to sep­a­rate the rec­tan­gu­lar base piece and hinged bi­fold roof. Lay the base piece flat. STEP 2 Po­si­tion the roof on top of the base. Line up the pre-drilled holes and in­di­ca­tor marks to en­sure the kit is square and the front door will open. Drill the first screw in, then work along both sides of the coop un­til you have all six screws in place.

STEP 3 Now fit the back door. It has a fixed top and a hinged flap at the base for ac­cess­ing eggs. The door is also pre-drilled, so just line up the holes and screw it in place.

STEP 4 Jack the back up slightly with a brick and fit the wheels us­ing an 8mm driver on your drill. Screw them in just tight enough so the wheels can still spin eas­ily.

Note Let your chooks roam around the gar­den dur­ing the day, but make sure they’re in the coop at night with the se­cu­rity pin fas­tened. Foxes are every­where – even in the city.

Handy hen­house

Vanessa’s DIY chicken coop pro­vides a neat home for her three fancy chooks.

Great value Point of lay Aus­tralorp or ISA Brown hens can be bought for as lit­tle as $25 each.

Start­ing out This sim­ple A-frame coop is great for small spa­ces and those who want to try own­ing chooks.

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