Hatch­ing a plan

Trans­form your hen house into a colour­ful gar­den fea­ture – don’t be chicken about it.


Words and styling Sarah Heeringa. Pho­tog­ra­phy Amanda Reel­ick

Just be­cause it’s a chook house doesn’t mean it needs to be frumpy. With a fresh coat of paint you can give your hen house a fab­u­lous new look and in­ject a pop of cheery colour to a gar­den corner at the same time.

Re­sene Lum­ber­sider is a great paint to use on out­door tim­ber, con­crete and old paint­work, as it is de­signed to en­sure max­i­mum dura­bil­ity in ex­posed con­di­tions. It is water borne so easy to ap­ply, and cre­ates a low sheen look that is to­tally wash­able.

You can first prime the sur­faces or paint Re­sene Lum­ber­sider on di­rectly.

You will need

· Hen house · Re­sene Lum­ber­sider in colours of your choice (we used Re­sene Good Life, Re­sene Lim­er­ick, Re­sene Leap Year and Re­sene Shark) · Paint brushes and rollers · Waterblaster · Scrub­bing brush · Wooden dye-cut sign (op­tional) Step 1: Re­lo­cate any chick­ens to a tem­po­rary dwelling else­where. Step 2: Thor­oughly scrub and wa­terblast the hen house in­side and out to re­move any dirt or cob­webs.

Step 3: Once dry, paint the hen house us­ing Re­sene Lum­ber­sider in colours of your choice. I used Re­sene Good Life, Re­sene Lim­er­ick and Re­sene Leap Year for the house and in­side the lay­ing boxes. I used Re­sene Shark for the roof and the chook run’s tim­ber frame.

Step 4: Paint your dye-cut sign and use nails or glue to at­tach.

Step 5: Re­turn the chick­ens to their new home. Last one in is a rot­ten egg! Quick chook tips and facts

· Back­yard chick­ens are a cost-ef­fec­tive and sat­is­fy­ing way to get free-range eggs.

· Chooks are om­ni­vores. They help re­duce waste as you can feed them house­hold scraps, plus dried and ground eggshells for grit.

· Chick­ens can also eat in­va­sive weeds (such as kikuyu grass or ox­alis) that are not good to com­post. · Some chick­ens (such as cross-bred Shavers) are great lay­ers. Oth­ers, such as Rhode Is­land Reds, are bet­ter for breed­ing.

· All chick­ens need a coop for shade and to keep them warm and dry. Check your lo­cal coun­cil’s guide­lines be­fore set­ting up your chook run. g

Gar­den pal­ette Use com­ple­men­tary shades to en­liven the dif­fer­ent sur­faces of your hen house. · Re­sene Lim­er­ick · Re­sene Leap Year · Re­sene Good Life · Re­sene Shark Sarah is a con­tribut­ing ed­i­tor for Good and au­thor of Re­claim That: Up­cy­cling your Home...

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