Lengths of old cor­ru­gated iron dic­tated the roof pitch.

A friend skilled at weld­ing fab­ri­cated a draw­bar to make tow­ing easy. For­tu­nately there was plenty of cor­ru­gated iron to re­cy­cle.

NZ Lifestyle Block - - DIY FOOD -

hu­man. Lengths of old cor­ru­gated iron ly­ing around dic­tated the roof­pitch. A vis­it­ing friend – handy with a welder – fab­ri­cated a draw-bar. The tyres re­sponded to air with­out haem­or­rhag­ing, and then we were down to fine de­tails.

The nest­ing boxes go across one end of the struc­ture, tucked-in enough to dodge all but the most driven rain. They have a slop­ing floor (a slope of about 1:6 was the con­sen­sus) so the eggs roll away un­der a di­vider the hens can’t get past. A cou­ple of hinged ply­wood lids, one to ac­cess the boxes, the other the egg-col­lec­tion space, fin­ished it off.

Wa­ter was a headache. This trac­tor needs to be eas­ily towed through farm gates, which suggested the trough should be mounted un­der­neath. But how to mount a trough un­der­neath some­thing that is all perch, in a way that it didn’t get knocked off in tran­sit or filled with guano, had us beat.

We set­tled on a side-mounted trough cut from an old mus­sel float and melted into shape with a heat gun, with a

hinged-down gang plank, all hung on No8 wire, our hat tip to cul­ture.

We left be­fore the trac­tor was fi­nally com­mis­sioned but Debi re­ports that they’ve added an end door to cut down on the in­ter­nal draugh­ti­ness. Oth­er­wise the eggs seem to be be­ing laid in the cor­rect place and the hens seem to be sleep­ing in their new house most of the time.

What more can you ask?

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