Laying it on for a great hen’s life
Now that spring has kicked off, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the garden could do with some attention.
In particular, the hen house is looking worse for wear.
It’s not that surprising given it’s the same ramshackle set-up we’ve had since the chickens arrived almost a decade ago, but what I once thought of as exhibiting rakish charm now just looks a little sad. With a prime spot in the corner of the backyard, an upgrade could well be in order.
And these days, there is no shortage of options. Indeed, a quick internet search of chicken coops reveals a plethora of well-appointed hen houses, from basic triangular pens made for just a chook or two, to palatial two-storey accommodation not unreasonably named “the penthouse”.
For almost $1000, these luxury chicken coops keep your hens off the ground in all weather while offering easy access to their eggs via an external flap so that you don’t have to enter the chickens’ domain.
Pardon the pun, but I don’t think that’s going to fly at our house.
Our chickens already enjoy a free-range lifestyle, contained only by the fence line. Although they have been known to lay on the roost, they’d rather pick their own spot in the garden, which at the moment is in the warm, soft earth behind the plumbago.
When they’re feeling particularly bold, they stroll up our back steps into the kitchen, gently clucking to themselves for being so clever. I swear they can also poo when they want — which seems to be right in front of the back door as they are being ushered out.
In other words, they have a pretty comfortable life, despite their basic sleeping quarters. I wouldn’t want them getting any ideas.