I promised somebody I’d post some info about these small-scale, pre-fab henhouses and runs. I’ve seen these at my feed store so I’ve had a chance to kick the tires. They look sturdy, easy to move around, and entirely functional. It’s a well thought-out design and I certainly couldn’t build it myself for the price, factoring in the bazillion trips to the hardware store it would take me to get the job done.
This would work well for chickens who can free-range, and it could also be easily used as a portable "chicken tractor" if you’re going to move the chickens around in your garden. But if they are going to mostly live their lives in a coop, I’d build them a bigger structure, or consider enclosing one of these inside a larger pen, giving them more room to roam around. Also, my chickens like to be higher up at night–their instinct is to nest in a tree–and I’d worry that they’d be generally displeased with sleeping this low to the ground. Raising the elevation (and making sure they have a ladder or can fly in) could be a good compromise.
And finally: remember that lots of creatures like possums, raccoons, etc. will try to tunnel under to get your hens. If it doesn’t come with wire mesh underneath and something to anchor it firmly to the ground, you’ll need to add that.
Anyway, it’s a cool little design, and how great would it look painted lime green? Or turquoise? Or tangerine?Posted by Amy Stewart on October 6, 2008 at 5:23 am, in the category Real Gardens.