Sunday, June 26, 2011

Home Improvement

I spent a few hours yesterday afternoon remodeling the interior of my hen house.  I LOVE my hen house.  It's little (which prevents me from buying the 100 chickens I'd love to have).  It's well built.  And it has a cute red roof.

We call their house The Spice Cabinet.  I put chili pepper lights on it so they could be festive.
But it's not big.  So there's not a great deal of room for the girls to jump up the 20" to their roosting bar.  This is not a problem at all for Pumpkin who can jump straight up in the air.  Ginger has to think about it for a while but eventually gets up there.  But Coco is just too big.  I've tried a number of different things to help them get up to roost but none were really good.

Here's an old shot of the interior w/ the ramp I had built for the girls.
So I had a new idea for a two part step out of some old lumber we had.  My friend Sandy came over with power tools too help.  Aren't friends the best!  So after some discussion and measuring we came up with this design.

The new step in the hen house.

Basically, it's a section of 6" by 6" with a 6" by 3" half the width laying on one side.  And then there's a 2" by 4" underneath to support it, which you can't see because of all the sand.  This way Coco can just step up onto this and from there, jump to the roosting bar.

"Um, Mom?  You left the door open, AGAIN!  This is totally unacceptable."

And while it looks good, one never knows.  So I patiently waited for dusk last night to go watch the girls go to bed.  This is always problematic because they get so excited when I come to visit.  I could have treats.  And Ginger wants to roost on my shoulder.

Pumpkin hops up first and takes the prime spot at the end and proceeds to look down at me.  Coco is pacing back and forth and not even looking at the new step.  And Ginger is trying desperately to jump onto my shoulder.

I patiently tapped the step with my finger and Coco would step onto the lower step, but couldn't grasp the concept of stepping up to the second level.  This went on for several minutes as it continued to get darker and darker.  And Coco was becoming more agitated.

Time to try something different.  So I picked up Ginger and put her on the top step.  She stood there for a minute looking at her feet like, hey, this is cool.  And with out use of her wings, jumped to the roosting bar.  Well, you could practically see the lightbulb go on in Coco's head.  She stepped up on the lower step, up to the higher one and with one big jump, was safely on the roosting bar.

And with that, everyone was tucked in for the night.  The new step is a success and I couldn't be happier.  And I got an added bonus this morning.  It's far enough away from the roosting bar that they can't poop on it at night.


  1. Life is good when the birds are happy.


  2. Isn't that the truth. And I know I have happy birds because I come home to 3 eggs nearly every day. And these breeds are not suppose to lay 7 days a week.

  3. Wow, that is a nice set up for the girls!

  4. Why thank you. I work a crazy schedule so it was important to me to have a set up where they were secure and could get up and go to bed on their own terms.

    It's worked well for us so far.