In which our chickens (finally) move into their fancy new townhouse!

There's a lot of weird stuff that rattles around the corners of a farm.

The mailbox at camera right was under a bunch of blackberry brambles
and had our address painted on the side.  I thought purple would be more fun.

Our farm came with a lot of weird stuff. Much of it has gradually been hauled away, given away, recycled, or, in several cases, upcycled--into something new and useful.

Henhouse frame, late November

Last fall we decided that we really needed a permanent henhouse in the New Garden.

When not busy growing vegetables, we like the gardens to house chickens, who busily sort through the stall cleanings and kitchen refuse that we throw in. The oldest garden now has soil more than 12" deep, thanks to our hens.

Santa Jim sets up the roof beams

So, beginning with some paper napkin sketches, Santa Jim sorted through various piles of weird stuff to find materials suited to building a chicken house.

We scored the metal "skin" from our friend Cathy at Cascade Gold Akel Tekes.  
These pieces are cut from the "door holes" cut out of her barn siding!
We briefly considered buying pre-fab nesting boxes...

...and then I remembered the old mailbox that had been kicking around and had gotten run over by blackberry bushes.

"Do you think we could...?"  I asked Santa Jim.

We put out a call on Facebook for other unwanted mailboxes.
"I think I can make it work," he told me.

I've been getting impatient lately because it's time to plant stuff , but the Old Garden was still full of chickens and the henhouse in the New Garden wasn't finished yet.

Violet and Minerva help me turn the soil in the Old Garden,
but they can't stay there once I've planted the seeds!

Jim pushed daylight for more than a couple of days, and finally announced that the new henhouse was ready for chickens!

Extra nerd points for the sign on the door.
The hens are locked inside until they are using the laying boxes reliably--
should be only 2 or 3 days.

We moved the chickens in last night.

Inside the hen house, chickens play awkward games to pass the time
between eggs.  This is Charades:  "sounds like...wing? feather? flap?"
At night it's poker.  They have terrible poker faces.

The bright colors make me giggle.

Exterior view

And this morning...

Violet laid her egg just as I opened the door

Ding!  You have...egg!

Yep.  The Vernal Townhouse makes me smile.


  1. Absolutely love, love, love the brightly coloured mailboxes for nesting boxes!

  2. I love it - what an awesome henhouse! The bright mailboxes are the best! And, in my humble opinion, no henhouse is complete without some sort of funny sign. My father-in-law's has a hand-painted sign with a chicken thay says "eat pork". ;-)

  3. Chicken mail: it's like opening a present every time! I love love LOVE the mailbox nesting boxes. Bright colors! Presents! Side splittingly adorable and fun. (We're zoned to exclude chickens, much to my dismay and Shaun's relief.) it doesn't seem fair, since skunk (yep, karma still operating) and possum roam freely. Ooooooo. I love Haiku farm.

  4. How neat and fun!!! What a great idea using mailboxes!!

  5. The best nesting box system ever. Eggs down.

  6. Best nesting boxes ever.. Very jealous. Can you get the m to put the flags up when they lay an egg??

  7. OMG - what a great idea for nesting boxes. I'm just building a new coop for my hens too and now I'm tempted to give this a try!:)


Post a Comment

To err is human. To be anonymous is not.

Popular posts from this blog

In which we take (metaphoric) coals to Newcastle by boat and barge

In which it's that time again: we're headed for Sawmill Flats to build trails