Keeping chickens is so much a part of a self-reliant lifestyle, that most cities now have ordinances to allow chickens in small quantities as a nod to sustainability. And a few hens are not hard to accommodate.
This old outhouse has been with me now for almost 30 years. But I no longer had a use for it as originally intended. Re-purposing was in order! With just a few modifications it has become an adequate chicken house.
- I covered the open hole seat area with a new sheet of plywood
- Cut a hole in the side about 10”x10” for the chickens to go in and out
- Tacked the fence wire around the hole with 2×4 to frame the opening
- Since the door had long ago fallen off, I replaced it with a full view used storm door from a used center for $8
- I installed two dowel rods for roosting areas
- I attached an old wooden crate for a nest box onto the wall
The chicken pen is away from the barn, so I ran an electric drop cord to it for supplemental lighting and to power the water font heater. That is working just fine and I am using a timer that I got for my Christmas lights to control the lighting.
Their chicken pen is a metal pergola I got on clearance at the end of the season a couple of years ago and covered with chicken wire, including the bottom—predator control! I used cable ties to secure the wire. In the summer they have outside roosts. Added bonus, last summer the squash crawled up and over it providing shade for the chickens and a vertical trellis for the squash!
This was a last minute, just before winter hit, project. Adjustments I hope to make this spring include:
- Add tin under the roosts in order to funnel the manure into plastic gutters run along the bottom of the tin for ease of cleaning and to catch the manure for the compost pile
- Construct roll away nest boxes with outside access so that I don’t have to enter the 4’x4′ building—and the little devils don’t eat their eggs
- Add a secure clip to the light hanger
- Tin the outside of the building
- Hinge the seat area and line the rectangular box under it with tin to keep their feed in
- I might do some stencils on the glass door
Except for the obvious form of the building the function has been completely altered!