The Hillbilly-Hippie Chicken Tower
After finishing the tool shed back in the woods, I decided to bite the bullet and get chickens again before having anything built for them. We still had the calf shed from the previous failed chicken coop when we had to get rid of our birds because they were roosting on the front porch every night. They didn’t like being so low to the ground so we improved on it this time by setting it on top of a base of wooden shipping pallets.
Doors and Windows
This image was taken when the top level was still open. That has since been closed up and is now a big chicken-wire window. There is a ramp inside for the chickens to walk up to the top level, where the roosts are. There is little trap door on the left of the calf-shed with a stump we can stand on to open it. We have attached a nesting box to the inside in hopes that they’ll decide to lay their eggs there so we can just open that door to get them. If they lay eggs where they’re supposed to (we’ll lure them with fake eggs) the only other door that needs to open is the trap door in the front (made from a doggy door) so they can come outside during the day. If they lay somewhere else we’ll have to open the larger front door, which is a hinged pallet-door. There is also a poultry-wire door in the side of the calf-shed, and lots of air and light down in the lower level through the wire.
There is a cow-panel (welded wire) on the ground below everything, which is held down by the weight of the coop and tied into the coop as well. There is also a cow-panel and board floor between the two levels, with an area cut into it for the ladder (we’ll take more pictures and share them if you’re interested). The hinged-pallet door is secured to the rest of the structure when closed by thick-gauged insulated wire, like the kind some bike locks are made from. All nooks and crannies have been sealed with chicken wire, boards, etc… for a very hodge-podge look. It’s a chicken-shanty condominium, really.
We’ll be putting it to the test of the next few weeks and will let you know how it goes. Below are some pictures from the first time we tried to use the calf-shed, but at the time we just put it on the ground, which the chickens didn’t like. They seem to love the “chicken tower” now though. We can hardly get them to come out!