How Not to Build a Chicken Hut
I am not a Cabinet Maker
Being a member of the Chippendale administrative team, it may surprise you to discover that despite working at one of the world’s most prestigious cabinet making schools, I have no talent whatsoever when it comes to woodworking. Read this story about the construction of a chicken hut for proof that Anselm needs to give me some free tuition!
[This is an archived post – the images are no longer available]
I have been promising for ages to help a friend of mine build a chicken hut so that he can get round to the important business of keeping chickens. He lives many miles from me, up on Ben Lomond, but last weekend I finally bit the bullet and drove across the country to see him.
A Bad Woodworker Blames his Wood
I arrived expecting the unexpected, but was nevertheless horrified to discover that our building materials consisted of a shambolic array of broken palates, second-hand fencing posts and scavenged fire doors. From the outset it was clear to me that we were going to make amateurs DIYers look like master cabinet makers. This was further confirmed to me when my friend told me that his primary objective was to build a drawbridge into the front of the hut.
Taking the Plunge- Step 1
And so with more enthusiasm than talent, we took our first tentative steps. We first built a platform about 2 foot off the ground.
We then built a little nesting box onto the back of the platform.
By this time we had used up most of the half-decent wood but failed to see why this might be an issue. Up went the walls, one of which was an ancient, disused fire door. (We were very pleased with this because it made us happy to think that the chooks would have a nice view).
Holes were starting to appear and so, unfortunately, were the midges. Two of us set about plugging the gaps while the other two kept on with the freestyle design-engineering.
Step 5- Abandon Ship
Finally, driven half-mad by the midges and all the self-created troubleshooting we were involved in, we abandoned the project for the pub, deciding that our host could finish the damned thing himself.
The final day’s work
A near perfect chicken hut made out of scrounged materials.
Except from the front which is an ungodly shambles, but thankfully not my problem.
I would totally recommend doing something like this, especially as a chicken hut can cost up to £1000. It is a really fun and worthwhile project to undertake, although probably only advisable is you want to keep chickens.
Hopefully I can offer you 3 small pieces of advice that might help prevent you from making the same mistakes we did (though I doubt any readers would be as foolishly unprepared as us):