Chicken villa

Today we have finally finished the chicken coop. Riks grandpa had already given us money to buy chickens before we left, but we thought it wasn’t a good idea to already have chickens before we lived there. Now we have been living here for a while, except for the 1 to 2 nights we spend at the lodge to shower and use an actual toilet.

We started in the garden by measuring out the poles digging holes for them.

Then the poles needed to be cut to the right size with a panga knife, after which the bark was removed by hitting the wood with a hammer.

The poles were then anointed with timberguard – which should protect them against termites – before they were put into the ground. Beams were attached to those in order to build the foundation of the floor.

Bamboo was attached to this to make the actual floor. It hangs over the edges for 50 centimeters, to explicit instructions of Rik’s grandpa, to protect the chickens and their eggs against snakes.

Then it was time to start with the walls. While Michael and James weren’t exactly sure why they had to leave a hole in one of the walls, they closely followed our instructions.

As soon as the roof and the nestbox were finished (Ah, so there was that hole in one of the walls for!) we were almost done.

As finishing touches, a net was stretched over the opening under the roof, and the built in planter was filled with soil and strawberry plants!

Salete, a girl from the village, helped me by buy some chickens for me (if I would’ve done it myself, the price of one chicken would surely have tripled). We picked up the chickens at her house and put them in the trunk of the car. Fortunately, the drive was short, and soon we could remove the strips of fabric from their legs. The next morning there were already two little eggs waiting for us!

Now we really had to hurry with the construction of the run, so they could also roam outside, so that’s what we started o yesterday. While we were busy stretching wires across the run, we were watched by a hawk. This confirmed our belief that we really did need those wires if we didn’t want our little chickens to end up as bird food.

Today, just before lunch, we finished the run so we could let the chickens roam. Shortly after the door opened they were all outside chasing grasshoppers. We stayed for a while and watched them before we went back to the beach for lunch: it has become quite cosy in the garden.

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