An update on our newest family members, Thelma, Belle, and Babe: they are laying more than enough eggs for our human family of two, and giving us some good entertainment as well.
They are also destroying the tomato plants and succulents in the greenhouse, opting to lay their eggs among the plants instead of in their cushy, specially built nest. We, my husband, Dave, and I realized immediately that something had to be done right away to give these chiclets their own place, so Dave began sketching out rough plans for a new hen house.
We had some building supplies on hand, but did have to spend over $50.00 for a few 2X4s and some chicken wire. (Hmmmm, since we also invested in a fancy watering jug and feeder, plus a 50 lb, bag of laying mash, at $2.50 per dozen, these chickens are going to have to lay a LOT of eggs to pay for their house)
But the cost efficiency of having chickens isn't the point I want to make here.
Allowing the creative juices to guide us after making only rough plans, and allowing the project to unfold as we make adjustments according to new ideas and available supplies is something my husband and I both do all the time. And, the results are usually surprisingly good; maybe not exactly what we initially envisioned, but oftentimes better.
I have long called this method Seat of (the) Pants, or SOP sewing, SOP writing, SOP cooking, etc. The idea is to just start! I have found nothing gets created until I start, so after a little planning, and maybe some research, I often just play with fabric to spark my imagination, write a few lines to see what follows, or start dragging out likely ingredients for the dish I want to make, then let my imagination, tempered by common sense, take over.
Dave built the hen house one board at a time, SOP, and while not quite done yet, (he got rained out yesterday) it is looking great. It will have both open air spaces and a sheltered area for cold winter days; places to roost, and nests in which Thelma, Belle, and Babe can lay their precious eggs.
The hinged roof opens up for easy coop cleaning and egg gathering, and a smart little walkway gives the hens easy access to their new elevated home. The space under the house will provide shade in the summer.
Dave's research for this project was looking at a several commercially built chicken coops at our local feed store. Since they ranged in cost from $150.00 to $300.00, and he could make one better built and larger than any of those for much, much less, they were also his inspiration.
SOP; Seat of (the) Pants is a way to use what you have to make or build what you want or need, and have fun doing it. Surprise yourself - give it a try.....