My three hens live here, tucked into a corner of my yard, far from neighbors and under the protective wing of the little barn that houses bird seed, lawnmmower, garden stuff and beekeeping supplies.

I built it with silvery, weathered wood scavanged from elsewhere because that’s what my great grandma Parker’s henhouse looked like, and my Uncle Bud’s still does. (The first henhouse I built in this yard 15 years ago looked like a cross between foghorn leghorn and a swiss chalet on stilts, complete with a windowbox.  This one is more practical, AND raccoon proof.)

I found the old farm mailbox — rusted and painted to a wonderful hue –and Jeff cut a hole in the side so I could attach it to the henhouse as a nesting box.

I used an old pitchfork handle attached to a sliding door (like the knife blade damper in a kiln) so we can open and close their outdoor access by pushing it in, or pulling it out.

The side you can’t see is made of weathered pickets from old fencing, and looks kind of like a treehouse with windows across the top. They perch on an old wooden ladder, inside, and have bedding of straw, fall leaves, shredded junk mail, and wood shavings from Jeff’s lathe. Along with organic chicken feed and grazing on grass and bugs in the yard, they get our leftovers: whole wheat couscous with venison stew, leftover soggy cheerios, pizza crusts soaked in broth or milk, bug nibbled chard leaves. and… “is this cottage cheese looking sour to you?” They like it fine…


Now if I could only get them to put up the flag when they layan egg!