The chicken house project

Moving into our own house in Christchurch has been an exciting life upgrade for us. In Sydney we lived in a tiny little apartment that received minimal sunlight and dreamed of the days we’d have a backyard and more square metres in the kitchen. Now we’ve got more space than we could have imagined (mostly in the backyard department) and it only made sense that we got some chickens.

It all started with a cheap dining table we bought off TradeMe that inspired the purchase of an electric sander and set off a series of furniture projects for Joris. From dining table to coffee tables and chest of drawers, our indoor space was pretty soon exhausted.

And so a chicken house seemed like the most logical thing next. Aside from the novelty of having a chicken house, we wanted another way of disposing our food scraps and we really liked eggs.

We engaged Google for some initial research and settled on an A-frame design. As we’re living on a rental property, we needed something we could take apart easily and reassemble elsewhere – so that was factored into the design as well. Joris sketched out a rough plan and I was nominated the mathematics captain and given responsibility for all building calculations.


We soon realised that was a terrible idea and the angles I had approximated were completely off. Our 2 metre wide chicken house was looking like 3 metres wide and there was no way it would fit on the space we had allocated for it.


So Paris the architect came and had a look.


The whole project should have taken a week or two but ended up taking months instead. Mostly because every time we made a mistake we would abandon the project for a couple of weeks before we could find the motivation to pull out those nails and start again.

So it’s quite a relief that our chicken house is finally complete and as good looking as we hoped. Now we just need some beautiful egg laying chickens.


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