I am coming back to this blog after a busy few months to let you know about this fantastic new section of run for our poor chickens, who are still cooped up due to the bird flu decree and very indignant about it! Our ‘resident carpenter’ set to work and she created and built just what we needed. This structure is amazingly solid, yet brilliantly designed to be flat packed away when the hens are allowed to range free again.
(The chickens are kept entertained with dangling CDs, branches and other distractions.)
Meanwhile, my husband and I have been very busy with work on our renovations of the steading building. (The new hen run was made largely using scrap wood that had to be stripped out of the barn.) So far most of the work has been stripping back, knocking down an old interior wall and breaking up old flooring. I am really looking forward to beginning to put things in rather than taking things out!
First the wall came down and then the metal supporting beam went in.
Then came the laborious process of building up the jagged end of wall in the image above, carefully selecting stones and creating a straight (ish) end. (Though nothing in this building is square or straight, which is one of the reasons that we like it so much.)
As you can see, the wall end is finished except for some pointing up that will be done later.
Unfortunately, when we brought up the wooden flooring throughout this area, we found that there were not only some amazing original stone slabs to be removed and carefully re-laid in the pantry at a later stage but also two concrete slabs. Unfortunately, both had to come out as the floors were all rough, uneven and not at the required level. There was a LOT of concrete to move, but nothing goes to waste here if we can help it, so it is not going to landfill.
Now we are working on making some big temporary doors to cover a stone arch at the front of the section while we remove the old, rotten frontage. This will also give access for a mini digger, which we will soon be hiring to bring the floor to the right level.
Things are and will continue to move slowly because we both have full time jobs and so have to do what we can on weekends. Still, I will try to be better about keeping this blog updated as we continue with this job, as well as giving more garden updates in the spring.