Shed and Chicken Fancy


Ski: around 4 days old
It's time for me to start planning a garden shed. I have collected the windows, a door, an old ceramic sink and counter and the metal roof for it, now all I need to do is think about what kind of design I want. My wish list is long; my budget short, so I am counting on creativity in using materials to get me there. Of course the shed is to hold tools and to dry flowers and pot up seedlings; but I would like to have a built in cold frame or mini greenhouse so I can get a jump start on spring food in winter. I wouldnt mind having a little deck around it so I would have a hang out place. Eventually, I will run power out to it; or maybe hook up a little solar panel to run some lighting.

This shed will be a kind of shrine to my Mom as well. She left me a tiny bit of money and this is how I intend to spend it. She would love my plans - the seed of Chickory was planted back when I was in high school when Mom bought a small river property and we used to talk and dream about what to do with it.

When Easter was a baby
I would also like to attach to the shed a field pen for the chickens who spend most of their time around the barn and in the woods. I take them out to the garden to work with me, but they always inch toward the tree line and run (they are so funny when they are really running; only Easter flies) to the safety of the canopy. And they are right: overhead predators are their biggest worry because the dogs handle all ground threats.

Lately I've been looking at some lovely photos of chicken pens and housing:

I like this "mutt and jeff" fencing - reminds me of the coyote fencing in Moi's neighborhood only using the sticks horizontally. The only downside is it looks like not enough light is getting in. Light is critical for egg production. Though my hens spend a lot of time in the forest, they have loblollies where they lay in the sun, stretching their wings out like solar panels to absorb heat.

This is wonderful. It reminds me of my grandmother's house. I've sourced this double loop wire fencing. It is expensive! It runs about $300. per 100 foot roll. We actually have about 30 feet of it on our back fence which I plan to take for the garden. I look for it all the time on Craigslist but never find any. I do see it around in older neighborhoods. With all the tear down and in-fill they are doing here I might try and vulture some from developers. I found some antique wire garden gates on Ebay too.

This is kind of what I am thinking for the greenhouse section of my shed. I check the Habitat for Humanity thrift store about once a week for windows. Its getting slimmer as I think more and more people are into recycling then just going to Home Depot and getting new windows. The quality is actually better on the old windows anyway. Once my truck gets repaired I can start ranging out in search of old building materials.

You know, this isn't what I had in mind, but I could live with it. Chandelier is a nice touch. I could use the plexi chandelier Boxer made me in the shed though.

Chickens at Saint Agatha by Gustav Klimt
I am open to suggestions, ideas, links about interesting materials that I might incorporate into the design that would look cool and be affordable. And then we will tackle the matter of the goats.


  1. I'm sorry, I'm just looking at Easter's Baby picture and can't think of anything else. :-) I love that you're beginning to work on your shed and I'll be back with any thoughts I have. I used money from my Mother to make my back yard into my sanctuary and put a statue of St. Francis in the middle of it for her. Whatever you do, I know it will be beautiful.

  2. uh, fancy farm girl--yep, that'd do it. Heh.

    I like yore grandmother's fence plan. As fer the shed, the quirkier the better. Lost of Heavenly blue Morning glories need to ramble over it, though.

  3. Hmmmm, must check out the fence in my backyard....

  4. You have a lot of good ideas already. It's just a matter of luck in what materials you can lay your hands on. Did you say you were fixing the truck? Are you getting a junkyard engine?

    And OK, I'll say it - Thanks for showing us your Klimt. Bwahahaha

  5. Oh, these pics are great. Ever since getting my own little "farm" I want goats and chickens. My dad who has horses wants to put a few of them in our pasture. I kinda hope he bring the old ones...the blind one, the lame and some of the older ones. Just to let them live. But chickens would have a field day with the ants up here and I want a goat just because. Maybe one day. Thanks for sharing!

  6. What a fun project! I think the more light, the better, so I am partial to that third photo. It's tough these days, scavenging materials, but I like your idea of hitting up developers, especially if building is down in your region. Me, I'd incorporate adobe bricks somehow, but I don't know if you have the right clay-ey mud there to work with.

    And, wow, Easter was a beautiful toddler. Did I tell you about my afternoon spent with chicken at the Fair? I was so sad, not being able to take any home. Not yet, anyway.

  7. Yep, that's what I've got. Two sides of old double loop wire fence. I call it a fence, Jackson calls it merely an annoyance, a minor impediment between himself and the rabbits.
    It's yours if I have to go to six foot wood fence.

  8. p.s. I'll make you a different chandelier for your new shed.

  9. This may be a good fit with the Chickory esthetic: practically no-cost solar lighting with a metal roof!

    The chicken baby pix are wonderful!

  10. The chicken 'baby' pics are aborable, Easter has always been a pretty little chick. I like that you are using recycled materials for your garden shed, I think that old windows and doors have much more character and I love that metal gate for the chicken pen. This will be a lovely space for you and the girls, so lots of light and fresh air.
    xoxoxo ♡

  11. I love the Grandma's Fence idea! Living where I do, we have so many foxes, I would have to build a chicken fort, I think. I am fond of sheds that use many different materials together. Whatever you make, it will be wonderful. Love that it will be a kind of shrine to your mom. :) xox Pam

  12. I love all of these pens! So creative. I'm betting you will scrounge up just the right materials. Who does the building once you get the materials together? Took photos recently of some chickens in the middle of a lane in England. They were there every time we passed. I think they lived in the hedgerow. Of course, I thought of chickie!

  13. Love the babies! Here's a link to a garden gate that I love - don't even look at the price!

  14. Headache Ghost9/16/2011 4:22 PM

  15. boxer: i remember when you did that redo of the yard and it turned out great. and you have the tent too for rainy days. I have to figure out the I want a pitch roof or that design where the roof just slants on one side real high on one side and shorter on the other. make sense? Easter is the most loving chicken. she actually likes to be held and loved.

    aunty: i agree! morning glories and a climbing rose too.

    buzz: this is the saddest story you ever heard. V found an engine and bought it. It was a "good deal" and was a 302. but no, it wasnt. it was a 255 one of the crappiest engines ever manufactured. but they look identical. anywhoo - i bought a brand new factory rebuilt engine and I should have my truck back tomorrow. weeeeeeeeee. Materials used to be easy to come by and cheap. I blame design chicks for the scarcity and high prices. They ruined this old flea that was south of atlanta over paying for everything. grrrrrrrrrr. anyway - I want some barnwood but now that is real popular and expensive. dont tell the missus you saw my Klimt.

    Hil: I love the idea of having the older and blind horse. I would take that If I had the room. How many acres do you have? The chicks wont eat ants but they love termites. When you get your chicks and goats you will have more muses than you know what to do with.

    shamy! no way! I will come get that fencing. Its a days drive, right? Is Jackson staying in the yard?

  16. Boxer: really!? you are so crafty. I am going to make a stick wreath I saw on Pinterest. It was with driftwood but mine will be mossy limbs. natch.

    lx: WOW WOW WOW> great video. everyone in here should watch that. That is uber cool. Thanks lx.

    dianne: yes i have always wanted them out while I am tending garden but they are scared out there. I figure if they have a pen to scurry to then they would stay. Of course, the bad news is they might put some beak digs in the tomatoes!

    I like sheds like that too. There is one behind the old country store I wouldnt mind modeling mine after. Or dismantle it and reassemble it here. Its a dove tail roof line. Oh yes. Foxes. Well, i think it was a weasel that ate my first flock. (the learning curve chickens)

    Pam! youre home. welcome back. Im sorry i flaked out on our photo group. I ready to start again. Mike, who built my studio, will do the shed. He did a beautiful job and is good about incorporating the materials i find.

    casey: high dollar makes me holler! its gorgeous. but too nice for chickory. You know how it is over here girl...its got to be mish mash.

    headache ghost: hmmm. Im not that video worthy. you know the winner will be a yoga babe. Did you get my email (at mayberry?)

  17. truck is back on the road?

    Show us'uns the new table and chairs, ok?

  18. i love gustave klimt's nature paintings. i'm thinking your space will come together with it's own unique chickory flair. can't wait to see.

  19. So touching that you are fulfilling a dream that started with your mom, I know she'd love it! I like the pen with the horizontal sticks followed by the wire fencing. Not too sure about the chandelier in the henhouse! Don't want those gals to get too uppity!

  20. habitat and other recyclers is good -- garage sales & flea markets -- scavenging lane ways -- and my favorite, scoping what else is kicking around the back yard at garage and yard sales (the junk not for sale... yet :)

    an idea for unusual material, recycled -- i bought an old (antique) shed door complete with all original (latch) hardware for like $15 at a garage sale -- they were using it as a table top with the sale junk on it -- built a couple of simple sawhorse legs for the thing and it now serves as a potting table in ruth's sunroom

    have fun with it

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    ps -- that easter is a good lookin' chick


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