“You’re not putting anything ruched in my chook-shed”
After putting a cob plaster coating on the lower earthbag walls, I lined the ceiling with the same hessian I’d used in my stealth camper. I’d originally used a combo of cardboard and leftover polystyrene insulation (I know, not particularly green but gifted to us and better than going to landfill) in the ceiling and to prevent any poly coming adrift and landing on the floor where the chooks peck about. I just wanted to contain things. It looks heaps better too.
I left all the windows and door open to dry the cob plaster and air things through. The cob on the earthbag half-wall has dried a lot and there’s some cracking which is normal. I probably should have added a bit of sharp-sand to the mix to give it strength and also straw for its tensile qualities … but I didn’t have either and was keen to just have a go. The mud method is pretty forgiving, especially as I just wanted an earth plaster to cover the polyprop bags and keep them protected from sunlight.
The hut will mostly be kept open anyway as it’s plenty dry and warm enough for the chooks who will only sleep in there at night.
I left the phone in case anyone wants to call mum.
I lined the floor and bottom of the walls with black plastic (free and used for numerous projects), which is a bit huckery looking I guess but I want to use the deep mulch method which keeps warm, doesn’t smell, gives the chooks a soft landing when they leave their roosts and starts the composting process for when the mulch is eventually removed.
I fixed two new roosts, one a long tool handle, the other a tree branch. I filed down any sharp knots on the branch so it’s comfy for their feet. I brought in the nest boxes and set them up.
The missus came to inspect and when she saw what I’d done to the ceiling she mentioned gingham curtains for the windows. I thought about a padlock on the door to prevent such a twee happening and I left for a couple of days in the camper with Gabby.
This is what I came home to.
We’ve been slowly introducing the critters to the new digs. We’re feeding them near the doorway and have fenced a new run around the veggie garden. They have a dry spot under the veranda for dustbathing which will hopefully provide a year-round spa for them.
Darcy the white chook still has a view to the day spa from the top of the nest box where she likes to sit so, all’s well despite the curtains.
So, the chooks are sorted.
Next cob/earthbuilding project: The Teaching Space. Stay tuned.
Oh, and watch out for a new and ongoing series, The Butch Chronicles.