La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.

Monday, August 31, 2015

A Home for Egg Layers

By being absent from this blog for so long, I have come to the realisation that I sometimes have to catch up and go back in time before I can write about the present day.
Our second volunteer since moving here to this property was Fran from Spain. He arrived mid October 2013.
Fran has a degree in architecture and he wanted to design and build a chicken coop. That is not so strange, because, after leaving our previous hens in Belgium to be cared for by the new owners of the house, we wanted to keep chickens again in the not so distant future.
We found a good spot not too far from the house, with a nice bit of  flat-ish green.
Fran made precise drawing with measurements, before he made a platform on stilts.

He built the wall structures separately and the proceeded to erect them onto the platform. Then the roof timbers went on.
I so wanted to keep it as it was here. Hmm, a garden pavilion.

He clad the outside with off-cuts from the local sawmill.
Made doors for humans and chickens.

We didn't get chickens right away. No, that had to wait till the spring.  
During that winter we had severe storms and we came to the conclusion that this strongly built chicken coop was going to withstand a good battering from high winds.
What Fran didn't think of was rain. And Bert and I didn't check if the roof was water tight.

Somewhere in April, or was it May 2014, Franzi and Silvio arrived from Germany. They got stuck in as soon as they could because they wanted to be here when the planned chickens arrived.

Making the roof water tight was first on the list.

Beautiful nest boxes.

A little recycling for the floor.

That was not the end of it. Oh no.  Before the chickens could come a fence needed to be erected.
Silvio and Franzi made light work of that too.  But you'll see the result in a later post.

For now I'll say till next time.
Patricia xxx...x

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