The barn is not quite five years old, but that round window is well over a hundred years, and the other windows, with the Queen Anne style diamond-shaped center panes are also antiques. The plants growing up the trellis are a climbing hydrangea and yellow climbing roses. That grey thingy sticking out of the barn to the right of the purple door is the HenCam camera. Inside, the barn is divided in half. You walk into a storage area, and the chickens’ living quarters are on the other side of a wall/screen door. In the summer, there’s a faucet nearby, but in the winter (and even now, it’s still freezing in the morning!) I carry water from the house.
Here’s a view of the other barn that you can’t see on HenCam. It is a post and beam barn, made from New Hampshire white pine. It is a wonderful space. One of those buildings that makes you feel good when you are in it. Yes, I know it’s rather extravagant for chickens, but I love big antique barns, and I’ll never have one, so I treated myself to this.
The sink in front looks like soapstone, but it’s not. It’s actually a 1960’s lab sink from a school. The legs are vintage, from an 1910 farm sink. Also, the screen door to the chicken run is Victorian. I love salvage yards!
There are Dutch doors on both sides of the barn, which gives it good air flow in the heat of summer.
I use old ladders for roosts. The white brackets were for a shelf, but the chickens roosted there. What a mess. I took it down. I have a collection of old farm license plates – even one that says egg dealer!
The interior you see here is half of the barn, the other half is storage AND a small, 4 x 4 stall, that we use for chicks, sick hens, etc. One of these days, I’ll get another critter. An alpaca? A pair of heritage geese? Two mini-donkeys? What do you think?
…but everyone else does.
Despite the fact that one of our fifteen hens didn’t lay a single egg in the month of March, we collected 191 eggs last month! That’s about an egg every other day from each of the girls. That’s not productive enough for a farmer who has to make a living at it (have you seen the price of a bag of laying hen pellets lately?) but it’s plenty for me.
The truth is, I’d probably keep a whole flock of hens as “useless” as Snowball, because at this point I’m attached to having chickens in the backyard. I love how they look. I love their company. But, I sure am glad that the girls I have lay eggs. After all of this time keeping poultry, I haven’t gotten over the delight of collecting their eggs – it’s like getting presents everyday.