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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dead Cars Make Great Chicken Coops

When I went to the Seattle Flower and Garden Show last February, I was blown away by all of the beautiful landscape displays. A lot of them were larger than some real yards, like mine. However, when I turned a corner and saw it, I thought, "Now that is absolutely the best use of a common object I've ever seen!"

I'm talking about a small pick-up truck that was converted to a vegetable garden and chicken coop by the edible garden company, Urban Farm! Yes, there were displays with gardening sheds, compost sock retaining walls, large boulders and gazebos, but none of them were as clever as this display. Corn was growing out of the back bed with a plum tree and other assorted vegetables and a cherry tree and other vegetables were growing out of the engine compartment. Fruiting vines covered the sides. The front cab was the coop with a re-purposed file cabinet on the passenger seat for the nesting boxes. A chicken run was next to the driver's side of the vehicle with entrance to the coop via the driver's side door. Ingenious!

That brings me to Mog Cottage. Since I've known Roland (almost 5 years) there's been 3 dead vehicles parked in his yard. One old
Subaru in the back (won't go there), a dead van full of scrap lumber in the driveway and another dead Subaru where the compost and cold frames are supposed to be. He's promised to get rid of the van and the Subaru for months now, and has managed to get the van started, and has moved the Subaru over onto the pavement. But, the Subaru remains an obstacle to good use of space. It's cramping my gardening style, taking up space that could where something like a greenhouse could go. So, since the back yard is impossibly full of stacks of lumber, and to date, he has yet to get a compost and cold frame area going, I'm threatening Roland with turning the Subaru into a chicken coop a la Urban Farm style. When you live with a pack rat, you have to be ingenious with how to cope with the clutter.

Since the back cargo area is a station wagon, that would make an excellent space for nesting boxes. They can line each side of the bed and can be accessed by opening the back hatch. The chickens can enter and leave the coop into an attached run along the side via the back driver's side door window. The
front of the cab can be where the chicken food is stored.
Since we have plenty of beds for veges, the engine compartment would make a great cold frame area. Simply install a skylight in the hood.
Roland can sell the engine and other mechanical parts in the way. We'd have to keep the interior lights hooked up for dark winter days since chickens require 14 hours of light in order to keep laying.

So, there you have it. A dead Subaru would a great chicken coop - it's roomy and coon proof. I can even name my own breed of chickens such as, Suba-Sussex.

So, if the van doesn't go soon, I'm getting goats.

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