Easy Five Star Chicken Coop

Greetings!

My name is Zubynelgenubi, Zubi to my friends. I’m a gallo piñeira and I’m the king of the five star chicken coop, that was made by my valet Mister D, following my instructions.

Zubynelgenubi

Mister D had a hard time finding a good design, one that would be relatively easy for him to make and that would meet the needs of me and the starlets. Mister D said that many of the designs on the internet either looked very pretty, like Dutch barns and New England houses, or like prisons. After much consultation, this is what we put together.

Chicken coop and run

The structure is made of waterproof board and the sheets were cut in half at the woodyard. That meant they could be fitted into the back of the truck easily. Mister D cut out the openings for the door at the front, the window, the side for the laying boxes and the larger door at the back. Mister D wanted to make the back door large enough so that he could clean out the coop easily. He then fixed the window flap and the door and attached the boards to the softwood battens, so that it could be fitted together in the pen.

We have a lovely large pen, with an open area and some woodland, with a secure fence around it. The fence is to keep the dogs and other predators out. There are foxes, wolves, weasels, stoats and wild boar around here. We also have a secure run with a roof on it attached to the coop. Mister D bolts the door on the run at night to keep us extra secure, but this way we can all come out and scratch around in the morning if he doesn’t get up on time to let us out. (You know, I do my best but sometimes I’m crowing for a good hour before we get let out. I wonder whether Mister D might be a bit deaf.)

We have flags and windmills around the pen – Matron calls it homestead hen party – but it is really to stop the young ones flying over the fence. It works most of the time, they see the flags flapping and the windmills whirring and it breaks their attention. We have had a couple of near misses, so I’m extra vigilant now. (This is before Mister D upgraded the coop.)

Homestead hen party

A key issue for us chickens is perches. We feel safe at night when we can perch above ground, as we still have the ancestral memories of roosting in trees to keep away from predators. Most chicken coops don’t have enough height, because we need to be able to jump up to the highest perch without banging our heads on the roof.

Our perches are made of natural wood fence posts – they are rounded and feel just like smooth logs. There’s two of them, which avoids aguements and gives me some peace in the house. They’re lovely and comfy to roost on. The nesting box is off to the side and gives the ladies some privacy when they go to pay the rent – two eggs a day.

Perches and nesting box in the chicken coop

These are two of my girls, Bridget and Blondie, out by the feeder. The feeding area is covered, to protect it from the rain. Mister D tried putting the feeder in the run once, but it attracted too many sparrows, who then couldn’t work out how to get out. We don’t mind sharing our food with sparrows and blackbirds, but we don’t want them in the house at night!

Bridget and Blondie at the feeder

We also have a cabbage swing, which is a lot of fun! That’s Blondie, Diana and Ginger you can see behind me – I am in charge of security as well and I’m not sure about that machine being pointed this way.

Zuby and the Starlets

We also have a beach hut. It was our first home and quite sweet, but not really big enough and it fell apart after the first year. It serves as another nesting option too, just in case some one needs extra privacy! The beach is where we have our dust baths, which is absolutely essential for our health and hygiene. Luckily, Mister D and Matron have a wood burning stove in the winter and they cook outside in the summer. Mister D then sieves the coal out and gives us lots of lovely wood ash. The tarp keeps it dry in the rain – come rain or shine we need our daily dust bath.

Zuby by the beach hut

I know lots of people don’t like to name their working animals, but it really makes life more enjoyable for us all. We are well aware of our place in the pecking order, so to speak, but a little bit of common courtesy goes a long way and it makes it much easier for us to communicate with you.

Salvage Greenhouse

DIY greenhouse from salvage

This was our first greenhouse effort:

Greenhouse wreckage

Several hundred euros, several hundred pieces to put together, eighty-five pages of instructions and fifteen minutes of wind!  We salvaged some bits of polycarbonate to make cold frames and the mice ate everything – now we have cats.

Next, we tried a walipini.  Walipinis don’t work in clay, with wet winters. The walls collapsed and we’re now using it as a pit for rubble from the house build.

Finally, a greenhouse to be proud of, from Dean and Marcus “Rockstar” of the North:

Salvage greenhouse

It’s not completely salvage, we bought the corrugated polyester and acrylic for the windows and the roof rafters. but the rest is made from leftover wood from other projects.  The front pillars are chestnut, leftover from the house.  We would not have been so ambitious as to use them ourselves, but Marcus said: what do you think about using those beams on the front?  It will be beautiful.  And it is.  The doors are salvaged from a collapsed yurt.

The first stage of the project was to rebuild the stone wall next to the barn.  It collapsed in a storm a couple of winters ago.  It happened just as we were contemplating going off-grid and the only bit of the wall that collapsed was right next to the electricity meter.  It was a huge mess.

Fallen wall

There wasn’t much space to work with and we were concerned that the foundation of the wall and the barn had been weakened by the electricity pillar – the wall was very unsteady.  So Marcus put in a buttress, using all the old stones and lime mortar.  It was his first stone wall and by the time he’d finished he could pick the perfect stone for each place just by instinct.

Rebuilding the stone wall

The part sticking out from the barn is an old bread oven, with the access in the barn – there are people around here that still use outside bread ovens – and a well.  The well in the barn was the only water for the house when we moved here, with a bucket on a chain.  We had originally thought about putting a separate roof over the bread oven and well and joining it to the green house, but Dean and Marcus decided that a single roof would be much better and we can’t use the bread oven anyway, as all our winter wood is in the barn.  We use the well in the barn for the garden, as it is shallow and doesn’t take as much electricity to run the pump as the deep well, but it also goes dry towards the end of summer, so we have to work on another irrigation system for the garden this winter.

Greenhouse beginnings

So, the frame went up:

The roof went on:

Greenhouse roof

And the windows in.

Greenhouse from the front

The greenhouse is well-sheltered.  It is on the north side of the wall, but open to the west and shaded by an oak tree in the summer.  Two of the windows open for ventilation, as we seem to go from cool to hot very quickly.  Spring is very short these days. My aim is to use it to get seedlings started earlier, although it is currently home to tomatoes that I repotted from the garden.  It’s December and we still have fresh tomatoes!  We have a small butane heater which we’ll use when the nights get colder.

Greenhouse bed in winter, with coriander, beets and artichokes

With love and thanks to Marcus and Miriam.

At the bus stop

Our Cob House

Growing up in London, I never dreamed that I would be able to build our own house.  I always wanted to and used to draw pictures of houses and design little towns when I was a kid, but London is just too expensive for that to have ever become a reality there.  It’s also not the kind of place for my dream house.  My dream house had to come from the land.  It had to be made of natural materials and I really didn’t want neighbours.

We bought this place in March 2013.  No one had lived here for many years and the old house was falling down, which was just what we wanted.  The unpaved access road, which was a river when we first saw the house, kept other prospective buyers away.  It was daunting at first.  We don’t have any building skills, we don’t know the rules here and our Spanish is limited but we decided to go for it. Our plan was to build an eco-house, using local, natural materials and built by a true craftsman, Mateu Ortoneda.  In part, this was a reaction to living in London and the brutal ugliness of the city – yes, parts of London are beautiful and we enjoyed living there for many years, but it is mostly grey, concrete and kebab shop signs. I craved natural beauty, organic lines and I wanted to live in a house that felt as though it was part of the land, rather than an assault on it.

It took us a while to find architects and a builder, but if we’d have tried to do it all ourselves we would still be looking at a pile of rubble, and we started building in August 2014 and we moved in June 2016.  It was then down to us to install the kitchen and finish the bathrooms, which we completed in January 2017.   Of course, there are still finishing touches to be made, but as people around here say: when you finish your house, you die!

The house is mostly cob, made from clay dug from our land, straw from our land and local sand.  Apart from the stone work and slate roof on the stone part of the house, all the work was done by one man, Mateu, with occasional labouring help.  We have restored part of the house in original stone and kept to the original footprint (more or less).  The shape is the same as the original house, but the style is totally original. Everything has been made by hand on site, including all the beams, pillars and roof slates, all from local materials.

Not only is the house incredibly beautiful and unique, but there is something very special about seeing it grow out of the ground at a very human scale and pace.  This is a large house and it would have been much quicker to build a smaller one, but we always have visitors through the summer, so we went as large as our budget would allow.  Mateu says that houses should be built to the natural scale that emerges from two men working together.  I think he’s right on that because this creates proportions that feel right and generate a sense of well-being.  In an ideal world, we would have local builders working with local materials as valued and respected craftsmen, creating homes that enhance the lives of their residents and beautify the natural environment.

We also went off-grid in June, when we moved in.  Our original plan was to have solar energy with a grid tie-in.  However, new laws in Spain make it mandatory for all grid customers to have smart meters by 2018 and grid customers with solar systems are to be penalised – it is more expensive to have solar and grid than to have solar alone, with huge fines for non-compliance.  We didn’t build a healthy, ecological house to have our brains fried by a smart meter, so we had no choice but to find another way.  It was a great decision.  Much of the information on the internet is designed to put people off, to make you think that you will have to lead a primitive life and this is just not true, in our experience.

I would say that the places where building a house like this is not affordable to sane, intelligent people with some wherewithal about them, is probably not the kind of place those people would want to live anyway.  And, of course, not everyone would want to live in this kind of house either, but the curious thing is that I didn’t know that this was what I wanted either, until we moved here.  The biggest shift and the biggest effort was in getting out of our old lives in London, it was like pulling ourselves out of quicksand.  After that, it was a breeze, with a few mighty gusts to deal with now and then.  The cabal puts a lot of effort into making it seem as though it is impossible for you to follow your dream and, as the result, most people don’t have a dream.  Even fewer go on to realize that, in reality, the dream is dreaming them.  Once you realize that – well, that’s for another post.

Off-grid living

Off-grid set-up

We went off-grid this summer to escape electrical enslavement and to be able to participate in the transmutation of the species. Yes, that’s right.  It’s not about saving money, but about participating in the path of Correction that includes the transmutation of the human species.  More about that here: Energy and Transmutation.

We’ve run two retreats with up to 13 visitors and have had no problems, so far. The winter will be different, but we don’t have visitors then and we have a back-up generator. Our set-up includes 10 x 250w panels and a 48v battery reserve, with two inverters.

Solar panels
Solar panels

Batteries and inverters
Batteries and inverters

The biggest challenge for us, by far, was working out our needs. Eventually, we bought a monitor from Efergy, so that we could track the actual usage of appliances over a month or so. It’s impossible to work this out from the information provided by manufacturers. Using online calculators gave us a consumption figure of around four times more than we actually use and it would have made the system prohibitively expensive if we had gone with this.

Why go off-grid?

The decision for us was really simple: Spain has made it mandatory for every household to have a smart-meter by 2018. This might change, if Spain ever manages to elect a government that represents the interests of the people, but I’m not going to make my health and sanity subject to political fantasy. Smart meters are deadly. I posted about this a while back: Enslavement by smart meter and my position has only toughened up on this point. As I’ve decreased my exposure to the grid, the more I’ve come to realize how harmful electricity is – especially with regarding to weakening the willpower of anyone within its field.

Consider this:

Delgado’s experiments took place in the 1960s. He proved how an electrical stimulation to the bull’s brain via an implant caused the charging bull to turn to the right and trot away from the scientist in the ring. In a later experiment he caused the same bull to charge off a cliff. He then went onto prove how implants were not necessary and that behaviour could be modified through the use of low power pulsating magnetic fields. Smart meters produce low energy pulsating magnetic fields.

Controlling the behaviour of the majority of the human inhabitants of planet earth has been a wet-dream of the ruling cabal for quite a while and they’ve put in a lot of effort into making it a reality. Here is a brief summary of electromagnetic mind-control experiments over the past 50 years.

From the physical health perspective, it is undeniable that smart meters, wifi and dirty electricity are a huge contributing factor to most of the modern diseases we face.  For anyone who is able to view their life as something beyond their current bodily experience, EMF pollution is a disaster of epic proportions – but not insurmountable.

Transmutation originates from the Planetary Animal Mother and surviving the transition depends on how you live, not in what you read, think or say.