Monday, March 16, 2009

da coop da coop shalalalalala da coop da coop


Yesterday we FINALLY got a break in the weather. It was around 62 all day, so I got to spend the day outside working on the new coop, yayyyy.
The framing was very easy with this design, which was why I chose it. I've looked at several ones online, and though I like some of the fancy barn-style roofs, they have no internal frame at all. Most are just plywood thats nailed/screwed together. Not gonna fly here....or actually, it probably would with the winds we sometimes get, lol. Anyway...this has an internal 2x4 frame to add support, strength, and weight.
The skylight actually looks kinda neat on there, and I'm sure will bring a lot of questions. I just figured it would let light into the coop sooner and get them up and moving a bit earlier. As you can see, its VERY dark tinted, so it won't bake them out. The underside is covered now in a heavy plastic mesh, and I'll be taking the screws off its frame and adding a piano hinge to the back. This way, the coop gets plenty of ventilation when we hit the hot humid July & August. The back side has a 30x30 door for cleanout that needs attached today, and the right side needs finished. That's where the nest boxes will be. I'll be making those from part of last years old chicken tractor. It's a little bigger than I intended to make, but it's already assembled with a hinged roof, so it will work perfectly. When the other side is attached, I'll be putting the roosts in, made from 2x2's. Then all it needs it painted, moved, attached to the run,a door ramp attached, and it's ready for the birds. Sometime whenever I get back to work, I want to cover it with T111 siding, or I'll get the lumber from my friend Jim and use it for lap siding. For now, this will have to do the trick.
I used the Lowes gift card I got for Christmas for this, and only used $88 of the $100 on it. The other $12 will be for the 2x2's and anything else I might need. I had all the nails, the shingles, and the freebie skylight already, so that kept cost down. (remember the "packrat" post? LOL) If all goes well, it will be finished today and set in place. I'll give it a day or 2 for the paint to dry, then get the birds outside and start disassembling the giant cage in the garage. After that will be the REALLY fun part, and that will be getting the dogs used to the chickens being next to their fence. That's gonna be fun............ugh. Austin (bloodhound) will whine and cry, wanting to see them. Hank (basset) will sit and bark. Jack (sheba-pom aka ratdog) will want to chase them. Copper (beagle) will care less. The problem will lie in Ace (border collie mix). He loves to chase birds off the fence, so this will be irresistable for him....he'll be the tough one. I may have to somehow cover their fence so they can't see the birds, but we'll just have to play it by ear and see how they do.

6 comments:

DivaHick said...

Be careful, our border collie mix started trying to dig under the fence to get them...

Barb and Steve said...

Bet yours is the only chicken coop with a skylight! Love it! It's a really good use of available materials.

Happy Days said...

I know nothing about chickens. Will they lay their eggs in the coop? and you go in in the mornings and get all the eggs...right? How many chickens can fit in there? IT's a great looking coop, that's for sure!!...debbie

Chris W said...

Divahick.....if Ace can dig through 12" of fencing and compacted limestone, he can have all the chickens he wants, LOL. I learned long ago how to hound-proof fencing.

Barb, thanks! It's definitly different, lol.

Debbie- The coop is built for the 12 birds we have. They sleep in there on roosts made from 1 1/4 wooden dowels, and will hang out in there during bad weather. They lay eggs in nest boxes, and we gather throughout the day, generally just twice, once about 9am and again around 4.

Happy Days said...

So the egg boxes are under their roost? I thought chickens slept in the little nest boxes...guess I've been watching too many cartoons...debbie (i really enjoy your blog)

Chris W said...

Debbie-Chickens sleep on the roost, the same as other birds sleep in a tree branch. The nest boxes are not below the roost, they are on the wall behind it (or anywhere else for that matter) and they just lay eggs in there. They'll lay pretty much anywhere they feel secure and private. I know someone who lets theirs free range, and the birds lay eggs in the trunk of an old abandoned car, lol.

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