Friday, June 17, 2011

The Second Shift

Another week has waned and it was time to get this coop completed.

One plus: Erica came into town to take over where Miqui left off.

One minus: Erica and power tools in the same sentence.


First things first. Jordan and I got the insulation installed. Yes, we insulated the coop with R-13 batting. These are going to be cozy cluckers!


Then the interior sheathing went up.

I was born to do this!

There. All better. Now back to work.

Of course we had a on-site medic to handle any unforeseen injuries, offering the finest in workers care.

She's so proud..

Let's see what kind of damage I can do with this one!

At the end of the weekend, the outside was mostly completed. The empty holes are for the nesting boxes and the “Chicky Door”.

We didn’t quite get it finished this weekend but I’ve really got to make it happen in the next week as the Fowl are flourishing in the Facilities.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Five pounds of nails later

Third time's the charm

If I hit it hard enough
Or so I thought. With two weekends under my belt, everyone was very confident that today would be the last major construction day, given the recent influx of cheap labor.

That's not how you do it...

The paint shop was in full swing.

The exterior sheathing went up, the roof rafters were made, nailed in place atop the walls and the window installed. The siding starts to go on.

Wanna share Big Fella?

A well fed crew is a happy crew.

Horse or ????

But enough about this building nonsense, Gramps, let's play!

That's a good idea. 

We didn't get as much done this weekend as I would have liked but all work and no play, you know. Next week we'll pour it on!

Thanks, Miqui for your help this week. We'll miss you.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Coops not crates

Once upon a time, I asked my Father if I could have an electronics chassis box to “build something”. With a puzzled look he asked me what I wanted to build. Having not really thought this through completely I shrugged my shoulders and said “I dunno, just something”. Now some forty years later I can still see his patient expression as he suggested that once I had a plan of what I wanted to build to come back and we would discuss the matter further. Surprisingly, this was not the only lesson I failed to learn from  him. 

Trust me... Clearly I have a plan.

Luckily, we never lacked for supervision.
 There wasn’t a hard and fast paper plan for the poultry palace rather a vague “something like this” idea floating through our heads.

We wanted a full sized, walk in coop and I didn’t want to whack my head, so a height of 7 feet was selected. Our Toucan thought a “barn” style would be nice. With little more than this to guide us we began turning big pieces of lumber into smaller ones. The 6x6 footprint was predestined by our previously poured pad.

Do you really have any idea what we're doing?
I love it when a plan comes together.

I'll keep my fingers over here...

I told you there was a plan.

 As the “side wall” would be the one abutting the brick retaining wall, this would simply be a solid wall, 2x4 studs on 16 inch center’s. 

The “front wall” would have the “Human Doors”. The theory was to make the doors as large as possible to aid in the removal of coop crap, with a 12 inch tall sill to keep cluckers, crap and accouterments contained when the door was opened. 

The other “side wall” would house the nesting boxes, with access from the outside.

 And the “rear wall” has the “Chicken Door”, leading to the run, and a window for daylight and ventilation.

Naturally, it would all be painted Martha Stewart Ladybug Red.

It's framed and the painted wall is in place against the retaining wall. That's enough for this weekend.

Meanwhile, the chicks continue to live in the loo...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How firm the foundation...

  Once the presumed pullets were placed in the privy, the need for a dedicated domicile was deemed to dominate my daily doings. Regardless of the Head Toucan’s research, a dormitory drawing could not be devised that fit within our area of dedicated dirt. 

     Given that area available was eight feet and change deep between the two walls and to allow the five feet from the fence line I was mandating with a suitable area for a run, simple math left us with a six by six plot for the coop. Concrete had already been decreed the flooring of choice so on a fine, sunny Saturday with the help of my Father-in-Law and my Son-in-Law, a six foot by six foot by four inch pad was mixed and poured. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 20 ninety pound bags or 1,800 pounds of Quikrete.

With that little project out of the way, I had a week to conjure coop creations that would fit our new pad. Hopefully handfuls of Advil will help get the creative juices flowing!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Which came first; The Chicken or the Coop?

We had a slightly different take on the eternal question and for us the answer is, the Chickens. While this may seem counter intuitive, having a flock of fledgling fowl filling the upstairs bathroom certainly provides a heightened urgency to move the Coop Construction from planning to fruition. Our journey into poultry paradise started with an email from Tractor Supply that said the baby chicks had arrived. Conveniently, our Head Toucan just happened to be in the neighborhood and brought home a box full of chicks. Now we needed a place to put them. As we looked at the many coop plans on the Internet and in books we never saw anything that tickled our tail feathers so we improvised and built our own based on the physical limitations of our planned space. We also have a family motto that says " It's never done until it's over-done" so it's overbuilt in the extreme. Please join us as we chronicle the design and building of our "Custom Coop" along with the care and feeding of the flock.