Sooooooo…. my daughter wants chickens. We’ve never raised chickens? How hard can it be?
First issue will be housing. We have plenty of room, but other than one incredibly antique fencepost (this land was part of a plantation from the 1700’s, probably the last time it had fences), we have no boundaries. So, security and housing will be item 1 on the agenda. I can build a chicken coop.. I think… .
Well, I drew up plans and realized right away that unless I wanted to spend a gazillion dollars on fancy tools and copious amounts of special wood and materials, I would need to wrap this project around the tools I had, my budget, and my inexperience (aka lack of ability to cut a straight line or knowledge of how to square things up, etc). Still… I can do this…
Some of the wood had to be pressure treated to last. The main uprights (buried in the ground) and the frame touching the ground. I ended up making most of the floor level and nest box frame in pressure treated wood so it will hold up. The rest will be plywood and planking and other ‘found’ treasures’. They aren’t actually ‘found’... I had to go buy them, but I found them at a reclaimed hardware/home goods place. Pennies for lumber and a handful of dollars for other bits and bobs. Perfect!
I have found slabs of good plywood (most about 3’x4’x3/4”, but one at almost 4’x8’), lots of planking (1×4, 1×6, 1×8, even 1×12 – whole armload of it for $8!, one plank had to have been 12’, and one of the 1”x12’’s was a good solid shelf type bit of wood, perhaps 7ft in length, which will make good access doors). Let’s see, I found an awesome old 4-pane window ($1.50), and a louvered door for human entry to the run (which may lose its louvers for wire $10). I also have what looks to be galvanized steel mesh (underflooring for tile I think) that I got for $1 a sheet which should prove raccoon and fox proof in the coop ventilation windows. I have chicken wire (bought new and likely my most costly expense). I also picked up hinges and nails and paint on the cheap. I think that I have found my new favorite store!
Anyway, progress so far…
This is what I did with the various chunks of plywood… I fit them together to make a floor. It doesn’t have to be a perfect/air-tight fit because I plan of covering it with a sheet of linoleum or tile or something easy to clean, and besides, a coop can use ventilation, but i think I did a pretty good job of it. It’s solid and sturdy!
Here is the wood and some of the ‘treasure’ that I found…
(my daughter helping unload had to check the height of this board :)
Also, here is a random shot of my workspace. Came out one day to set up and saw two robins playing “guard the fort” under the little tables!
-- "My plate is full, I can't possibly take on anything more... Oh, look! A project!"