Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cluckingham Palace - Part 1

Having decided we wanted chickens, we needed a place for them to stay. I spent days, weeks perhaps, finding plans for chicken coops and presenting them to Himself for approval. Finally, he chose one that he liked (and promptly changed it all through the project!)  and the build was on.

Step 1: Find a site you like and level it with the tractor. While he was busy with that, I worked on the steps to get down to the run. I'd probably go ass-over-tit just trying to get down the bank to fetch eggs and feed the fluffs every day, so it seemed like a good idea. 

2: Create the structure. We decided to use the dog pen as our run outline and build the coop onto one side. Huge treated poles were sunk into concrete and the pen was erected around them. Then the wire on one side of the pen was removed for the coop.  

3: Roof trusses, coop supports and... windows? Yup. Windows. Each side has a window and the front window will form the door hatch.

Side note: Himself is OCD, I"m sure of it. We're building a freakin' chicken coop, and he insists that every square must be square and every surface must be level. 

Exactly level.

4. Walls of the coop. 

5. Hinged door flaps for me to get in and clean. (Note who gets to clean it!)

6. The entire coop was enclosed with hardware cloth to ensure nobody got in it that wasn't supposed to. The cloth wasn't as wide as the coop, so it was overlapped and I sat lacing it together with fencing wire. The windows were covered with it too, and then framed over the cloth to ensure there were no gaps or chinks. 

7. Primer and roof. We used corrugated sheets, with solid gray over the coop and an alternate gray and clear over the run. 

8. When it came time to paint, I grabbed two cans of the same paint that were marked as white (you can see the paint tag on the top right corner of the below photo,) popped open the lid and was horrified! We were going to have a pink coop! Once it was all shook up though, it was white. Phew!

9. The outside being mostly done, we worked on the inside. After some debate, we went with a vinyl floor. It would create a waterproof surface for easy cleaning. A local flooring company sells leftovers and I picked up a sheet large enough to cover the base of the coop with a little spare. A dab of glue...

...and roll out the precut-to-size vinyl. 

And, in case you are wondering, yes the coop is big enough for Himself to be inside. It's big enough to hold a twin mattress, with some room to spare. Huge space in there!

10. We were fortunate enough to experience a massive downpour shortly after completing the vinyl floor. Fortunate because the vinyl kept the wood dry, and because it showed us a major flaw in the design of the coop. The open ceiling space allowed water to drive in on the leeward side. 

So some rainproofing was in order. We added a section of wood to close off the ceiling space on the one side only, it's still open on the inside where it's covered by the roof. And we put a section of vinyl over the hatch of the nesting boxes to stop leakage through the hinged area. 

This post is really long already, so I've split it into two parts. I'll give you a couple days to go through this one and share part 2 in a few. 

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