Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Building a Coop on a Sunny Saturday

Saturday was a beautiful spring-like day.  The sun was shining, the breeze was warm, the clothes on the line were drying, and Brandon and I were building a chicken coop, which is one of my favorite things to build.  

We started by clearing a spot on the front wall of the corn crib, and scrounging up some materials from around the farm.  We found a couple of sturdy posts that have been waiting in a pile, some old weathered wood slats salvaged from a friends cabin remodel, some pieces of siding left over from a another buddies project, and a couple of doors from my grandpa's long since demolished garage that we've been saving.  And, we found a stack of new lumber, tin roofing, and some wire at Lowe's.  Handy.  Time for lunch!  

Once a pile of wood and the blackberry brambles were cleared from in front of the corn crib, we could see that something has been busy excavating!  I suspect that it's the same ground hog that dug such a big hole in the other barn, that the bush hog caved in the floor.  I admire it's industry, but I still filled the hole back in using the dirt it handily piled by the hole.  

Someone told me that this building was a corn crib.  It has two people-sized doors on one side, each with a door that has a top and bottom.  Way up high, near the roof, are two little doors or windows.  The floor is poured cement, the roof is metal, and the walls are made of wood with fairly large gaps between the boards.  I can imagine that the gaps provided air to the corn, which was poured into the building through one of those little doors at the top.  But I don't know.  We used some of the salvaged wooded slats to cover the gaps in the wall where the chicken coop will be.  The gaps were probably big enough for rodents or weasels to squeeze through.   

We based the coop size on the length of a two by four, so it's roughly seven feet square.  

I'm hopeful that this will be plenty of room for the growing chickens.  The little brooder they've been living in worked really well for keeping them warm during the cold weather while they were small, but once they were bigger and feathered, they didn't have much room to stretch their legs or flap about.  When Brandon and I started building that morning, we were sure we would knock out this simple coop in a single day and the chicks would move in that evening.  

Yeah, right!  We got it all framed up, but stalled out when we couldn't chop a little bit off the top of our posts because the chainsaw wouldn't run.   I hated to break my promise to the little chickens, but they didn't seem to mind one more night in the brooder.  

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