Monday, May 9, 2016

Chicken Coop Progress, Week 1

working outside on a rare sunny afternoon

Last week I only got on the treadmill twice, but I also got outside in between rain storms and started building our chicken coop.

Did I mention we're getting chickens this summer?

We're trying a batch of broilers this year and if they survive the growing season without being chomped on by predators then we'll get layers next year in addition to another batch of broilers.

We priced out some chicken coops a while ago, but they were all too small and too expensive in their smallness.

So I'm building a bigger chicken coop for less than a small coop would cost.

Last week I spent two days getting the framework for the floor level. Since there's no level areas in our yard, any location would have required some leveling. We also don't have pasture to rotate the chickens through, but we do have woods to rotate them through, so we're building our coop in the woods. The problem with that is woods =  tree roots. Lots of them.

I'm hoping the trees will provide good cover from predators as well as shade from the hot summer sun

Digging in roots and rocks while it's hot and humid = everyone's idea of fun, right?

At least it was a good workout.

Last week I got the corners leveled and most of the joists in. The area that didn't get joists attached needed more dirt dug out, since as I mentioned, the building site was not level.

the initial layout, where I realized that front right corner was going to have to be dug in as much as possible while the back left corner was going to have to rest on blocks

getting closer to being level, but I only had cinder blocks on hand and I wanted solid blocks for better support

Sunshine helped hammer nails in the corners- get her started young :)

after buying the solid blocks and successfully leveling the frame, I attached most of the joists.
the large area with all the roots and rocks is the area that had to be leveled before the remaining joists could be added.

side view, showing the dirt and roots that needed to be dug out. 
the slope of the forest floor is also evident.

leveled and ready for the rest of the joists

I had cute little helpers who were willing to help me, and Sunshine is old enough that she actually was able to move some dirt and be helpful. River was moving dirt also, but it was in much smaller quantities :)

flinging dirt around. my instructions were to put the dirt "over there," meaning between the existing joists, and they took me at my word

such a conscientious little worker

We've had rain almost every day for the last month and it's not supposed to let up this week. I'm hoping for at least one or two dry days that coincide with time available to work on the coop. More than an afternoon of sunshine would be nice too....

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