Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Chicken Coop Progress, Week 13

coop at the end of week 12

I don't think I've ever been so happy for a Sunday to come so I could have a day of rest.

My goal at the beginning of the week was to finish the run so the chickens could start scratching around in enclosed safety. Processing day is less than two weeks away and I really want them to be able to get outside.

It's been so hot that I took to working in the evenings. It was a little cooler, but that's all relative. 90* and 80% humidity, while cooler than 100* and 70% humidity, is still really hot and sweaty. At least the sun wasn't beating down on me.

The heat was limiting my work time too much so Friday and Saturday I worked during the day as well, hoping I could still finish the run.  Doubling up my work sessions was productive, but exhausting.

A rainstorm Saturday evening cut short my work time, but honestly, even if it hadn't rained I wouldn't  have been able to finish the final details. And after working so hard all week it was nice to have an enforced break.

It actually rained several times while I was out working during the week, but most of the times it was just sprinkles that I worked through. Saturday afternoon we had some prolonged rain, but it wasn't coming down too hard, so I kept attaching the fencing to the roof of the run. After dinner I was able to start the frames for the doors, but the rain started up again so I had to put the saw away again. A few minutes later it was really coming down so I called it quits.

I got this far on the door frames before I had to go inside


This week I worked six days (!) and accomplished a lot.

I used pieces of Trex decking (leftover from the kitchen stairs) and pieces of wood decking (leftover from the patio) to fill in the space between the ground and the floor of the chicken coop. We don't need chickens getting stuck under there or critters climbing under there to get to the run. This was a bit time consuming since each board had to be individually measured and cut to fit the space.

filling in the gap on the north wall, which is in the run

north and west walls, both of which are in the run. 
I also did the south wall; the east wall is at ground level and didn't need any fill-ins.

When I finish putting the white trim on the coop I'll put a line of trim all around the coop, covering where the siding meets the decking.

After attaching the cross boards to the posts I finished attached all the fencing to the sides. This was done in three levels: 1/2" square hardware cloth buried along the fence line (12" tall), 1/2" square hardware cloth on the lower portion of the sides (36" tall), and 1" square hardware cloth on the upper portion of the sides (36" tall).

The massive 1.25" staples proved to be a massive pain to hammer in. I bought some smaller .75"  ones which are much easier to hammer in, but I'm concerned about them being easier to remove as well. Only time will tell.

I also attached 1"x2" fencing to the roof in rows. I ran out of time to do the portion of the run behind the coop, and I need to wire the rows together along the seams. I am concerned about getting leaves and branches off the roof. I chose to use wire fencing rather than plastic deer fencing because it's sturdier and we have branches fall all the time. But what if one lands where I can't reach it? Things to think about....

the unfinished section

I got the run to this point before I had to quit Saturday evening. So close to finally being done!

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