Monday, June 20, 2016

Chicken Coop Progress, Week 7

what the coop looked like at the end of week 6

Last week was a bit of an anomaly for us: Sunshine had nature day camp, which meant an hour and a half in the car in the morning and again in the afternoon. All that driving threw off nap times for the boys and made it hard for me to get anything accomplished before it was time to go pick Sunshine up.

One morning we had a couple hours to kill in town before my chiropractic appointment, so the boys and I went on a walk on the trail Sunshine and I have been on a few times. It's a nice 4.23 mile round trip and pushing both boys in the stroller up a small mountain for two miles is a great workout. I wanted to run parts of it, but my shins just aren't up for it yet.

River reached down and Ocean's hand for a few minutes
both boys thought it was funny and were giggling the whole time

Last week I also squeezed in two treadmill workouts + 1.25 coop work days. The .25 work day was picking up 7 sheets of 4'x8' plywood siding from Lowes. While I helped load the cart in the store, some nice young men loaded the trailer for me and when we got home I left the plywood in the trailer with a tarp over it, so I didn't actually do much that day :) I made up for it on my full work day, though.

River helping- he loves those little baskets on wheels

I cut and installed the two missing rafters and added some bracing to the end caps of the walls. I also added screws to the plywood braces along the ridge line (I was skimpy with the screws last week since I was running out of them). I also started installing these metal rafter ties I found at Lowe's. I wasn't super happy with just toenailing the rafters to the frame and the rafter ties make everything much more secure. Once all the siding is up I'll finish attaching the rafter ties.

I purchased 7 sheets of plywood and was able to get 5 of them cut and installed. Since I left the plywood in the trailer, I parked as close to the coop as possible and shifted each sheet one at a time. The plywood is heavy and awkward, so I didn't want to have to move it more than I needed to. Manhandling each sheet in place and holding them there while I screwed them in place was a workout.

you can see the additional roof bracing on the end and some of the plywood

I did the largest solid portions of the walls first, then progressed to the areas that required more cuts in the plywood. Because I am using plywood with vertical lines I have to be careful about how I piece the walls together. And it means there's a bit more waste, unfortunately. I'll find some other projects to use the scraps on though. It also means I miscalculated how many sheets of plywood I need, so I'll be making another trip to Lowe's. Which I needed to do anyway to get the roofing materials, so at least it's not that big a deal.

In the end I didn't get as much accomplished as I'd hoped, but I knew I wouldn't have as much work time because of all the driving to and from day camp, so it didn't really come as a surprise. I do feel like I'm making good progress though and am looking forward to finally finishing the coop.

I didn't put windows in the north wall so we can hang rabbit cages, place the roosts, or install laying boxes when we get layers. The blank wall gives us more flexibility to change things up as our needs change/evolve.

I ordered 30 chicks which should be arriving tomorrow or Wednesday, so I've got my final deadline. We have a couple weeks before they're big enough to move into the coop, but the countdown has begun.

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