Apr 14, 2012

Its Just a Chook House Right?

Have you ever built a structure? I mean a real one, designed to last, to stand up to the elements? How is it that I can reach 40 years old (almost) and not know how to build something. Truly life has gotten weird, we all know how to recharge our ipods and microwave our dinners, but how many of us know how to put up a roof that won't fall down in the first storm. The idea of lost knowledge (for the average city slickers like us) is something that comes up often in our little adventure. 

At first I ignorantly thought I'd whip up a chicken coop in a weekend or two. But not long after starting it became clear that there was so much I didn't know. To make life harder for myself it kind of felt important that I work things out myself. I don't really know why, I guess things sink in better if a get a chance to screw them up :P
This photo was taken just a few weeks after we moved in, its treated pine which I didn't feel too good about (poisons and such), but my impatience got the better of me.  Now we are well and truly in salvage and re use mode so I'm unlikely to have fresh timber to work with again.
Its all just measured from the ground up, so the roof slopes down the hill. It made a few things tricky with the perfectly square cut iron at times, but I didn't feel up to the whole level everything challenge yet :P The posts are not cemented in, they are one third in the ground and the wholes are back filled with crusher dust (fine gravel)
You can see I put an extra post on one side, then I changed my mind and decided I wanted the door in the front. A forehead slapping moment :\
Vicki gave it a coat of paint with some paint the previous owner left behind, its nice because it matches the house.  At this stage it was very stable, if you gave it a good thump it would just wobble. 
Next was putting the tin on two sides,  after that it was solid as a rock. :)  The iron was from a carport we took down at our old house, we'd been hanging on to it for years, it felt good to finally put it to use.
You can see here we put chook wire around the base that is buried into the ground about a foot. Hopefully it would stop dogs getting in there. Plus the whole coop is inside our dog proof yard so there shouldn't be any dogs other than Molly getting that close (fingers crossed).
We replaced the back door on the house with one we brought from Caboolture and the old one got cut back to fit the coop. The shade cloth was given to us by my parents along with a few other bits and pieces that will be popping up in future posts. The pen is not really for keeping the chooks in, they can go anywhere they want, its mostly so they have somewhere they can get away from Molly if needed. 
Inside we made a set of nesting boxes from an old kitchen cuboard we got at the tip shop for just five dollars.


We have started with two Brown Lohmans we got from a friend of our neighbours. They layed for a couple of days, but have stopped now, which we were told could happen because of the shock from the move.

The whole thing took about 3 months, but I think it should last a long time. I think we spent a little over 200 dollars on it which isn't bad. Roll on the eggs :)

2 comments:

michelle said...

I was wondering what the structure in the last post was for! It's a beauty, guys! Love that recycled cupboard for a laying box! This is a chookhouse to be proud of and your girls look like superstars!Love that the cupboard is high up.It makes ME feel safe looking at it!

farmer_liz said...

Hi Ian, nice to meet you yesterday at the permie meeting, thanks for sending me the link to your blog, looks like you have some interesting projects going on. Pete and I were trying to figure out how to improve your shower, it really got us thinking! We are looking forward to catching up at the new meeting and I hope you bring Vicki next time! Love the kitchen cupboard laying boxes too. Cheers, Liz

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