Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chicken Run

I had hoped I would be reporting that the chicken coop/run was done long before this point, but that was just not to be.

We started off pretty well, with leveling the ground.

We got the big rocks to lay along the uphill side of the chicken area.  

I had started laying the foundation blocks using a level.  Hubby chided me and said it wasn't necessary, that it was too much work and I'd end up digging a deep ditch from what he could tell. And besides didn't I want a slight pitch so rain could run off? So I put the level aside and just eyeballed everything.

It started out going well.

But when we got to the back corner we had to start adding shims and extra boards underneath to keep the roof line level.

Then we could see if we continued along that route we'd have to build the front blocks up by a foot or more.  That just wasn't going to work.

So I said, let's do the string thing with a string level, etc, etc. 

After laying the string out with the string level and laying the blocks along the string it looked much better.

I guess the third time is the charm.  This time there were no shims necessary.

Then I got started building one of the coops.

So far so good.

But I was getting more antsy because the chicks were getting bigger and their box was starting to fall apart! I felt a lot of pressure to get at least one run done so they'd have more room.

Then our friends from Roseburg came over and were a big help in getting the coop done.  Here Kathy is helping me put the roof on.

After our friends left I just had a few finishing touches to do and the coop/run was ready to put the chicks in.

Here's the view from the egg box.  A couple of stragglers left inside the coop.

Tonight will be their first night outside.  I think they will be ok.  We will try to lock them inside the coop if we can catch them all.

I expect the next coop in the next run will be a little nicer looking.  As always I learned a few things while building.   First off trust my instincts and don't listen to my husband.  I learned that I forgot to take into account the thickness of the sheathing of the coop (almost 1/2") so by then adding the coop to the run it threw off the my original dimensions. This made me have to make new plans as far as the door into the run goes.  And I didn't have concrete plans for the top cover, so those plans kept changing.  We finally settled on 1" chicken wire.

In retrospect I think I would definitely have the thing more built before ordering the chicks. Part of the blame for that was the ground remained frozen for longer that I expected, so I couldn't start construction when I had originally planned.  I would go more with my original plan and insist on the materials I wanted.  (I had originally wanted to do the entire run in the hardware cloth but got talked into the 2 x 4 wire on the upper panels and the chicken wire on the top.  Now the little birds like sparrows will be able to get inside and eat the chicken food.)

But for now I can breathe a little easier. The chicks are in a much bigger area and I think they'll be a lot happier now.  I know I am.


Kathy said...

Yea!! The first one is done!! I hope the chicks enjoy their new digs!!

Anonymous said...

Gung ho, Tina! You should go in for your contractor''s license : )