Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Chicken Coop Construction Chaos Chronicles

Recently we have built a mobile chicken coop. Why build a chicken coop? For one, the farm fresh eggs will be infinitely better than what they sell at the super markets. Also, it will reduce our carbon footprint and the carbon footprint of anyone we give surplus eggs to. If we have surplus eggs (which hopefully we will). Also, over the long term, it will be cost efficient. Other reasons are the chickens will be highly entertaining and right now are very cute. And watching chickens is cheap and uses absolutely no electricity. Plus it will help our ongoing attempt at off the grid independence. (shooting the elk, getting cattle meat from ranch, heating the house with a wood stove). We are not really carpenters, but we did a great job. I actually helped, but the pictures are obviously of Dad working.
We made it mobile to move the chickens around the plum orchard so they will fertalize, eat pests, and when their fenced off area is always moving predators have a hard time figuring out how to get in. Or so we've heard. We started with an old '50-somethin' ford pickup truck bed that had been converted to a trailer and than forgotten for more than a decade.
'After some wrenching...
and some leverage...and some acetylene torch cutting...we finally removed all but the frame and wheels.

We bolted on the the support beams.We built the floor.We built a wall.and another.We used the winch in the dryer to place the first wall on the floor.
We put up the other walls.
The roof beams were installed.We put on the sheeting.

We hung the door and window.We built the nesting boxes and attatched them to the coop.

Mom had the honor or releasing the chicks into the coop we built especially for them.

We got two breeds. Black sex-links and barred rocks. All hens.

We parked it in the field behind the house. Sadly one of the chicks is sick and might die, but hopefully she will recover and be stronger. Do you see William in the back of dad's pickup? We're planning on painting the coop white with murals. Here is a link to the plan we used as a basis for the build. I want to name the coop "Battlestar Galactica"
I actually see no resemblance between the two, but that is the point.

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