Boys Chicken Coop - Part 2
So we kind of left everyone hanging last spring when I did a blog on the boys getting materials together to build their own chicken coop. Life got really busy a few weeks after that post. Uncle Peter called and things switched into high gear for a summer of barn building. We did manage to get part of the coop built before things got crazy and then it sat in a semi-finished state most of the summer.
Last spring a friend mentioned he needed a ditch dug for a propane line to his outdoor barbeque. Kit, always on the lookout for job opportunities and learning experiences for the boys, offered to oversee the project if he would hire the two oldest boys.
The ditch was 18 inches deep and 150 feet long.
Our friend hired them and they earned the money needed to build the floor of the chicken coop and have money leftover to purchase their first chickens.
So, with money burning a hole in their pocket, we called the local lumber company to deliver the necessary materials.
We built the floor on railroad ties as skids, hoping to make it moveable.
We then decided to do log walls with dovetail notches to practice for building our then future barn.
A few more logs of larger dimensions were needed for this construction, so Kit and CW hewed short wall logs from the leftover undersized tops of the barn rafter logs.
The first ever dovetail notch crafted on the Law Family Homestead.
Then it was back to finishing the floor up, and everyone got in on it. MJW, JW1, and PW all had to drive nails by hand, while their older brother was allowed the use of power equipment.
About this time Uncle Peter showed up and all work on the coop ceased in the interest of bigger and better things, i.e. the barn.
Toward the end of August the folks I wanted the chicks from called and said due to circumstances they really needed to get rid of the chicks and did we still want them. There was no way the guys were going to stop barn building to finish building the lowly chicken coop, so it was up to the boys and me.
As they say, "necessity is the mother of invention," so the boys and I came up with what we thought was an ingenious plan - cattle panels to form a hoop-house inside of partially framed wood walls, then covered with chicken wire to keep out unwanted cats and other wildlife, and
Presto! A chicken coop!!!! Unconventional, but it works.
Home Sweet Home!! We covered it with a tarp to keep the sun off and provide some shade.
By November, Kit was back home from cruising timber, and it was time to build some nesting boxes. So all the little boys got busy.
By December we were trying to wrap things up and get a few things done before it snowed, that we had put off all summer due to the barn project and timber work.
The last thing to do was relocate the portable chicken coop to a spot beside the garden and attach a run to the coop so the hens have a bit more room. So the boys and I started constructing one.
We were delayed due to the sickies, so we had to finish it in the snow.
We used cattle panel hoops covered with chicken wire again for the run.
We covered it with a tarp to provide shade and added greenhouse plastic to break the wind and provide a little bit of warmth for the winter. We did leave the end open so it doesn't get overly warm in there.
Kit engineered the front entrance for us while Wyatt notched all the joints; and we will get the door built right quick.
The boys found their first egg the other day and were ecstatic! I was beginning to get suspicious of why there were no eggs, so I had the boys do hourly checks on the nest boxes, and suddenly our egg production skyrocketed!
It looks like we are in the egg business. So if you need eggs, let us know, the boys are more than happy to sell you some awesome, non-gmo, locally raised, organic chicken eggs from the Law Family Homestead.