Monday, May 19, 2014

Coop building weekend #1

Jay, neighbors and co-coop owners Matt and Marissa, and my brother Matt (AKA Matty to eliminate weekend name confusion) and I worked all Saturday and Sunday on our chicken coop. We're very happy with all we got accomplished. It's not done, but my carpenter brother got us to a place where Jay, Matt, Marissa and I can finish the job.

Friday night, Matt, Jay and I went to Home Depot and Farm and Fleet to get supplies. 


Our plan is to put the coop next to our house on Matt and Marissa's side so we all have easy access to the chickens.

The original site. So far, all that has been done to prepare is removing a pile of rocks and moving a few plants. 

My brother arrived Saturday morning and we went to work preparing the foundation. Our sand and gravel delivery was scheduled for 10 a.m., but didn't get there until after lunch. This is me on the phone with the delivery driver. My concerned look is that they were telling me as this photo was being taken that they were late because one of their trucks had broken down, and they were going to bring our gravel in a 4-axel dump truck, which would not fit in the driveway and they would dump five TONS of gravel at the bottom of the driveway. 
Fortunately, the delivery came on a smaller truck and the sand and gravel were dumped very near our work site. As soon as it arrived, we set our concrete blocks and started to build. We dug eight inches out for the foundation and leveled 8" blocks on a bed of sand. We had both the blocks and sand delivered. So worth it!

Meanwhile, Matt and Marissa did a bang-up job painting every stick of wood we had. Pre-painting is SO MUCH EASIER than painting in place. Thanks to the beautiful weather, they were able to apply two coats to everything.

About that color. It's purple! We've decided to call our chicken coop "The Egg Plant." Groan....



My brother, Matt (Matty for the weekend), visiting the chickens he helped build a coop for. Pictured are Prissy on his shoulder, and Mifflin on his arm.

Matt and Matty assembled panels of the coop on our driveway and then carried them to the foundation.

This is what our foundation looks like. 8x8x16" cement blocks laid on a bed of sand, topped with 2x8 treated lumber. It's the only treated lumber in the coop, but being so close to the ground and being the "foundation," we didn't want to mess with untreated lumber. This is the "run," where the chickens will be in a wire mesh box. It is dug out because it will be filled with 3" of gravel, and 3" of sand, which will help drain.
Marissa did much of the chop sawing.

Jay took a moment Sunday afternoon to sit in the structure just after my brother departed.

The structure with the purple posts is the "run," the outdoor area that will be covered by wire mesh. It will be predator proof but let in sun and air for the chickens. You can also see that the run is now filled in, first with three inches of gravel and topped with three inches of sand.