GryEyes' First Coop - A Tractor!
I had no carpentry skills when I began this project, and many would say I still don't. [grin] But now I own a power drill and a circular saw, and I've been using them. The chicken coop/tractor is a little wonky and I'm not quite done with it, but I don't think the chickens I haven't gotten yet will mind.
Here's the ventilation "cupola" I hammered together. I was worried that the plans I was TRYING to follow didn't provide any ventilation (other than the places where there were gaps, but that's bad construction, not PLANNING). I'm sure I can build something better, later, but this will do for right now.
Here's some detail of the hardware used for the "egg collection" hatch and door to the lower pen area. I decided no raccoon would be able to open a twist-closure carabiner, so that's what I use to secure the latch. This weekend I'll be attaching the wire enclosure for the bottom pen.
Those pole things poking through the plywood are the "handles" which are supposed to allow two people to move the tractor, but I live alone, so that's gonna be interesting. Still, they were in the plans, and I might have a friend help, some day... so they're there.
This is the back side, showing the portion where I put the plywood all the way down to the ground in one corner, per the instructions I found elsewhere on BYC. (Chickens will run to a corner to escape racoons, instead of gathering in the middle, away from all walls; if the walls are only wire or hardware cloth, claws could still damage the huddled chickens. This gives them a secure corner when they're downstairs.)
And this is the ramp to the upstairs, with a wire threaded through the floor and up through the top "V" of the roof, to haul the ramp up at night and close the floor hatch.
I've placed linoleum on the upstairs, inside floor since the above photo was taken. I'll be using deep litter, so I'm also putting a little rail around the hatch opening to help keep the litter inside.
Temptation at checking out chicks "ahead of time" at a feed store proved too great; I bought four, each a different breed. I was sensible enough to buy "older" chicks for those I could - about a week old. But there were no older chicks in the Brahma brooder, so one of my new peeps was only 2 days old. By the time I had them five days, the 3 older chicks had names: Rhoda, Rebecca and Hilary. The temporary name for the baby is "FuzzButt."
(More to follow as I learn how to use this page feature.)