So, one of the things about setting forth with the idea of free-build, is that you don't have the liberty of designing a plan, and then buying the materials to fit your plan. It's more like, the world has a plan for you, and you have to be open to it.
This old linen chest is going to provide our roosting box. It needs to be up in the air, how are we going to do that? We want some sort of enclosed run, what's that going to look like? Starting point: it needs to be taller than a chicken. We want it easy to open, so that the chickens can range, but we also want it to be tractor-style, so we can move it around if need be.
Our next lucky find is that a cabinet making operation - hereabouts called a joinery - brings in their planks or plywood or something on a flatbed truck with some frames which they then discard and are happy for you to help yourself to. Kind of like rectangular trusses? I don't know how to describe them exactly, but you will see in the pic. They are available and they are free, so we have dragged a bunch of them back to our carport to sort out what we've got:
We also wanted our boys to help with this project, both in its design and execution, and while favorable, it is not a requirement that the work may be done in slippers.
We took apart a few of these rectangular segments for raw materials, but otherwise we decided the height they were built would be just fine, thank you very much. Height of run: 45 cm / 18 inches.
The nesting box will go right on top:
We decided to take the cloth material off the lid of the nesting box/former linen chest. That would just be getting wet and messy, so we de-lidded the thing and we also cut a big notch out of the dividing planks between the two cavities. We are thinking one entry only from the other side. We'll have to cut out a hole to allow entry, and then re-hang the door.
Imagine a little gangplank we could make out of the discarded bits and pieces:
And that's about as far as we got on the first day.