Last year I posted about how I wanted to make a quail coop up against the side of an existing shed. After thinking that over for a bit, I came to the conclusion that an "Under the Deck" arrangement might work out better. Already has the benefit of solid framing and a solid (at least when it comes to keeping predators out) roof. There is power available on the deck above, and if I wanted to be crazy then I could actually divert a downspout that runs under the deck to fill a natural looking pool for drinking water or something. Not as a primary source of water, but as something fun to do.
No actual progress has been made yet, but I figured I would post the "before" photos. Hope to start covering it in hardware cloth soon! Now for a little walk-thru. Any feedback is appreciated since at this point I have not done any of the construction!
View looking down the long side of the deck....I plan to fence in the section that is halfway down the deck (where you see the support column about halfway down), to the end of the deck (that you see in the background near the evergreen bushes). Full human sized access door will be partially crossing the span of the brown mulch you see. In other words, the access is from under the deck, not from the lawn/grass/yard side of the aviary. I need to measure the actual dimensions, but the area of brown mulch from the house to the edge of the deck is probably about 5 feet wide.
View looking at the section I plan to fence in. It is tough to see on the photo, but the "deck" of the deck actually overhangs the supports by a little bit on the front and left sides, so the hardware cloth will be "inset" from the edges of the actual deck. Need to measure actual span left to right, but this is about 8-10 feet.
Photo showing the current mulch that is under the deck. You can see that after a rain, there is still a good strip of ground that remains dry. This is mostly because this is up against the house, but also because the house has pretty deep eaves that extend out from the structure. I plan to construct some sort of little dog house type structure for the quail to shelter in if they are smart enough to seek it out.....the jury is out about if they would be smart enough to seek a place to get out of the elements.....
Will mix up the ground in the aviary to have sections that remain like you see it, as well as sections for dust bath, rooting around for treats, etc... Will ensure there is a good chunk that remains constantly dry even after rain. I know weeds will grow anywhere, but the fact that I have some against the house in this photo gives me some hope about how much light gets in there. These photos are recent, and I live in the PNW, so it has not exactly been sunny around here....
Photo from under the deck looking towards the outside right corner of the future aviary. I plan to fence in against the support column, so as I mentioned earlier, this will make the hardware cloth actually be somewhat "under" the deck/roof. I need to measure the actual height, but I am standing under there and have some head room to spare. I am not tall, but I am thinking this is about 6 to 6.5 feet from ground to the joists you see on the top.
Looking down the length of the deck. Planning to fence in from the first to the second support column. Not much else to say!
Thoughts? See any glaring issues? I will keep posting updates as I actually start construction.
---EDITED ON 3/15/16 TO INCLUDE DIMENSIONS---
107.5 inches wide/between support columns = just under 9 feet
88 inches high from dirt to ceiling = 7.3 feet head space
80 inches deep from front of deck to wall of house = 6.6 feet
Call it 55 square feet on the conservative side.
For how bad I am at estimating, I was pretty close to the actual dimensions when I guessed while writing my original post! Hahaha.
Edited by paneubert - 3/15/16 at 11:55am