Originally Posted by clucklady
I'm a victim of chicken math.
I have this chicken house. They claim it is good for 2-4 chickens and I believed. Here is a picture of my chicken house:
Now I know.
It's not even big enough for one chicken, But they said it was good for 4 chickens and I believed, so I got 4 chickens. Then chicken math happened.
I started with 2 Rhode Island Red chicks. So cute! And they fit in my chicken house! So I got 2 Delaware chicks. Lots of room still!. Then I got 2 more Delaware chicks - I had to - they were the same hatch as the other two, but it was 4 weeks later and they were going to be put away. I had no choice. Seriously, what would you do?
Then I got 3 Easter Egger chicks. (You have to have blue eggs, right?)
Sadly, I lost a couple to hawks. Hazards of free ranging.
Short story, I have 7 chickens in that teensy weensy chicken house. They free range during the day, but even for sleeping, it's a problem.
What to do?
I've been scoping out the local resale hardware outlet. I have my eye on this armoire that I think will be a great start for a chicken house for 7 big girls. I plan to make a real chicken house for 7 large chickens, starting with that armoire and a lot of resale lumber and doors. Wrap the whole thing in hardware cloth and we'll see what happens. I'll let you all know how it goes. I've already ordered the hardware cloth, so we (me and 7 crowded hens) are on our way.
PS I have no idea how to operate any tools. I'll have to rent or buy everything as I go. Starting with a truck to get the armoire from the resale store to my house. Everything else will be delivered by Amazon. This should be interesting .......
How, precisely, would one make any part of a chicken coop out of an armoire? Aren't they typically maybe 2' deep, 3'-4' wide, ~7' tall and the doors don't open the full width? I am having trouble envisioning how that would work.
If you are going to build this, you might want to invest in some basic tools. It will take longer than you think (doesn't every project) and renting small tools for an extended period might cost nearly as much as buying them. For example a variable speed cordless drill is very useful for lots of projects for many years, including screwing things together. And screwing things together is easier than hammering nails. Plus if you err, screws are WAY easier to take out for a re-do. I suggest you pre-drill, especially near the ends of boards.
And if you are going to rent a power miter saw (a decent one is expensive) because the job will go so much faster and the cuts will be clean and straight, make sure you have everything planned out and ready so you can do all the cuts in a day or two. And buy a hand saw for those "oops, forgot about that one".
And get a 4' level so any posts are plumb in both directions. You can get a cheap one for ~ $10. Nothing like have a post tilting to make the next step a royal pain.
And get a framing square, you can get one for < $10. You really DO want your corners square! See the prior suggestion for why Sure, you COULD use string and the Pythagorean Theorem to get square corners (3", 4", 5" or 3', 4', 5') but that is a PITA for building structures, it is more often used for laying out foundation or fence sized things.
Do NOT attach the 1/2" hardware cloth with an Arrow style staple gun (the staples look just like those in your office stapler). You can use them to tack the wire generally in place but they will pull out easily. Use fence/poultry staples, screws and fender washers or a strip of wood nailed or screwed to the framing for a predator proof installation.
With regard to learning to use the tools - Google! We live in a fabulous time where you can learn almost anything on the web. Always nice to have an idea how to do these things before you set out. The "trouble" is you find SO many interesting things people do that you have to restrain your project list