My pen design was not expensive and it was not cheap either. I think I have about 200.00 in it, wire, PVC, lumber... In saying that I bought a 200 foot roll of wire, enough to build a couple more. In short it was a test coop to see how the design worked. So far so Good! This is not conventional House framing design and that bugs me, but for the purpose of a Pen/coop it will suffice as Quail are not some large beast that will break such a structure. Still, it does need a certain amount of durability as to deter predators from entering!
To Note: the red lettering marks new comments, not necessarily some important information. Sorry!
I originally planned a 16 x 8 but went a cheaper rout due to the total cost and made it 10 x 6. My goal was to make it heavy and sturdy enough so wind would not be much of a factor, but light enough to move from one place to another with my lawnmower.
As far as the lumber list, I do not remember exactly all of my order, but it was something in the neighborhood of :
- 200 ft- 4 foot high chicken wire w/1 inch.
- 4 - 10' 2x4 Treated
- 12 - 8' 2x4 Treated
- 6 - 20' 3/4" PVC (Use Gray Electrical PVC conduit, Not plumbing conduit)
- 5 lbs of 16d nails
- 3lbs of wire staples. aka horse shoe fencing nails. (the small ones)
- A portion of a roll of stainless steel welders MIG Wire, (welding supplies) to mend/join sections of wire together. It will not rust!
- The 12- 2x8s were cut down to 6 feet long and the 2 foot leftovers were used as jacks and bracing.
- The 2 foot left overs were also cut down to 21" (" = inches, ' = feet in the construction world) as you must consider the thickness of the top and bottom plate and subtract that thickness.
- The total height of the walls as well as the lengths and widths can be modified to any measurement desired, but you will have to do some math and material adjustments.
- I doubled up on the front and back top plates as to help tie the frame together.
- It is important to have a way to tie the frame together (tie = overlapping the 2x4 on the joining ends) so that the frame does not pull apart at the nails.
- The 45 bracing on the corners is also important as they serve to keep the frame square as well as offer some "Tie in" to the bottom and top.
- Each corner also has additional 45 degree bracing as to help keep the frame square.
- The back wall has a center support that runs vertical to the top as to offer additional support and stop any wind wobble of the PVC.
- To note, the back top rails are one solid run, I added and braced the center support.
- 4 of the 20 foot PVC pipes were cut to 17' 7' (seventeen feed seven inches) which when the arched gave me a 7 foot head space.
- The door is your standard 3 foot opening which I built a 6 foot 2x4 hinged door, but is not pictured.
- I had to pick up 3 extra 2x4s to finish the door, plus some firing strips. The fir strips were used to cover the wire ends after I nailed in the wire. I really hate being Jabbed, Stuck, Poked, and Scratched by the ends as they fester up due to being coated with the Zinc / Galvanized coating!
- 2- 20 foot sections of the PVC was cut in half and used as bracing to tie all 4 of the arches together. I used 3 of the 4 and they are actually 9' foot 9" inches long each as a 20 foot length of PVC has a 3 inch bell on one end.
- Rather than nailing or bolting the PVC to the wood, I chose to buy a 1-1/4 1-1/8 inch paddle bit and drill the holes in their proper positions for the spacing of the arches.
- you have to be careful drilling the holes as well as building the structure as paddle bits do not take well to drilling through metal nails. In all I had to pull about 8 nails so I could drill all the way through the tops plates.
- On the bottom plate I drilled only half way through as to anchor the PVC in the hole at the bottom. Once I completed the arches, I used dry wall screws to tie it all together; this includes the PVC through the wood, as well as the PVC to the cross members PVC. Those bugle head really helped when stretching the wire.
Well that should be enough for people to laugh at.
Hope you enjoyed it.
Harley Not Included!
I have had a couple of comments & complements (thanks) and have added additional images if you decide to go with this design. Keep in mind this was not designed on paper until now, even at that it is crude drawings. I will post more as I can.
God! You have to love how everything looks better on paper!
If you noticed there are no measurements as this can be adjusted to any length, width or height. In saying that, it is only a basis of the design for you to go by. The blue represents the PVC pipe arch (no kidding Bob! Really?) which you must drill holes trough the wood/top rails in order run the PVC through to anchor them.
Note the bottom rail on the sides is also drilled half way through to help anchor the PVC and keep the stress from the bend from kicking out. In my previous Green-House I discovered that putting the end of the PVC immediately after the bend was not sufficient and was breaking the PVC after about 4 months.
The front and backs top rails have a Three and one half inch overhang to tie/nail the front and back to the sides. You can add the top caps and 45 bracing to the door frame after the four sides are nailed together and to save a lot of grief, mark your holes and do not put a nail where you will be drilling, else you will be pulling nails or buying another 1 1/4 inch paddle bit! Centered the holes at 1 3/4 inch.
The photos below (hopefully) will allow a closer look to how the corners are put together and joined to the walls.
If you look at the photo above, bottom right, you will notice that there is a scab block that I used as a kicker to brace the door frame, and a 45 degree brace. This was a tricky area as I did not consider adding the brace until later.
It is a must to have the 45 bracing on the corners as this helps to keep the frame square, as well and offer some stability and strength to the bottom as to help keep the frame from pulling lose.
In the above photo, you can see that I did not cut the wire to the arch until the latter. This will help to avoid any shortage/mishaps that may occur during covering the structure. After everything is finished, you can cut the wire about 2" or 3" inches longer to the arch and overlap the wire and tie it together.
Two big lies!
Before I could finish the pen, "some how" these birds magically appeared in the pen, managed to sneak in and check the area out. One even decided to lay an egg.
It was so hot I sent Sampson (4 months old) to fetch me a cold MGD from the fridge! He must have been thirsty as he managed to open and drank it before I he got back.
Next time I will send him after 2 MGD's!
And they say I cant train a dog!
The birds were caged in a small area and I need to get them out ASAP as it was crowded.
The bottle was empty and Sampson was just being curious playful puppy. Dogs will try just about anything! Beer, Chocolate and other foods or drinks (alcohol. caffeine ...) that we take for granted! In truth they are and can be really bad or toxic for dogs as their system does not process like a humans. It takes longer for whatever they consume to metabolize. In such, though a dog may love the taste, but it is actually toxic or poisoning them.
the toxic antifreeze (to humans and animals) taste sweet and therefor seem to be something we all would unknowingly drink, hours later we would pay the price!!!!!
I have caught my dogs many times chewing on torn open beer and coke cans that people throw out on the side of the road. Even though these sharp edges were obvious, jagged, and can cut their mouths, they loved chewing them as to get to the contents.
Be very careful and aware of what is laying around or what you feed your pets!