Log on Building "The Gem" Coop~
I hope that anyone who is considering building their own coop, but has NEVER attempted to build a building (like me!), will be encouraged by my log. =D Also, here's my homepage~
July 30, 2010
Bought a book on Shed Building. Lots of good ideas, including the use of metal construction brackets to square off the corners.
We couldn’t find any floors that meet our needs, so I went to the Coops link—where I lived and studied during the winter of 2008-2009—and found a good plan on Gopher Boy’s page.
(Scroll ALL of the way down for his most excellent blueprints and building plans!)
DH and I didn’t care to put the legs on the ground, because we just might want to move the whole building in the future. Therefore, we are planning to building something of a deck for the floor. The floor will be screwed to the horizontal supports, which will rest on cinder blocks.
August 1, 2010
Measured the coop before church—8 ft, 1 inches wide and 7 ft, 1 inches deep, with an apex of 8 foot high--then went to Lowe's to buy beginning materials for the floor. We bought two pressure treated and weather treated 4 inch by 6 inch support blocks, and 4 cinder blocks. Checked out tongue-in-groove, but it looks like all that they carry is 1/2 inch--don't think that will do. =( When we begin construction, it's going to look like we're making a deck, and that deck needs to be able to support over 500 pounds, when you add the rest of the wood and roof.
August 5, 2010
Called around and found that Menard’s carries 1 ½ inch thick tongue-in-groove, 5 ½ inches wide and in the following lengths:
8 ft., 10 ft., 12 ft., 16 ft. (always in stock), 18 ft. and 20 ft. lengths. The 16 ft. pieces cost $12.49/each. They have to special order all other sizes. Since the charge for an 8ft. board is $8.09/each, I think I’ll buy nine 16 ft. boards, cut them into seven foot long equidistant pieces, and save the nine 2 ft. pieces for inside construction.
August 10, 2010
Good thing the base isn't built yet. I just read this:
NOW, I need to use solid blocks for a base, which I fortunately already have in a sidewalk that I put in the wrong place--never gets used, you see. The builder/author says that the weather will deteriorate my cinder blocks, and they will eventually crumble. Even though my building will be screwed and nailed to itself, and be a "floating" structure, I still don't want that to happen.
August 11, 2010
I bought the third 4 inch x 6 inch support last night. I went window-shopping for the tongue-in-groove, too. It is NOW called, "centercut", I think, at Menard's, if you're shopping for it there. The pieces I'm interested in are 2 x 6, 16 ft. long ( I don't mind cutting, the 16 ft pieces are almost always in stock, so I will need nine pieces for my floor.that translates to .)1 ½ inches thick, and 5 ½ inches wide
I had a clerk show me screws. She suggested stainless steel, and suggested NOT to buy those labeled "construction screws" because they are of lesser quality. You won't find many Slotted Head screws because of stripping. Now, they are either Phillips Head screws or Torx-Head (looks like a star.) The graphic is a little fuzzy, so here are the names, in order:
1.Slotted 2. Phillips 3.Clutch-Drive
4.Torx 5.Robertson 6.Allen
I couldn't capture the picture directly, so here is the site, too:
She and the guy in the warehouse (where the tongue-in-groove is stored) BOTH suggested using 2 ½ inch-3 inch screws to attach the floor to the supports.
August 12, 2010
Now, I've thought of a NEW problem. My door is going to open flush to the floor of the coop. How do I keep the deep litter from falling out? I know I've read that some people put a 2 x 4 there, but I've afraid that will make me trip. I am considering mounting the door 4 inches above the floor, and stepping down into the coop. It has been suggested that the piece I put there (at the door entrance) be removable, so that I can sweep the bedding out the door when I clean. Any suggestions? write me:
August 16, 2010
Worked like a Malemute (or Husky) during the Iditerod, on Saturday!!!! I TOTALLY cleaned out the horse trailer. There I was scrubbing the corners and edges, then used the garden hose to finish. (I also cranked it up to a steeper angle.) Too tired Saturday, BUT this morning I put the first coat of Thompson's water seal on my 4 x 6 supports. I poured it on them, then used a brush to make sure that 3 sides were coated. Maybe I should have turned them and coated the 4th side, but I'll do that this evening. (Gotta steal that camera again!)
August 17, 2010
These entries, I admit, are a little bit of "Snooze City." I think it's important to realize that we all have to work in the time to do such projects, and some days very little gets done. This morning, I turned the beam supports and put water seal on the unpainted sides. I noticed that the other three sides had not quite dried yet. I understand that it takes two days for the sealer to sink in. If I wait until Thursday, I can put a second coat on. Rain today, but only 30% predicted for Friday and Saturday. I should be able to put 3 coats on before I start the floor. I'm planning on buying my 2 x 6 tongue in groove on Sunday. THEY will have to be sealed as well. I'm puzzling over where to put down hardware cloth between the beams and the floor pieces. I think they will rust and rot if they touch. Gotta puzzle this out more...
When you can't build, you study!
darkmatter gave me some great advice,including using gutters, when we PM'd each other...that sounded kind of rude...
Here's darkmatter's BYC page~
Lots of good planning happens when you look at other people's stuff.
Nest Box Pictures? (thread)
Anny's webpage answered a question about my door, in Things I'd change...
"3. I would have planned for the Deep Litter method, making the door height off the ground so pine shavings don't end up all over the run."
coberdor's pictures below--
Post #69 has a good picture of hardware cloth used on the inside of the windows. I think, however I'm going to inset the hardware cloth inside of my windows. My coop is a re-build of a building that is "God only really knows" how old it is already, so I don't think it's bad to make it single use.
Regarding my windows for winterizing, I don't care for the type that coberdor used, only because I have two of them on my garage, and it's a personal dislike, though the design is excellent. Instead, I searched and found a site with great pictures of a storm window like the one on my 1910 old farmhouse, on the front (east-facing) window. You'll notice that it is a tight-fitting, hinged design, where one piece is permanent, and the connecting piece is screwed onto the window.
This blog is from a house in Oak Park, IL, a couple of hours north of me, so same weather. BTW, the fit on MY front window is so tight that it passes the "candle test."
Notice the big, wide west window? THIS is where I'd like to put one hinged wintertime storm window. This will let good light in, but create a good windbreak. I'm planning for a possible, emergency windbreak for the south windows and screen door, based on my experiences with two horse shelters. This Fall, I'll be pounding in 5 eight-foot long metal fence posts (that are stored), two just slightly north, one in the middle (east) and two about 1 ½ feet slightly south. If I need more wind protection, I'll buy a 4 x 8 piece of plywood and slide that in there--easily removable, and similar to snow fencing. No trouble for the duck who ROUTINELY pounds these suckers in for gardening every year.
BUILDING SUGGESTION: Do you know that you can buy a smaller-than-standard size sledgehammer? I found one in a hardware store. I call it my "Baby Sledge", and it's so much easier to lift and pound with than the bigger one is.
August 18, 2010
Started the 2nd coat of waterseal on the beams this morning, and I should finish the 2nd coat this evening. Finished the rest of the contents of the older can of Thompson's. I will not add this cost to my actual costs, but I will include the cost of ½ a can in the plans, and the costs of nine 12 x 8 x 6 inch solid concrete blocks. I made a sidewalk several years ago from 12 of these blocks that I dug out from different places on the property, so they cost me $0, and some sweat.
More studying, planning, PM'ing. Been talking to BettyR, and getting lots of good ideas and coming to some conclusions.
The back wall is about 4 foot high, and I'll need to follow the ceiling there for the top of the nest boxes. I have 7 birds, and I'm planning on 3 nestboxes. I want to create storage underneath them, so I'll build the boxes with hinges, so that I can access it. I just want to put my baby chick feeders and waterers and extra food dishes in there, so I won't be going in there very often. It seems that the boxes-unit will have to be semi-permanent, and I'll probably use the leftover 2 foot tongue-in-groove pieces to construct the base. This will give it some weight, which should stabilize it enough so I won't have to attach it to the floor or the walls. And, I WILL want to check for any pests, there, too.
I DO want to keep the 5 gallon plastic storage bucket WITH lids where I keep my oyster shell and grit IN the coop. Maybe they should be along the wall, to the right of the nest boxes, and with a roosting board about a foot above.
More research on nest boxes...
I'm going to tell you a secret. The best nest boxes have a floor that made out of half-inch hardware cloth covered with straw. These nest boxes never get disgusting inside becuase the crud falls through. You get less egg breakage because the floor has some give to it. The straw stays drier because it has air ciculation from underneath and because broken egg contents drip through the bottom. The eggs cool down faster because of the increase air circulation...
The traditional individual nest is a foot deep, a foot wide, and something less than a foot tall. With board floors, an enormous amount of litter in the box helps to cushion the eggs. The front board should be a one-by-six or even a one-by-eight. With hardware cloth floors, I don't think this matters. A one-by-four is plenty. Such a nest is good for four to five hens. Of course, individual nests aren't really made individually. Wooden ones are built in units four-to eight foot long containing four-to eight nests, and metal ones are typically five feet wide and have two rows of five nests...
Community nests work on the idea that the hens prefer to lay in darkness, but they don't eat in darkness. This eliminates egg-eating."
I think the picture on Post#1 of
is a good look at what the top of my nest boxes should look like, using the ceiling on the back wall. I'm also considering making a removable brooder in the back, to the east of the nest boxes, but that can be added later on.
August 19, 2010
Started a question(s) thread to beg for answers to nagging design problems.
gryeyes has a good automatic feeder picture on Post#6. It seems that space is turning into a problem. =/
August 20, 2010
Got the original photos, so I had to reload on Photobucket. Here is a picture taken of the roof of the building, looking through my back yard kitchen window. I think the shingles are in good enough shape to leave them alone, for now. Maybe we'll re-do them next year, but I'd like to keep my 2010 costs down as low as possible.
DD talked me into the purple in 2001. The grey trim subdued it... a little.
August 26, 2010
Update on my "Little Livestock":
MY BIRDS HAVE GOTTEN MEAN!!! **waah, waah, waah**
**I KNOW that they aren't handled, but, gee wizz, my 1,200 pound gelding treats me better!!**
I KNOW that I don't handle them, but today I felt pity on the bottom bird who was chased away from the millet treats, and hand fed her a stalk of millet from the patches I grew for them, and she ate a little, then pecked me. Then, when I brought in some crumbles for their bowl--which WASN'T empty--and same bird tried to chase me out!!
It's DEFINITELY time to consider replacements. I'd like bigger eggs, but I wasn't going to complain to the flock. Their egg laying is slower than it was last Fall, too. Should I consider another breed?
Since they're not the friendlist it does make it easier to butcher them. Glad I'm building a coop big enough for a bigger breed of chicken!! I'm probably the ONLY person here building a chicken coop, and then planning on eating the inhabitants!!! LOL!! ROFL!!!
I wake up this morning AFTER a full day's off where I raised the crown on my pine trees--6 truckloads worth of debris that I moved to my burn pile--and DD tells me to look out of the kitchen window. One of my STUPID ash trees, 20 foot from the house, decided to lose a 500+pound limb!! FORTUNATELY, it fell west, so there was no property damage. My "duck truck" tried it's best to pull it out, but it just managed to move it off of the driveway, since the upper branches are stuck on the trunk of it's tree. I brought my chainsaw in for chain repair/sharpening. I'm going to need to chop it into smaller pieces.
No WONDER these coops takes F O R E V E R to build!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAARRRGGGGHHH