Or the better title would be "How we tamed the Jungle and lived to tell the story"
We live in a pole framed house set over a gully, we have only one tiny flat area of perhaps 5m x8m but a large empty reserve area at the back that the chickens will be free to roam on.
We used to have chickens at our other property and we missed them so much, I love just sitting and watching their antics.
So we decided to clear the jungle in the flat area and put in a chook shed.
My 16yo son in in there where the arrow is so you can see how much jungle we had to clear, we also have a resident brown snake (for the non Aussies brown snakes are like second on the list of worlds most poisonous snakes), but i figure unless we stand on him he'll leave us alone, not so sure about the chickens though, so my #1 priority is snake proofing this coop, foxes and such are not really an issue here, contrary to what it looks like we're actually in a suburban area.
Finally cleared, it took us a couple of months between very wet weather and the brown snake was in hiding i think (thank goodness), the weird tall grass that turned out to be broad leaved bristle grass (note the bristle grass part) gave me a horrible rash and was really hard to get out, next time i'm using napalm!
Day one - timbers been delivered time to start building!!
I've been lurking in BYC for a few weeks getting tips on designs and i've finally decided on a flat roofed design, we get a lot of rain, no snow and it gets really HOT so lots of ventilation and shady areas with auto piped water. I really loved a few of the designs but for the sheer simplicity of it i've pinched most of my design from this one , with a few alterations for the Aussie climate.
i've used pressure treated sleepers for the base, buried partway in to level them, but really they're mostly above ground, I laid wire mesh under the base and brought it up the sides on the outside and stapled it on so the whole thing is sealed in, buggered up where it joined in the centre but i'll fix that later with some scraps.
one side up, its more solid than it looks, all the joints are done with construction brackets and screwed and there will be cross bracing later on.
Number one Kid busy whacking his thumb with the hammer
i added the wall paneling while it was flat because it made the frame more stable to lift and attach.
Back wall in place and floor supports in, I havent decided whether to leave that area underneath open for the chooks or use it for storage, I'm leaning towards leaving it for the chooks as a dust bathing area and fill it with dry dirt.
Floor and coop door in place, I built the coop door in place based on a tip i found here somewhere, brilliant idea, it made it so easy to fit properly, i've made it so it swings upward and runs the full width of the coop so i can just sweep out the poop, i'm going to use the deep litter method so i'm going to fix a 150mm removeable board to the inside.
The floor is 18mm formwork plywood, hopefully it will withstand the moisture, just in case it doesnt survive i've only screwed it down in four places, worst way i can unscrew it and pull it out and replace it.
We had to stop there and frantically paint the exposed timber because it looked like it was going to rain, thats when i found out the green paint I bought was blue....
Back to work, more updates soon
time to build the nesting box, i decided to build one large box rather than divide it.
all finished, it needs a coat of paint to waterproof it yet, thats the kids job.
then the supervisor had to check everything out to make sure we were up to code
measuring for the last two panels, we've basically finished the interior here, kid is just putting up the mesh
roof on and we're pretty much done! a few small things have to be installed, the auto water contraption is on order and they need a perch in the outside area.
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