This article describes the Coopricorn One mission to the Chick'n Shack. The Mission Objective - secure more space.
The Primary Coop Node (PCN) is comprised of three elements - the central HAB, the Extra-Coopticular Activity area (extending along the E-axis), and the Integrated Service Module (extending W.) The HAB is home to twelve Gallusnauts who have expressed interest in additional facilities.
To expand the ECA area, a Non-Pressurised Mating Adapter (NPMA) was designed such that additional modules could be connected and potentially relocated along the S0, E0, and N0 faces of the ECA (note that the W0 face is obstructed by the ISM.) A blade-style door was selected for its simplicity and safety factor - the door will default to the "closed" position in a 1-G gravity environment.
A prototype Avian Expansion Module (AEM) mates to the NPMA through a pivoting docking ring. This pivoting structure is necessary to accommodate variations in local terrain geometry. The docking ring is positively secured to the NPMA. (some details omitted for clarity)
After an arduous procurement process that guaranteed maximum taxpayer value, construction of the various components and subassemblies was begun.
Details of the docking ring pivot mechanism are demonstrated below:
Local labor was employed in the application of a protective surface finish to the AEM.
The NPMA was successfully installed on the S0-face of the Primary Coop Node. Subsequently, the AEM was docked and fully mated. The Gallusnauts were initially hesitant regarding the new addition to their environment, but ultimately embraced the expanded ECA resources.
Details of the docking ring mating to the NPMA, including the anti-intrusion door which closes the gap when the door blade is removed.
Took the AEM for a drag over to the garden to let the ladies and gent have some time tilling the soil.
Added wheels to the AEM Mk.1; need to upgrade to 8" wheels because the 6" variety can't handle terrain variations well.
Also mostly-completed construction of the AEM Mk.2. Upgrades include a roof, a people-door, nesting boxes, a roosting bar, and hanging food/water dispensers. Everything necessary to function as a stand-alone coop. The recently acquired Gold Silver Laced Wyandottes are growing like weeds, and we need to move them out of the brooder this week ... because Miss Broody's chicks are scheduled to hatch in the next 5-ish days.
We also added another NPMA to the Primary Coop Node - this one on the N0 face.
Pre-docking maneuvers ... introducing the teens to the adults.
Update 04 (Musical Perches):
As part of a complicated effort to merge the teenagers into the main flock, we relocated the original Mk.1 AEM from the S0 face to the N0 face. We hope that providing a "new" environment (and some grass) to the mix will help reduce the hen-pecking the Wyandottes have received so far. Terrain on the N0 face drops substantially at the foundation-interface, requiring an ad-hoc attachment method to the NPMA.
Four new chicks, three Light Brahmas and one Black Australorp/Red Sex Link hybrid named "Mutt", have been moved out of the basement brooder and into the Mk.2 AEM - they're hiding in the green tub in the center of the AEM.