Hi! I am Dorothy. I live in northwestern metropolitan Atlanta with my husband and nearly-3-year-old son. I am a SAHM and a graduate student working towards my MFA in figurative painting. I am doing my schoolwork via online and distance learning. We are building our coop/run in January 2009. At first I was going to build a chicken tractor, but with after talking with my landlady, and finding out that she planned to fence in our house, it was decided that we would use part of an already-existing wood storage locker that runs alongside the house. The dimensions are bizarre - around 12'x2.25'. After thinking about it for a long time, we decided to build an 8'x8' structure out from the storage locker, bringing our total coop size to 8'x10.25'. Here are a couple of "before" photos:
1. The first shows the view from the corner of the lot to the gate. We are going to put in poles to increase the height of the fence, and drape aviary netting from the house to the poles.
2. The view immediately to the left of view #1 is down the side of the house where the storage lockers are and where the coop will be.
(January 4, 2009): We started on the coop extension to the storage lockers this weekend. We spent yesterday gathering lumber for the floor structure, and today we prepped the ground and started laying it out. We began mitering the corners then the miter saw gave out. We will be working on it as much possible this week, especially after my husband gets off work, until the weekend when rain or shine we'll be out there.
(January 10, 2009): We got most of the floor frame finished today - almost. Still have to connect a couple more joists. We had to keep breaking off because rain was coming and going. Alex went out this evening and bought plywood for the floor and more lumber for the walls. Our son is spending the day with his grandmother so we hope and pray the rain dries up so we can have the whole afternoon to work. Some photos of the beginning and the progress at the end:
(January 11, 2009): Finished the floor structure, and started taking the doors off the storage locker, which was much more difficult than we imagined. We hope to finish getting the doors off late tomorrow afternoon, and join up the floor structure to the side of the house. Progress pic:
(February 1, 2009): Things are moving slo-o-o-o-o-o-o-owly but steadily. At the end of last week, my husband finished framing the walls. Here's a shot:
Yesterday, he made the rafters and put them up, and today, he began installing the roof. We're using clear polycarbonate panels and I think they're going to look pretty good. More updates later this week. We really need to get this structure done because our first batch of chicks is really needing their own pad to live in.
February 7, 2009: We are so in the home stretch! In fact, we should be able to move the older stinkybirds (as our son charmingly refers to them) into their new home sometime tomorrow afternoon. Here's a shot of the finished roof, with one wall up:
Before the end of the day, we had all three walls up, the door cut and framed, the storage locker partitions installed, and hardware cloth put up over the ventilation openings. Tomorrow we have to put on the door, put up some roosts, and cut out a pop door. And then the chicks can move out there! We'll have a 250-watt heat lamp hanging from the ceiling. Depending on how warm the weather stays, and how warm it gets in the coop, the younger chicks will follow as soon as possible. Also, later in the week, I will prime and paint the exterior. We will not put in the nest boxes and the egg door until later.
Hopefully tomorrow: pics of a finished coop!