Chicks with Chicks
The Tophat Resort
Welcome to The Tophat Resort - or rather the making of it. As with all great things, it has to start somewhere.
Created by Stephanie Jordan - Someone who is certainly not a certified carpenter.
If she can do it anyone can. So enjoy the lovely photos and watch a pile of wood become a cute hen resort.
Tools of the trade.
Nothing can be built with out the tools to build it. We used 3 and half inch long, coated, exterior screws.
A cordless drill.
A round skill saw for cutting the wood.
Measuring tape and pencil to mark where to cut.
Building the frame
We started from the bottom and worked our way up. Bellow is the end result, which is not complete cause we ran out of screws and need to go back and get more. We will do that when we get the rest of the supplies tomorrow that we need to complete the project.
18 - 2"x4"x8' Boards
8 - 1"x1"x4' Boards
5lb Box of Exterior 3" Screws
6 Large Hinges
4 Small Hinges
4 Hook Latches
2 - 4'x8' Plywood sheets
1"x1" Gadge Hardware Cloth
Red & White Paint
Above you can see the frame after the first day. On a tight budget I had to make do with what I had. Meaning I had to cut corners to maximize the most out of my wood so that I wouldnt have to use as much wood in return saving money building this project.
If this was a structure reqired to hold the weight of a human or other very heavy objects, then this method of saving money on using less wood would not be suggested. But since its for chickens we can take a few short cuts and get away with it.
First I will show you a trick to making the most out of our wood. Streaching the limits of its size without the need to buy longer 2x4 boards.
Below you can see a photo of the floor. I placed the long ends directly on the ground, they have been treated so they will last longer than untreated wood. However it is recomended to raise them up on some sort of other foundation later on if you expect the wood to last its fullest life expectancy. I will likely do that later on when I get around to it. When I do I will most likely use cement blocks.
I laid the longest peices directly on the ground the screwed in the smaller sides. Typical walls reqire you build the wall then screw it into the frame below then connect the walls together with screwing them together and then to the floor frame. Instead I built the walls directly to the floor frame, leaving 2 extra inches for the wall's to be screwed to the board. You can see above what I am discribing better. This gave me 2 more inches of space on each side. Making the side walls a total of 4ft 4 inches instead of just 4 ft. You will see how I will got away with doing this later on in the building steps.
Above I have a photo displaying how I connected the second floor's frame to the 4 standing poles around the coop. Because I didn't know how to connect the second floor's base to the existing frame posts without cutting the posts, or cutting the boards I was using for the walls. I cut 4 inches off each board so that they would fit between the wall posts, then used the extra wood to make a support shelf for the boards to lay on so they could be screwed in properly and more securely.
As you can see above. This maximized the length of my coop by 4 inches, which was explained in the first step. It also strengthens the coop's frame its self. Making the need for extra wood a little more unessisary. I repeated the step for the top of the second floor as well..
The roof, wire, sides and back doors of the lower level is all on. Nest boxes are placed inside on the top level, all 4 of them. They were pretty simple to make. Just reqired me getting a little dirty. (Had to screw them in from underneith.) Also the steps going up is complete and installed as well. You can see them a little in the photo above. (Ignore the paper on the ground, its packaging wrapers and the likes)
Above is a view from the back side. The top level's doors still need to be put on. I couldn't get a full view cause its close to our back fence. This was as best as I could get. Also notice the 4 nest boxes on each side with the opening to the lower level in the center, between them. You can't see it from this photo but the steps lead down from that opening. There's mored photos below, from the back view to better show these things.
Here you can see the bottom doors in this photo above. They close together with a board on the inside stopping them from being pushed inside the lower part of the cage. They can only open outward, so that prevents any thing from pushing in. The latch at the top will be joined by another one at the bottom that will keep the birds that are inside, from pushing out. It twists to lock and unlock.
Again, here's the steps below, from a top view.
I used recycled pallets found on the side of the road. Cut them in half and then took the boards off one side leaving just these on the other. Then screwed them in.
The little guys are getting bigger fast.
Soon I plan on getting them outside so that means I need to finish this thing fast.