[FONT=trebuchet ms,geneva]Building the Run[/FONT]
I asked for help building my chicken coop for my birthday, which happened to fall on Superbowl Sunday. So my parents and brothers and sisters came over and helped get the run started before the game and during half-time and commercial breaks. Here are a few pictures.
We built each wall frame one at a time. It's made with 10' 2x4s along the top and bottom and five 6' 2x4s as uprights. Here's my husband painting a wall with deck stain that I got for free at our local recycling center.
I ended up buying 18 gauge 1" stucco wire, which was cheaper and stronger than the 1" poultry netting, which I was originally going to use because it came in 72" wide rolls. The stucco netting only came in 36" lengths, which meant I needed my sections to be 3' wide, leaving an odd 1' section, but I decided that didn't matter. Here is my dad showing off one completed wall with wire attached.
We finished all four walls, but they are not yet attached to each other. Here are two walls sitting in place so we could get an idea of how it's going to look. The small white structure on the right is our well cover and the gray building in back is the back of our garage. In the extreme left foreground is a corner of the henhouse.
We attached all four walls and installed rafters last weekend. Getting the walls squared up was really challenging. We realized that we should have done that before attaching the wire. As for the roof: there are three 10' 2x4s running north to south, making two three-feet wide and one one-foot wide sections (the run is a 10 foot square). Three-foot lengths of 2x4 were added perpendicular to and between the rafters for further support. All those pieces were painted with white primer (because the deck stain was running out). You can also see the angled corner braces in this picture.
Yesterday, I did a bunch of work myself. I attached the wire to two sections (10 feet by 3 feet each). It was difficult to reach across on the second section to staple the far side, which was 3 feet away. My husband came out as I was finishing and took pictures of me doing it.
I also worked on the the foundation. One side of my run sits on a concrete walkway. Another side sits on a concrete strip that sticks out from under our garage. The other two sides sit on a row of 12-inch concrete pavers that I had. The wire goes from the outside of the wall, under the bottom 2x4, then bends down past the back edge of the pavers and is buried underground on the inside of the cage. Here is a picture from when I was digging the trench to bury the wire.
I put some concrete rubble under the pavers to keep them pressed up against the pavers so there'd be no gap between the bottom 2x4 of the wall and the paver. After I took this picture, I bent the excess wire down and buried it. So if a critter were able to force its way between the paver and the wood, it would run into more wire. The wire goes down about 9 inches below the wood. It's the same piece of wire that runs all the way up the side to the roof.