Coop build, moral support needed

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by celticgarden, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. I'm so tired of building! Actually, I'm so tired of trying to fit building in around all my other responsibilities. I swore I would have the coop built in time for the chickens. They are now 1 month old! I can't say how much longer it will take to finish the coop. I feel guilty every day about these 9 chicks that are still in a large Honda Lawnmower box in my basement with only intermittent visits outside.

    I had a lot of fun planning this odyssey and I THINK I will be proud when I'm done but right now I'm weary! I know many of you have been here, I bow to the ones that had the self control to wait until their coops and runs were done before ordering their chicks.

    Part of my problem is that I had a grand vision of more than just a coop. I decided to build a small cottage too. I was going to use recycled pallets naive. Please don't ask what I've spent so far...I refuse to tally it! As for materials....let's just say LOTS. Will I ever be done? Some days it feels not! The job, kids, real house etc definitely limit the time I can devote to this. Started June (or was it May) of this year. I'm the Mom, I've done it ALL myself with one exception. My brother helped me put the roof sheathing and shingles on the cottage. DH is supportive in his own way but I don't ask him to help.

    Cottage - unfinished of course while I complete the coop. 6 x 10 tiny house with loft.

    Coop - In progress. 8 x 8 built off the back of the cottage.

  2. kellanv

    kellanv In the Brooder

    Jul 31, 2012
    It looks like a good start and should be a very nice coop when finished! We started our coop at the same time as receiving our chickens which I will say put a lot more pressure on getting things done. We got them in by the 6 week old mark and I will tell you that it is a great feeling having them in their proper place!

    That being said, if you are overwhelmed it wouldnt hurt to get help from friends/family/husband to get things finished without sending you over the edge. My wife helped me throughout the process which made it more fun and a bit less stressful.

    Keep at it! Eventually you will stop hemorrhaging money and have some free time and happy chickens.
  3. bucky52

    bucky52 Songster

    Apr 26, 2011
    you have done a great took my DH several weeks to build our last coop.even though we used alot of recycle boards.we have spent alot of money on our coops and runs.but it was worth every bead of sweat and penny spent.i admire what you have done.
  4. That looks so good; you're almost there.

    I farmed out my building of all my coops so admire you for doing it yourself, whoa.

    Slap it together, put the girls inside, you can fix the fiddly bits later!

    Good luck!

  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    You're doing great and you WILL get there. I was in almost the exact same situation with one difference. I've kept chickens most of my life so it wasn't that I had to build my coop while they were in the brooder. Our situation was we bought a new house and I had to build a new coop at the new place before we could move them. And, because there was some distance between the two houses and because I'm a mom and my kids get busy in school and activities.....I could only drive out to the new place to build 1-2 days per week, so it took a long time (it seemed) to get it done. In fact, I didn't get it done by move day and had to leave the flock at the old house and drive back every other day to tend to them, while continuing to work on the coop. I also felt I couldn't ask DH for help due to the pressures he is under at work. I did find a family friend who was willing to help me with the parts that require two people (my coop is 10x14 and on a coop that size, there are parts that simply aren't possible with one person).

    But it got done eventually and it was worth it. Hang in there, keep plugging away, and one day you'll look back on this time and barely remember the frustration of it all.

    In the meantime, what about some electro-net fencing to allow the chicks to be outside during the day? You could still bring them in at night for safety but it might take some pressure off to know they are getting outside every day to forage and eat a few bugs?
  6. Thanks all for your comments. They help alot!

    The devil is in the details they say. It takes time to make windows predator proof, to figure out how to mount them to tilt the way I know the story. I'm further along than the photo above shows, so that's good.

    Last night (before attending my daughters "Back to School night" for parents) I threw together a larger enclosure in the garage for the chicks. Taller too. You know, using items that were on hand: a large wire dog crate, some tall shutters screwed together, hardware cloth on top. I may move them in there tonight so they'll get acclimated more quickly to the temp swings we're having. I have an ecoglow20 that they don't use in the moderate basement area. They lay next to it or perch on it but not under. They may want it again in the garage as night temps are in the 50s. I'll need to put them in when I can watch them to make sure I've covered all gaps. The smallest chick is a sultan. So funny how little she is next to the others. And my Blue Hamburg isn't far behind. She's quick! I feel very protective toward all of them.

    As for asking for help, I think it's time. I plan to get my 15 yo son out there this weekend. Maybe show him how to dig post holes! Just hoping the forecasted thunderstorms pass us by.

    HEChicken, I'm unsure about using electronet. Our lot is 0.4 acres, suburban. It fact, when I started this venture I read my towns zoning laws and there was NO mention of poultry. It just said "No piggeries." I thought that meant chickens, no problem. In the hallway at work the other day a colleague mentioned that they had called the zoning office (same town) and was told you had to have 3 acres to have chickens. Oops. I know there are people on our street that own chickens but they may own 3 or more acres....Something else to worry about. The main thing is (I hope) my neighbors don't mind. So I'm thinking electronet in my situation is not a good idea. I do have an enclosure set up for them in the back garden, near where I'm building, so they can be out. I only let them out there when I can be near to keep an eye on them.

    Quote: Great turn of phrase kellanv! hemorrhaging money...very true! Here's a shot of them probably 2 weeks ago in their outdoor enclosure.


    One of the reasons I keep an eye on them! My cat Saki. There's an old screen door covering the top, not apparent from the photo. The hand sized gap at the top is handy for tossing in the occasional bug, grub or worm! The enclosure is screwed together but there's some duct tape here and there for good measure.

  7. AVintageLife

    AVintageLife Chirping

    Jun 7, 2012
    New Hampshire
    Your coop is looking great and I think you went about this exactly the right way! This spring, my DH finally agreed that my daughter and I could have some chickens. He was going to build a new shed and said we could have the old one (8X8) for the chicken coop. He thought we should work on the transformation this summer and get chicks next spring. I couldn't imagine waiting that long so about two weeks after he gave us the OK, we had ten little chicks living on our farmers porch in a great little brooder we built. The transformation took much longer and was much more work than I could have imagined. We ended up having to enlarge the brooder twice so our little babies would have enough room while they waited patiently for their new home to be done. Daughter and I wanted to do all the work ourselves but ended up really needing DH's help. Toward the end he was very cranky and I can't tell you how many times I heard him say "you really jumped the gun getting the chicks before this was done". This weekend we will finish the 8X12 hoop run and FINALLY be done. I feel like I lost the whole summer, it went by so quickly being so busy with the coop every single weekend but it was an incredible bonding project for my daughter and I. And DH has become as enamored of our babies (15 weeks old tomorrow) as I am. Now we enter the next stage of chicken ownership: waiting patiently for our five hens to lay their first eggs while we figure out what to do with three of the five roos. Oh and chicken daughter wants a couple of silkies and we hope to hatch some of our own chicks next spring. Great job, good luck and enjoy!

  8. look at the hard work and care you've put into it already. what lucky little chickees to have you. [​IMG]
  9. duckinnut

    duckinnut Songster

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    First of all [​IMG]. It looks great so far. But my advice to you is make it chicken safe first so they can move in and then add all the things YOU want it to be. Chickens are non judge-mental a far as I can tell.They don't care if the trim is painted white or green, whether you use sand or shavings on the floor or the nest boxes have curtains or not. Their main concern is food,water, food, food, a safe place to sleep and did I mention food. Just chip away at it. I am 2+ years into this and still modify a thing or two every now and then, more for me than them.[​IMG] I approach things with the attitude that the Grand Canyon just didn't happen the one day the ice melted. The water slowly chipped through the rock as it still does today. They are still only a month old, mine were about 2 1/2 months when I moved them to the big house. Keep your head up and just keep chipping. Good luck. Oh yeah keep us posted.

  10. Melabella

    Melabella Crowing

    Jun 2, 2011

    Hello and welcome to BYC! Your post sounds like a slice from my life. I laughed out loud when you mentioned you were attending Back to School night. I literally walked out of the feed shed where my 7 week old monsters are crammed into my home made pen with plastic netting zip tied to the top, and got into my husbands car that whisked me off to our Back to school night. 10 minuets into the teacher talking I realized just how far down the ladder I have slipped where my personal care taking has become. I am sure between my horses and chickens, I must have smelled ripe! I found myself during refreshment hour speaking with an experienced chicken owner about whether my girls will be laying first week in December or February! I want to KILL the man who told me the pen around my coop will be ready 3 weekends ago, and yes, the hemorrhaging of the wallet is freaking me out! So, needless to say, you are not alone! I can't get over how many times I am reading threads, and how many people have similar thoughts, and problems as I do! Hang in there woman, maybe your brother can come back and help? My brother is amazing, and when he calls to tell me he is coming, I jump with joy! He even helps me muck stalls, and he is NOT an animal person! I wish I was near ya, I would come give a hand. I hope the neighbors and the zoning thing work out OK. My new neurosis is as the girls get close to laying, the noise won't offend my neighbors, as I knew nothing about "laying songs". YIKES! I have gone through 4 natural child births and understand the need to "express" yourself when trying to pass large things out of ones body!

    Keep us posted, and again, GOOD LUCK!


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