Now away back about Christmas or thereabouts poor old Joe Bryant was lamenting his frozen state and pining for some poultry activity. Seeing as how I needed to free up my brooder I said I'd soon start working on permanent quarters for my daughter, the Kinder Major's, Silkies. Once the Christmas festivities were over and the temperature rose above freezing I started work. At present she has fifteen chicks of which we'll keep about half once they are big enough to know who to keep. But she plans on breeding so she's going to need room. I want to keep the operation self-contained for biosecurity reasons so it's going to be somewhat all-in-one with two decks based on full-sized sheets of plywood. This is the bracing across the bottoms of the decks. These are the legs that will run down both sides. They are 2x4's. The bracing is all either 1x4's or 2x2's as appropriate and seeing as how this is Florida everything but the plywood is treated against rot. Here is where I'm attaching the decks. The bottom one has already been secured and the upper I'm propping up to the right height so I can put in the screws. Here is a shot with most of the bracing in place. There will be 1x4's around the tops of each deck to keep the shavings in. You can see them on the top deck, but I haven't put them in on the bottom yet. All open spaces will be covered with 1/2 hardware cloth. The bottom deck will be the Great Hall in that it will be the entire 4x8 area for the main part of the flock. If the need should arise we'll have a removable divider we can put in to break it up into two 4x4 spaces. The upper deck will be the penthouse apartments. Each will be 2x4ft in size. Those dividers too will be removable in case we want to rework the space. This gives her a place to keep the main flock on the bottom deck and the four apartments above in case we want to separate breeding trios, broodies, sick or quarantined birds. There will be two doors per side for each deck so she can work where she needs to without having to worry about birds getting out on the other end where she's not looking. The roof will be covered in corrugated tin. The decks will be covered in plastic sheeting under the shavings. We'll probably hang the waterers and feeders. For winter time I'll make removable shutters to break the wind. In the summer time it'll be open all the way around but with (hopefully) enough roof overhang to keep out all but the worst blowing rain. With the heat and humidity in Florida good ventilation is important. I still need to make the internal dividers, secure the wire, and put on the tin. Haven't decided yet if I'll paint it or not. We're still debating amongst ourselves what to call the thing. I favor the Silkie Castle, the wife likes Silkie City, and the Kinder Major calls it the Silkie Condo. The Kinder Minor hasn't yet ventured an opinion, but I'm sure she'll think of something... I'll be working on it some more on Wednesday so will take more photos then.