Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Chicken Coop Building Part 2 - The Run

We took a couple weekends break, maybe one... I can't remember. But it was time to finish this thing. 
The chickens had hatched, they were living inside in their brooder and we needed to get the run made. 

Time to frame up the walls:


Brainstorming process: Laying it out before we cut.

Getting the ground work ready. The bottom is buried a little. The front more than the back due to the slop of the land. Also the corners are not exactly square so we needed to make the two side walls before the end wall because it would be it's own unique measurement. 

We framed the walls and painted them before putting on the hardware cloth. The kids helped with this. Sad I didn't get a photo of them all painting, but the memory is there, lol. 


Attaching the hardware cloth, cutting it with the angle grinder, much quicker than the snippers. 

Attached and UP! One wall done. Then getting the cloth on the back wall. It was a little tricky cuz we made it a bit wider than the coop so we needed a back corner, we made it all at once. 


The corner was quite the bear... we added a couple pieces of wood in the gaps and attached it real good to close off any openings. Also the hard ware cloth overlaps so we used little pieces of wire to clamp the opening shut every 6 inches or so. 


Next was the end wall and the door. Got them painted and wire attached the following weekend.

At this point there was enough closed off we would have fun bring the chicks out for a short period of time. It was hot enough outside they could leave their brooder heat lamp and they loved running outside. 

They also loved hiding under the coop:

We made sure to stay outside with them since we didn't have the roof on yet and we have lots of hawks in the area. 

The roof was quite the pain. We had planned to use one type of roofing. Went to look at it but the pieces they had in stock were all busted up. So we waited another week or so and returned... they didn't have any but it showed they did online so we ordered some. Then a day later got a call that it was out of stock and being discontinued so they wouldn't be getting any more. Well great, so we returned the nails and the foam pieces we had bought to go with that particular roofing and purchased a polyurethane type roof instead. Happy with it, we went with white and it lets a good bit of light in so it worked out good. 

Framing up the roof: 

Cutting the roof down for the width to fit. 

And we're DONE! WOOHOO we have a completely finished coop. Oh wait a few more pieces...

I made the ramp one day and got it attached. 

Also made a swing for them :-)  They have yet to sit on the swing, they like to hop over it or step on it and immediately stepping off. 

We also made a feeder... but since making it I have taken it out. We had it in the run and one evening discovered it was attracting MICE! This is after I found one in the house, closed up two broken windows in the basement, killed three mice in the house, and haven't seen any more since... but I didn't want to have food sitting out all night attracting rodents so we moved all the food inside the coop. Just today I purchased another feeder like our other one and have two of those hanging inside the coop. This one is in the shed, maybe we'll use it if we're ever away for an extended period of time and need the bulk feed option. But it was fun to make and quite effective. 

Cut off the bottom of the opening, making it water proof and the feed is safe from rain. There's an inner tube to help feed the feed down and keep it from spilling out the opening but allowing enough to lay at the bottom for the chickens to eat. 

This is Anna, our rooster... she'll have to go. We still aren't sure on the others. I was thinking we might have 6 hens... but then we attempted to tail feather sex them and it's looking like more might be roosters than we think. Still a little early to tell. They are 6 weeks now at the time I'm writing this. This photo was from 4 weeks I think: 

Kyle bringing them inside. They came back inside until about four weeks, then we kept them out in the coop with a heat lamp at night. The days are very hot here so def warm enough for them to be out of the brooder. 

So cute with their fluff, they no longer have that. I'll get a chicken timeline post up soon. 

This was the last day we took them out to the coop. We got the light set up later that day and we no longer brought them back and forth :-( kinda bittersweet. And so wonderful that EMMA captured a video of it all. You gotta watch it, great commentary, haha! 

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