Be It Ever So Humble There is No Coop Like Home

Awhile ago, I told you about us acquiring five chickens and, later, Connie told you about losing three to the not so loving play of Meeko. That left two. At the time we were keeping the little critters, first five and then two, in a small chicken wire cage. Meeko’s antics showed us how really unsecure that was.

So I determined to move ahead with my chicken coop idea as soon as possible, which would be my next day off. We kept a better eye on the little chickens that day and, of course, put them and their cage inside the garage at night. The next morning, I came out to move them and found a very large pile of dog waste (Connie will be so proud I did not say #@$%) right where the chicken’s little cage normally sits.

So coop building priority went up another notch. As God would have it, I was not due into work until three PM the next few days. So, because of a sudden reduction in the chicken population. and a sudden real need to get something up RIGHT NOW, the plans were changed. Instead of a 10’ X 10’ enclosure with a 4’ X 8’ coop, it would start with a 4’ X 4’ enclosure and a 2’ X 4’ coop on stilts that could be converted to a laying box in time. After all I was just building for two chickens.

Oh yes, also as God would have it, we ended up with one of each: rooster and a hen that Katherine has turned into pets. The line dancing lessons will have to wait until we get more chickens.

The rest of the story can best be told in pictures, but you need to understand my building style. I meticulously plan everything first, I carefully make a list of materials and measure off the area trying to lay out things in the most efficient manner. Once that is completed, I go to the store, buy what suits my fancy and build something that looks nothing like the original design. Oddly enough, it works more times than not.

If you have the opportunity to use something that has been standing for, oh, fifty years or so don't turn it down.  Because we could see it from the house and because it fits into my larger plans I decided to build this onto the back of a freestanding garage.  My helper there is Katherine. I

If you have the opportunity to use something that has been standing for, oh, fifty years or so don’t turn it down.
Because we could see it from the house and because it fits into my larger plans I decided to build this onto the back of a freestanding garage.
My helper there is Katherine.

Post require holes. A four foot high post needs at least 2 feet in the ground.  There are roots in the ground, and rocks, and more roots and things that I would hesitate to name. But if you are stuborn enough you can dig the hole.  Katherine developed other business.

Post require holes. A four foot high post needs at least 2 feet in the ground.
There are roots in the ground, and rocks, and more roots and things that I would hesitate to name. But if you are stubborn enough you can dig the hole.
Katherine developed other business.

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On the off chance you have not seen a two foot deep hole in the ground half full of muddy water to make the digging a tad easier or a dirty boot.

Poles in awaiting the box.

Poles in awaiting the box.

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Katherine rendering invaluable assistance while I saw. No, I am serious, I need that plywood to sit still.

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Making progress.

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At some future date I intend for this to be a nesting or laying box for three hens. It has a hinged roof so I can reach in and a door there in the front for the chicks to enter or leave. Right now it will house to baby chickens.

Connie holding down the post while I play Paul Bunyan.

Connie holding down the post while I play Paul Bunyan.

This is the next morning and I am putting the finishing touches on the wire. At least for this phase.

This is the next morning and I am putting the finishing touches on the wire. At least for this phase.

The project is still not complete, I am in the process of expanding the chicken yard to a 12 X 6 foot enclosure and adding some form of ground level coop for them. I have an unused dog crate I could use at least temporarily.

But I just locked the two little survivors (they are not so little anymore) in their house and I can sleep knowing they are safe for the evening.

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