Aug 21, 2013

Three Girls and a New Coop: Phase 2

In hind sight, I'm glad the first coop I built was small because it means the mistakes I made were also smallish. Lets just say I've learned a lot about raising chickens in the last year and continue to learn more all the time!

This time I'm building a walk-in coop that is better insulated and has a large covered outdoor space. Originally, I hoped to make the new coop 80 square feet (coop and covered area combined), but 10-foot lumber proved too expensive so instead the coop will be 64 square feet, using standard size 8-foot lumber.

I love A-frame buildings! Although they are not necessarily an efficient use of space, they are CUTE and that counts for something, right? They are also very easy to build, as you'll see in the following photos.

Two-by-two lumber was used to frame the coop, in order to keep the weight of the building to a minimum. This was important since the coop had to be moved from the place it was being built (the deck) to its final location (the yard). The majority of the frame was made from three equal size triangles. Easy enough...
The angle of all three corners was 60 degrees, which helped to keep the build simple. However, my miter saw didn't have a 60 degree angle option. After researching online I tried the following trick and it actually worked:

To make a 60 degree cut, the miter saw was set to 30 degrees and the wood held perpendicular to the saw.
I'm a one-woman-show on this project, so bracing the three triangles together was tricky. I used the house, some deck chairs and cinder blocks to prop everything up and before long the frame came together.
Next came a couple of plywood panels, which really helped stabilize the structure.
I waited to attach the upper plywood panels until the wood for the doors and walls was cut and installed. Throughout this project Bella believed I was building her the best dog house on the block:

Two door frames and cedar paneling for the interior wall came next. 

Cedar fence boards worked well as inner wall paneling. They were about $2 each, which made them less expensive than using plywood.

Hardware cloth was used to line the front of the coop.

Bella sleeping on the job. Again.
Plywood sheets enclose the back of the coop.

With the addition of the front door the coop was finally enclosed and ready for chickens (although far from done).

My neighbor and her friends helped me move the coop to its new spot in the yard, next to the crab apple tree and raised garden beds.
Although it looks overcast in this picture, it was actually midnight at the end of a very sunny day! People often ask about the daylight in Alaska. This picture is a good example of what it's like in summer, not quite light out and not quite dark out, in the middle of the night. You can see the aforementioned temporary chicken shanty  in the background.
Stay tuned for the next phase of the build: insulation, inner door, roofing, lighting, and all the other things I haven't thought of yet! 
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This post is featured on: Tilly's Nest.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, just wow. Well done Mo. Can't wait to see it finished.