Grit Blogs > Pasture Deficit Disorder

Building a Coop, Part 1

In my last post, I shared the story of building the little "tractor" coop for Bob, our first chicken (who also happens to be our first rooster).  Well in February, we decided to get Bob's extended family going.  We got twelve baby chicks - six production reds, three plymouth barred rocks and three golden laced wyandottes.  Oh... and three cayuga ducklings!

That next weekend, we embarked on our endeavor to build our permanent chicken coop for all our “little tinys” that were living in brooder boxes (aka large totes) in our extra bedroom.  With twelve chicks in one brooder and three ducklings in another, they were going to get big fast.  In fact, in a few short weeks, the ducks had just plain outgrown their brooder box and were about to start bumping their heads on their “ceiling”.  Plus, they didn’t get to move around very much because there just wasn’t enough room for them to do some little duckling calisthenics.  We were worried about their little legs not getting very strong.  Not to mention that every single thing in the extra bedroom was coated with a thick layer of dust.  Ugh!

We had a three day weekend and were gung-ho to get started.  Oh, but first we had to take two cats and two dogs to the vet for a scheduled appointment.  God bless Dr. Dana for having Saturday appointments.  But there went the morning.  When we got our three-ring circus back home, we borrowed the neighbors’ truck and made a supply run to our brand new local McCoy’s building supplies - always glad to do business locally.

We got home and got everything unloaded and started laying out the foundation blocks (concrete Dek-blocks).  The ground looked relatively level in our chosen spot.  But of course it was not.  And it was just enough off to make us stop and completely rethink our strategy.

So now we’re on day two.  We thought through and tried some other ideas for getting the foundation started.  Anyone who has ever built anything knows that if you don’t get the foundation right, the whole thing is totally jacked up.  And small mistakes usually grow exponentially the further along you get.  After several more stops and starts, nothing was working.  Once we finally figured out the route to go, we had to stop and go get more supplies.  Double Ugh!   We finally got going on the right track and were making some progress when it got dark.

 foundation started
 So, on day three of our three day weekend, we were finally, really rolling.  Not only did we finish the foundation (and it was square and level – Yee Haw!), we also got three walls up.  So we braced that puppy and went to bed that night full of satisfaction.  Imagine what we could have done had we not had two days of false starts.   

 three walls up 

We got home from work the next night and finished the fourth wall.
  four walls
Stay tuned for Part 2...

I know, I know.  You can hardly contain yourself.  But for a couple of kids and a new homestead, this is big stuff!  :D

And by the way, Bob's really finding his voice and doing great in his coop in the back yard!

nebraska dave
3/18/2013 2:52:16 PM

Cheryl, what a great start on your chicken coop. It will be great to see how it all turns out. My big project for right now is garden fence building from free pallets. It's turning out to be a little more work than I had anticipated but that's because I keep coming up with ideas along the way to improve and make it look better. That always thinking of improvements could keep me working on a project for ever so I just have to get to a point where I just declare it finished and move on to the next project. Even having an urban garden homestead as I do, the projects are never ending. Have a great chicken coop finishing day.