Building A Chicken House Part 3

Reader Contribution by Hank Will and Editor-In-Chief
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<p>Freezing temperature not withstanding, I set to work on the <a title=”chicken-house-from-recycled-materials” href=”/blogs/building-a-chicken-house-part-1.aspx?blogid=184″ target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#0000ff”>chicken-house-from-recycled-materials</font>
</a> bright and early last Saturday. It was a beautiful, clear morning, and since the wind was calm, the cold wasn’t difficult to take. Within a couple of hours, the temperature was in the 50s.</p>
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<p>The first order of business was to frame the human-door end of the house. I used more scrap 2×6 material for that. Next, I cut and installed three purlins across the rafters. The purlins were roughly 1×6, although some boards were flitch sawn, so they followed the curves of the tree that provided the lumber. I needed roofing metal in pieces about 5 feet long, so I headed back to the pushed-in shed with a crowbar and brought several long pieces up to the barn to cut. My el-cheapo power sheet-metal shears made the cuts, although the old steel roofing is corrugated so it wasn’t as quick as it might have been. I used six pieces of roofing, and it went on without a hitch.</p>
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<p>With the roof on, my attention turned to the human and chicken doors. Since this was supposed to be a project that used things we had on hand, my first task was to locate sufficient hinges. It took a while, but eventually, I found a box of old garage door hinges in the barn’s loft and picked out five. Next, I cut and hung the doors. I used an old piece of machinery chain to hold the chicken door open and an old homemade steel handle for the human-door latch.</p>
<p>The finishing touches, other than painting, included cutting and installing 1×4 and 1×3 material for the corner trim and knocking together a perch inside the house. I also cut 4-inch diameter hand holes for outside access to the nesting boxes. I haven’t created the “doors” for those yet, but I will soon.</p>
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<p>Since the Kubota loader tractor is even more buried this week than last week, I decided to try something unconventional to move the chicken house to the chicken yard. I know the folks at <a title=”Polar Trailer” href=”http://www.polartrailer.com/” target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#0000ff”>Polar Trailer</font>
</a>  won’t recommend using their heavy-duty tandem trailers as jacks and house-moving dollies, but I can tell you that the trailer performed flawlessly as the primary tool for moving this 700-pound house.</p>
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<p>Within minutes of setting the new chicken house, the hens were curious. Within an hour they had begun to claim it. During chores this morning, I heard a hen laying an egg in it. I can’t wait to paint both the chicken house and Mulefoot pig house … green with red roofs and white trim. Hopefully I’ll have at least one additional warm day to get that done this season.</p>
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<p>Photos courtesy of Kate Will.</p>
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<a href=”http://www.grit.com/biographies/oscar-h-will” target=_self>Hank Will</a>
<em> raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper’s Farmer magazines. Connect with him on </em>
<a title=Google+ href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/117459637128204205101/posts” target=_blank rel=author>Google+</a>.</p>

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