My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Busy Busy Building!

Blue Silkie rooster
If you had told me a year ago that I would be building doll house coops for foo foo chickens I would probably have laughed in your face. However, things change and I am learning, never say never!

I have now been given 5 silkies, bought one and won some in a raffle at a poultry show. I had decided that since Silkies have a great reputation as broodies and very good mammas that it would be nice to have some as baby sitters for my other chicks. 

So now of course they must have housing. Some are living out in bigger coops because they came with a group of foster birds that were later given to me and they were used to it. The others were much smaller and younger when I brought them home so they are sharing the baby coop but it's getting crowded in there.

One Silkie is broody and since I have eggs in the incubator I decided to build her a little coop so I can give her the chicks to take care of when they hatch.

I have also decided that I wanted to make these small coops cute & fun. Something that would make me smile whenever I go by them. Since they will be in the side yard right  near the front gate, that will be several times a day. So I have been designing in my head, and poring over tons of pictures of cute little chicken coops on the internet. Last weekend I got busy.

coop floor and framing boards

I happened to have picked up a pallet that was 40x48" with a piece of heavy plywood already nailed to it. That would become the floor. It looked a little greasy so I checked the paint cabinet and found part of a can of Kilz, getting a bit dried out, but a lot of stirring and a touch of water got it to a brushable consistency. So I put on two coats and while they were drying I found and cut some boards to make legs and a frame work.

Mr. Abominable Snowman

That was about all I had time for the first day.  The next day I managed to attach the legs and frame work and cover the back wall with boards on the bottom half.

The coop will be a double decker, the top enclosed to be safe from predators and to be warm at night, with the bottom enclosed with wire so they can have sunshine and fresh air during the day and still be safe.

A lot of details are still fuzzy because there are no plans except the picture in my head and that changes with each new idea as well as each new piece of found material that I can recycle. I did however decide to work out a gable roof because I wanted to practice making the angles. I haven't done that in almost 30 years and have forgotten nearly everything I knew about doing it.

The framework as of Friday evening
I've been slathering on the Kilz as I go, to help protect the wood from the weather. All of this wood is from pallets and is rough and raw. I figured it needs all the help it can get. So here are a couple of the boys checking it out before I got started on it this evening. I got a little bit more done before dark, but no picture. I'll take a picture in the morning before I get started.

It is not quit square or plumb. However it is, after all, just a chicken house and they won't care, as long as it isn't drafty in their sleeping quarters and has enough fresh air and light, they will be quite happy.

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