The progress was slow, but we finished the super coop just in time for a huge snow storm to blow in. And I do mean just in time. As we were finishing making the coop secure and warm, the sun set, and the clouds rolled in.
The frame was up and ready for walls and roofing the day before Thanksgiving. Windows were in, and the front door on. Then we had some weather challenges so the next step had to wait. Next Tim put up the plywood for the roof and papered it. He put the siding on, and was ready for shingles and more weather came in.
Then we had enough of a break that the shingles went on and ventilation was attached. Then it was time to work on the inside.
As the shed was a dual purpose building, we divided it in half, with the front half being storage and the back half being a chicken coop except for the rafters which would also be storage. We kept the eaves open for ventilation.
The divider is 2x3 boards creating a frame for the door and either a wall or just chicken wire on either side. We picked up an old storm door at Restore that has two windows that slide open with screening for more ventilation in the summer months. We covered the open areas with tarp for now, as the storm was threatening to be bitter cold and our girls were used to a much smaller space to keep warm in. We figured the tarp would help hold some of their body heat in. Once the storms let up, and we get a break we can finish making the permanent walls.
We attached one roosting bar for now, using an 8 foot 2x4. We have plans for a more permanent arrangement, but, this would do for now. We also attached a bar on either end to offer more space for the girls.
Since our turkey hen, Kris, would be sharing the coop with the girls, we brought her favorite chair from the patio into the coop. She has always shared a small playhouse with our tom turkey, Hank, but, as we butchered him for Thanksgiving, she has been alone all night every night, and I know she is lonely. I wasn't at all sure if she would accept sharing the roost with the chickens, so, I put a roost on the chair to help her make the transition and give her a spot all her own. She claimed it pretty quickly.
The floor was covered with two bags of pine shavings, and the nesting boxes were put on the floor, two on either side of the coop. We use 5 gallon buckets with nesting box attachments I ordered online that work a treat. We cut the coop door the next day, and I added two more bags of pine shavings. It's still not as deep as I want it, so, probably two more bags will do it. The door has been just a gaping opening the past week, but, today Tim is attaching the door.
We attached the run temporarily to the back of the coop because we knew how much snow was coming and we wanted the girls to have a dry, snow free place to go in the morning. Luckily we did, because it snowed all night and the next day. In the morning I shoveled a path for the girls to get around in, but, they really don't like this snow stuff and would much prefer we move to Florida if it weren't for all the alligators.
Anyway, we still have lots to do. The roosts, the droppings boards, a shelf and cover for the nest boxes and of course curtains on the boxes. We need to finish the interior wall, and then make the run twice as big. Then, I think maybe, we will be done.
I'm a mother of eleven children, wife of 32 years, Latter Day Saint, and 911 Dispatcher and a budding homesteader. Come along with me as I journey toward self sufficiency, one baby step at a time.
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