Monday, July 29, 2013

The Evolution Of A Tiny Chicken Coop

The baby chicks had been ordered for a long time and were scheduled for delivery in mid-summer. I had lots of time to prepare a chicken coop, but I also know how time gets away from me and all of a sudden things undone become a crisis. So one day I took the dogs out into the barn to scout out a place for chickens. I liked this old box stall and its two windows. Not too big, but these will, after all, be only a few bantams:

I checked around inside the stall and declared it the best spot for chickens. The dogs liked it also, although Seamus and Fergus were wary. They used to get locked into the bigger, adjoining space when I had to go somewhere:

I removed the two windows to repair them because they were rotting away:

Then I found two doors in the barn and hauled them in. The one on the right became a wall and the one on the left got to continue its life as a door. I framed around them:

Then I paneled the inside walls with thin, hardwood plywood. It looked deluxe but was actually chosen because it was thin (easy to work with) and cheap:

The old panels on the walls looked to me suspiciously like cement/asbestos board so I wore dust masks whenever I worked inside there. Better safe than sorry, and this old barn was unbelievably dusty anyway:

The windows I removed were beyond repair and wouldn't open and close anyway. So I purchased two Anderson double-hung windows, the only two windows in the entire county which fit that opening. I shimmed them and nailed everything in place. Then I caulked everything to make it at least "sort of" airtight, though heaven knows the rest of the space is not:

Yes, they'd look pretty good once everything was painted:

Then I cut a hole in the side of the barn for the chickens to use to access the great outdoors. I'll still have to make some canopy to protect them from falling roof snow:

I hung a light inside and began painting everything white. When I ran out of paint, I declared it "Good Enough For Chickens:"

I built a four-bar roost in the right hand corner over by the windows:

And transformed an old, old, old, cabinet I'd found in the barn into next boxes. All was pretty much ready although the chicks wouldn't be arriving for some weeks yet. And they'd stay in the house in a homemade brooder for a few weeks even after they arrived. But stay tuned, the rest of the story will come later:

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