So it is done. After many weeks of framing, and several days of erecting, the coop. for all intents and purposes, is done. I couldn't be more relieved, as I start my new job tomorrow. Talk about your deadlines.
Here are the pictures I know you've all been waiting for:
Here's me, tamping down wire that runs under the coop and run. We later filled it in with dirt. Yes, dirt. I don't have anything as nice as soil. Well, maybe in the raised beds, but I digress.
Me again, raising the run.
The next trick was to get the west side of coop up, and then the south side. That big hole sports a window, which I may have to shade somehow later in the summer. But I'll cross that bridge when I get to it, because I currently have no ideas.
Now the east and north sides of the coop are up. That's me again in the opening for the nest box, to be constructed later. I have until September to get it done, which means I start tomorrow. Just kidding. I have to work tomorrow. I'll start it Saturday.
I built roof trusses, using my own rather unorthodox methodology, but I'm not concerned that it's not constructed like a normal roof because it doesn't have to hold as much weight as a regular roof. I merely have to be concerned with it flying off in a good gale. Hopefully I have it screwed down well enough.
Here's Steve, getting the roofing panels on. That boy performed yeoman service during the whole ordeal. I could not have done it without his help. He's doing the roof because I don't do ladders, generally speaking.
We managed to finish the coop well enough to be able to house the girls in it last night. They had a day camp on Friday when I rather optimistically anticipated being done with the coop then. We didn't finish until Sunday, and even then, the sun had already gone down around nine-thirty and I was screwing the hinges onto the west end doors in the half light. I didn't get my dinner and glass of wine until six minutes to ten last night. But I got my chickens out of my house!
Here's Violet on the ramp. She may be a shrinking violet, but she took to that ramp pretty quickly. Probably because she remembered there was breakfast in the coop. The ramp is steep, and while they can handle steep, they can't do slippery, which it is also, so I need to figure out how to rough it up. I think I'm going to go look for stair tread tape. Too bad I threw out all the asphalt shingles that were hanging out by the side of the house (thank you, previous owner). But back to Violet: isn't she a pretty girl?
This is the finished (relatively) coop and run. The nest box hole has a temporary cover on it. I still need to add some trim and paint it, but other than that, it's done. Oh, and one of the east end doors is sticking, so I have to fix that too. But it's done.
Here's the south side, with its big picture window that will be a boon on cold, sunny winter days, but may be a bit of a problem on hot, sunny summer days. We'll just have to see. You can also see the east end doors, which is where I would clean out the coop. I coated the bottom and lower eight or so inches of the coop in vinyl sheet goods, which should protect the floor and make cleaning easier.
The west end of the run, with the people door. If you look closely, you can see Violet in the pop hole. She slowly and carefully made her way up the ramp to go have some breakfast in the coop. I really need to fix that ramp today. I also put it on hinges, but Steve thinks it needs to be permanently affixed to the coop and left down all the time, so I'll work on that, too.
Happy chickens, checking out their new digs. They have forty square feet of run space, which should be enough for three chickens. Maybe next year, they'll get two more sisters, but I'm not brooding them inside the house again. I'm hanging on to the quarter inch ply I have left over from the dining nook, and I'll probably build a hover brooder out of it for under the coop. But that's next year, and I still have to think about it.
The pun I promised? Well, this coop was built to be a fortress against the raccoons we have in the neighborhood. We also have coyotes and various raptors, including bald eagles, but I'm less concerned with them. No, it's the raccoons I worry about. They are the Orcs of the natural world.
That's why I built my girls Hensdeep.