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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ramblings on planning for and the building of a chicken coop...

The chicken coop what it will look like

I have been 'teasing' everyone for a couple of weeks about building a chicken coop. For once in long time, it was not raining this Saturday so I was able to break ground and finally get this project started. This has been something I have been wanting to do for over 2 years now, and by golly it is gonna be done before June I hope!

The picture above is what it will look like when I get finished with everything...

Before I get into the actual construction of the foundation I would like to talk about placement of the chicken coop.

Prevailing Winds in relation to house and chicken coop

The picture above shows my site planning. It is very important to plan where you will keep your chickens at so they will not be a bother after you worked so hard to build a home for them. You don't want to hear that rooster right outside your bedroom window as you are sleeping in on your off day. You also don't want the prevailing winds in the Summer blowing right into your outdoor entertainment area and bringing with it the 'scent of a chicken'... and I am not talking about BBQ chicken on a grill either!

I have studied the prevailing winds for my area for several years so when I got my coop, I would know where to place it. It is also close enough I can keep an eye on it if I need to.

The foundation posts of the chicken coop

Basically the building is designed to sit on a slab foundation, but it can also be setup on treated wood runners directly on the ground. I didn't want to go with either of those 2 option so I made up a third... Build a slightly elevated platform to get it off of the ground.

First of all I AM NOT A CARPENTER... I repeat... I AM NOT A CARPENTER!!! Sure I have fiddled with wood before, even built a few things, set a few posts in concrete (never when they had to line up though), but never anything like this so far...

I am a perfectionist as well as someone who can build ANYTHING strong from a engineering perspective... but not always the cheapest or most efficient way... So if any of you carpeneters out there read this and laugh... I never claimed to be an expert, but hopefully I will gain some experience with this project...

The base post of the foundation installed

Looking at the pictures of my foundation, you are probably thinking, "wow that son of a gun is gonna be HIGH!!!". Actually the 4"x6" on the front posts is gonna be where the building will sit... not the boards on top of the posts... they were left there after some of my crazy plumbing and squaring techniques! The posts will be cut off much shorter but will have a little stub sticking up to tie into the building's floor.

I had a real hard time drilling the posts for the 5/8 bolts because all I had was partially charged batteries. As I would get close to getting done, I would have to wait until the other battery charged. Sad thing is that I got a serious set of Dewalt cordless tools with batteries... It was just I did not expect my project to progress as well as it did today so I had not charged them up!

I still have a bunch more work on the foundation part as I want to add another set of posts in the middle with a 4"x6" beam to give the building a strong support! Like I said, it may not be the easiest way, but it will be the strongest!!!

So hopefully that has wet your whistle this week and let you know that ZA finally has got the ball rolling on the coop!

Thanks for reading!


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