Chook-shed progress

Y’know how they say ‘measure twice, cut once’ well we now say ‘measure more than three times, AND get someone who isn’t hung-over to check your workings, before concreting once’ – because a concreted-in post is hard to move, and if you don't get it right you don't have much wiggle room. 

The high vis gear was just for show.
Despite small challenges such as these Michael and I worked hard and over two (part)days, we got the chicken coop floor installed on our steeply sloping, poorly terraced site. The shed itself is a kids kit cubby house that we are re-purposing. I then spent Sunday painting the trim and giving the inside a coat of this rather unpleasant cack yellow that I got very cheap at Bunnings. It’s just to protect the cheap pine from chickens, not for looks. The outside is a storm grey with white trim, and a green colourbond roof.
Installed floor, from above. The hole is chicken-access to what will be the secure run underneath.

The next steps are to cut pop doors for the chickens and egg collection in the walls of the cubby. There will be two chook doors and a person door – the two chook doors will be on different sides, so we have the option of making movable day runs, using chicken wire and star pickets. This should allow us more flexibility to do things like to rest the run area, maybe grow hen-fodder or even attach a broody box if we ever get that far (shhhh! don't tell my husband of my expansionist plans!). The person door will now need steps or a ladder - we ended up raising the hen house higher than planned.

After the pop-holes have been made we will touch up the paintwork then install the walls and roof. We are going to use weldmesh to screen the bottom part so that the chooks will have a fox proof area underneath the coop itself, for dust-baths as well as food and water. We are planning on raising the roof , gable and all,10cm or so, and putting mesh around the gap for ventilation. I can't really imagine a chook getting too cold in a Sydney winter, but I remember cubbies being pretty stuffy when I was a kid, and apparently stuffy is BAD for chooks. There is also a window that we will cover with weldmesh, a hole in the floor for the chickens to go downstairs and the plan is to cut a hole in the person-door to allow for ventilation. If we work out that it's not enough we will add more vents.
Installed floor, showing the sloping site.

The logistics of putting it all together will be more daunting than I expected too - I was thinking I could do it myself, with a bit of help from the lovely husband, but since it's all a bit higher than planned it's going to be more difficult.

I think I might end up having that barn raising that I've been joking about after all!

1 comment:

thetimbo2000 said...

Looking very good, I especially appreciate the hi-vis vests!

From my discussions with poultry growers over the years, stuffy and hot is not just bad, but can be seriously fatal. This is probably only a real issue for a few weeks a year in Sydney, but it can only take a day from having a lovely brood to having a whole lot of chicken stock!

Here in SG, and in other parts of SEA, poultry shed will often have some basic form of air-conditioning. I met a local guy the other night that is raising European breeds of table chook in Malaysia, then driving them over in climate controlled trucks to be processed here.

Hopefully taking a tour of his farm in a few weeks.