Adventures with Chickens, S1 E2: “Begin the Build”

The adventure continues apace. In spite of the +90 degree heat here in Wisconsin, Hubby and I (mostly Hubby) have begun building the coop, as the girls are growing quite rapidly.

The first task involved gathering materials for the coop endeavor. Hubby found a bunch of tongue and groove barn siding stored in the rafters of a shed on the property. Since Hubby is 6’0 tall, he got the super-fun job of pulling it (and its load of dessicated raccoon turds) out of the rafters. I piled it up and carried it over to the shop, and we commenced the cleaning.

Washing the dried raccoon turds off the barn siding. I get the fun part.

It is beautiful wood–old-growth redwood sheathing, in fact.

Old-growth redwood siding after it’s been scrubbed down–the figuring is gorgeous.

Hubby will run it through the planer to bring out the grain, and we’ll put a  clear sealer on it–Sikkens or something similar.

Then began the fun part–leveling the area for the coop. I have a bad back (really!) and even the little bit I was able to help set me off. I’m a better photographer than digger anyway:

The foreman is making sure we’ve got it right…

Good work, X-man!

I am lucky to be married to a woodworker. Hubby’s shop has just about everything we need (except for the 2×4’s we’ll need for the frame–that required a trip to Menard’s).

K and X are very involved in the process:

Hubby doing the framing; foremen approve.

It’s taking shape:

Getting there!

Since we live next to a marsh (complete with its own set of nesting Sandhill cranes), it’s reasonably safe to assume that we will also have critters who would like to kill and eat our chickens; prime suspects include weasels and raccoons. There is also a groundhog we’ve relocated once before–his/her presence is indicated by the fact that our strawberry patch has big flattened paths and no strawberries.

So we have to try to outsmart the critters:

Predator-proofing (we hope!) with buried chicken-wire around the perimeter.

Then comes the rest of the framing, and filling the coop floor with paver sand, which will also function as grit and dust-bath material once it’s dry:

Framing nearly complete–next comes the stain and the 1/2″-gauge chicken wire

Cutting wire is not really hard, unless your hands are like mine: weak from years of non-farm labor (like typing and writing).

The sound of the wire cutters: *twik* *twik* *twik* about a bajillion times for two 82″ sections. Hubby did the 76″ sections because I had to go teach my summer school class.

Those are Kevlar sleeve guards, because Hubby was under the impression that I’d end up stabbing myself with the chicken wire. (He’s right.)

Stain’s on, wire’s on. Next up: hen house floor and nesting boxes.

The-Company-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named will deliver the Galvalum (galvanized aluminum) metal roofing material at some point in the next couple of weeks. We ordered from Hubby’s former employer because he’s familiar with the products and we’re assured of the quality of the materials.

Looking forward to a break in the heat (starting today, in fact). Next post will have more of the girls and their growth.

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