Chicken run: starting fencing

We’re having record heat this week, with highs over 100°F (38°C)… what better time to work outside on the new chicken run?!

My latest toy is very useful to dig the 2′ deep fence post holes — an earth auger:

Digging the holes:

Posts temporarily placed in the holes:

Starting to install them properly:

The east fence frame, with space for a large double gate on the left, big enough to drive through:

The north fence frame:

Reverse angle; the poles leaning inside the run will go into holes in the center, supporting beams and a bird netting cover:

To be continued….

Chicken coop: feeder take two

My first attempt at a custom chicken feeder didn’t work so well — the feed tended to not make it far enough past the 90° elbow to reach the holes where the chicks eat.

So I modified it to use a 45° connector instead (which Jenn kindly picked up on the way home from work). I didn’t want it quite that steep, so I joined the parts with some duct tape:

The new angle works much better; the food freely flows down to fill the tube, but doesn’t overflow:

Having four hole heights means chickens of all sizes can reach the food without a platform, too.

Hopefully this will work reliably; time will tell.

Chicken coop: window boxes & hardware

Yesterday Jenn planted the chicken coop’s window boxes, with oregano, catnip, and spearmint — plants that help to deter pests from the coop:

Meanwhile I added second pulleys and ropes to the windows, to hold them open more securely, and replaced hook-and-eye latches with slide bolts:

I also added bolts on the vent doors, and added weather stripping:

Oh, and I recently replaced the temporary latch on the center door with a proper latch, and a bolt to join the two parts of the door. A cord goes through a hole in the frame so the latch can be opened from inside the coop:

Chicken coop: feeder & waterer

One project for the chicken coop that I deferred until after they had moved in was a custom feeder and waterer for them.

I made them out of 2″ PVC piping, and other bits.  Firstly I drilled and filed holes in one piece of pipe, for the feeder:

I then assembled other pipe bits for both:

Here’s the waterer, in two pieces (so it could be inserted through the center wall hardware cloth). It uses drinker cups that dispense water when the chickens nudge the yellow tab:

Building a stand for both dispeners:

Both installed. The height is set for adult chickens, so I added a temporary platform so the chicks would be able to reach them:

Closeup of the feeder; I hope it works properly — I have a concern that the feed might not make it down the tube all that well, but we’ll see:

The waterer cups:

The feed and water bottles (only partially filled for now, just in case):

Chicken coop: center door, roosts, light

The new chicken coop is almost complete!

There are a few things to finish off: some latches and such for the windows and doors, the custom waterer & feeder, the pop door controller, and the nesting boxes. But those can wait; it is now finished enough for the chicks to move in, at last. Probably tomorrow.

By popular request (i.e. Jenn said she preferred it), I’m going to go back to captions above the photos in the blog. Sorry for any confusion.

Here’s the center door under construction: hardware cloth sandwiched between two 1×4 boards:


And finished:


The center doors installed. It’s a split door, so I could have the bottom half closed and the top open, if desired. The two halves will have a slide bolt tying them together:


View of the door from the coop side:


Finishing the hardware cloth on the wall, plus a temporary barrier below. The nesting boxes will go there, so will have a solid wall where the temporary one is (they won’t need nesting boxes for a few months, so no need to add them yet):


Roosting bars installed, and a temporary poop tray below. I’ll later build a frame with fencing wire on top to keep the chickens off the poop tray:


A closer look at one end of the roost bars. They are removable for cleaning:


A temporary latch for the center door, until I get a chance to go to Home Depot for a nicer one:


Electrical cord and timer for the light:


Why settle for a boring light when the chickies can have a chandelier?! A multi-color one in keeping with the Caribbean-inspired paint colors of the exterior:

Chicken coop: vents & windows

Over the last couple of days, when not doing paid work, I mounted the vent doors, added pulleys for the windows, installed door & window stops, and added hardware cloth on the windows and part of the center wall.


Vent doors on the south side.

I’ve currently added a hook & eye to hold one of the vents open (or closed) as an experiment. But once again, I’ve decided to use a slide bolt instead. The hook & eye just doesn’t feel as secure. So this will change.

Added a pulley & rope to open (and hold open) the window. It doesn’t feel as secure with only one, and the window can twist a bit, so I plan to add a second pulley & rope.

Rope cleat.

Pulley.

Open. A nice thing about using a rope is that I can open the window to whatever angle is desired. 

Some deer wandering past while I work.

Added door & window stops.

The pop door controller window on the left (the controller will be mounted on that green backing, which is a door), and one of the vents with a hardware cloth screen.

Hardware cloth on the north window.

Hardware cloth on part of the center wall.

The view out the north window.