Chicken coop: pop door awning

A little addition to the chicken coop today: a wooden awning over the pop door (the chicken door into the run).

In due course it’ll have painted trim and shingles on the roof.

Here’s the side design:

Construction underway:

Completed (for now):

Underneath (the door is still covered, but outlined):

Beecoming beekeepers

Time for another phase of our homestead: we are now beeks — beekeepers.

This morning we picked up two nucs (nucleus hives) at the “local” bee supply store in Wilsonville (about an hour away, but pretty much everything is from our place):

The nucs are four-frame ones, half the size of our hive boxes, giving them each four empty frames to expand into before we need to add another box:

Here’s Jenn examining one of the frames. One or two bees there, all happily doing their thing:

After removing the four frames, there were a bunch of bees left in the bottom of the box:

So they got dumped in too:

Jenn in her bee suit (and you can see the new chicken coop in the background, which will give you an idea of where the hives are located):

Bunches of bees:

A frame from the second nuc:

Both hives populated, with sugar water feeders (plus pollen patties inside):

Settle in, girls! I hope you like your new homes.

Building a beehive stand

The little project for this morning was to build a stand for our beehives. I built it using recycled wood we inherited with the house, with the design inspired by ones I saw online.  The legs will sit on top of concrete blocks, for a firm foundation.

We currently have two beehives, but there’s room for three or four without getting too crowded, if we want to get more later.

We haven’t finalized where we’ll locate the hives… but we’ll be getting our bees on Friday, so we’ll decide soon!

Chicken coop: wall wrap

I didn’t have time yesterday after sheathing the walls, though I did add the canopy over the roof. So this morning I added the Tyvek wrap to waterproof the walls.

Certainly not as tidy as a professional builder would do, but that’s consistent with the rest of the construction. The wrap covers all of the windows and doors at present (with loose vertical sheets temporarily over the front window and door, to keep the rain out). Later, I’ll cut holes where needed.

The inside view:

Chicken coop: sheathing walls

The coop is starting to look a bit more real now: today I added the OSB sheets to the walls.

The forecast for today was for sun, with the next week rather rainy, so I started rather early, to make the most of the sunny day:

Sheathing underway:

These quick-grip clamps were invaluable in holding things in place:



Tomorrow I’ll add the Tyvek wrap before the rain starts, to protect the walls.

Beehives assembled

As previously mentioned, we’ll be getting into beekeeping soon, as the next homestead adventure. About a week from today, in fact! Eeek.

Yep, next Friday we’ll be picking up two “nucs”, or nucleus hives: a few frames of established hives, each with a queen, all ready to go.

So we’ve got two sets of hive boxes etc that we’re preparing to house them. They are all assembled, and waiting to be stained & painted (one each), which Jenn will do this weekend.

Chicken coop: sub-fascia & barge rafters

After finishing assembling the beehives (I should take photos of that), yesterday I worked on the sub-fascia and barge rafters for the chicken coop.

Here’s the sub-fascia, the boards connecting the bases of the roof rafters. They have a bevel cut to match the roof slope, and stick out beyond the side walls for the barge rafters:

Next up was constructing the aforementioned barge rafters, aka roof ladder, which are the bits of the roof that stick out on the ends:

Here they are installed (this morning):

Chicken coop: mounting rafters

As planned, today I mounted the rafters, that were previously constructed.

Firstly I needed to cut a smidge more off the birdmouth notches, to leave enough room for the OSB sheets:

Then I mounted the rafters on the coop:

Here’s a close-up showing the hurricane ties that help reinforce the attachment:

I didn’t have time to add the barge rafters (that extend beyond the walls) and sub-fascias (that connect the ends of the rafters); a project for another day.

Chicken coop: left & center wall framing

Nice weather this weekend, so I’m taking advantage of it to continue work on the new chicken coop.

First up is the east wall, on the left of the coop. This is much the same as the west wall, except it has a “poop door” at the bottom. This will be a hatch to make it easy to remove trays that catch the chicken poop that accumulates under the roosts where they sleep at night, making it easier to clean.

Here’s the design drawing:

And construction underway:


Next up is the center wall, which will divide the chicken’s part of the coop from the storage area.

The drawing for the center wall:

Finally, I added the double top plates to the walls. This adds extra rigidity to the structure. Here’s a view from atop the ladder:

And the whole coop, showing all five walls:

Lastly, a picture Jenn caught of me:

Tomorrow I’ll mount the roof rafters, and perhaps do the sub-fascia.

Chicken coop: right wall framing

Another day, another wall. Today I built & raised the west wall, i.e. on the right of the coop looking from the front.

Here’s the design sketch:

And the result (a little obscured by the canopy remains; sorry about that):

The double top plates and rafters will go on top of this, of course, as depicted in the sketch.

That’s it till the weekend, when I’ll do the left (east) and center walls, and may have time to install the rafters.