A-FRAME COOP/RUN WEEK 8

This weekends project was to get the nest box in place and also come up with something to cover the gap at the top of the roof to keep out the rain. I needed something I could put together and then put up over the top of the roof so it would need to be something I could get up there as well as something that would work.

So this weeks shopping list were supports for the nest box and fence pickets. Fence pickets are treated lumber, not too heavy and you can get them in eight foot lengths for not much money. I decided they would be perfect for keeping the rain out of the coop.

This weeks materials list

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Last weekend we got the nest box painted. I chose to use the darker color over the entire box except for the back that will face outward. For that I chose the red color I am using. I got three gallons of three different colored paints to do my coop. I only included one in the pricing as that is all that would probably be needed for this coop. If you use treated lumber you could let it weather and age and not have that expense at all. But I have my other coop I wanted to paint and this should give me enough to paint it as well. With the box already painted we could get right into getting the box in place.

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My plan was for the box to rest on a 2 x 4 running across the back of the coop and anchored into the angles legs. But I found the board was not wide enough to touch both legs and go under the box. So I attached the 2 x 4 to the 4 x 4 supports I had under the coop.

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The box needed more supportnthan the single board provided and so I added a 2 x 4 to the other side of the 4 x 4 as well. The nest box rested easily on the two boards and allowed me to move the box forward and backward until I got it where I wanted it. I stood next to the coop with the door open and found a place where I would not be bumping into the box. I also made sure it would be evenly out on both sides.

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I actually ended up anchoring the nest box into place this weekend by putting screws in the bottom of the box and into the 2 x 4 supports under it. But then I had to undo everything and slide the box out and add the hasps.. so I added it to this weekends shopping list and they should be added before putting the box in place. That way you can make sure you have enough room to open and close the hasp.

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Because of the way the door drops down the hasp has to go up and then over the top of the box. There is enough space under the floor board the hasp can lift up and over allowing the box to open. I thought of many idfferent ways to secure the box as well as hinge the door and ended up with this. I am hoping I do not have any issues with water getting into the nest box .

Because of the width of the box I have a hasp at each end. Not sure if I will end up with any warping, so I am using the hasps to keep the door snugged up against the box to prevent it. I currently have these clip hooks on the hasps but I will eventally replace one of them with something that locks with a key. I hate raccoons. They are known to be quite clever and able to open many different types of locks. Having one a lock needing a key will keep them as well as any other egg thieves out of my nest boxes.

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We got the box in place and I need to get the paint brush out and finish painting those horizontal boards. I hit that patch of crabgrass with some Roundup and when it is dead it will be a bit easier to get that bottom board painted.

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I then cut the third 2 x 4 so it ran from the ground up along side the nest box and up under the horizontal floor support on both sides. It goes behind the board on the ground but over the top of the nest box supports. I ran screws onto where these boards intercept to anchor it into place. Then we added some chicken wire to these areas. The wire is run from and attached to the nest box and that verticle board and is run to the angled side board.

Since the chicken wire is not real tough, to protect from predators, I am using some of the fence boards to make the area more secure. I took one of the eight foot boards and was able to get both of the boards I added to the bottom. I cut them to match the angle of the coop and made them end in the center of the verticle 2 x 4’s I just added. I will cut another board to fit there in the middle between them.

I lucked out and will have enough room to add another fence board above these and yet under the nest box. This will make the bottom foot of this end solid wood and there will be no wire under the nest box. Since I have the chicken wire on the sides of the coop instead of the field fence, I will be using the fence boards to add some additional security to this area as well. We will get to that on another weekend.

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It was now time to do something to cover the top of the roof. I came up with the ideal of two fence boards joined at a ninety degree angle that would sit over the top. Not sure how sturdy just the two boards would be, I picked up a 1 inch square piece of lumber that is eight foot long to screw the boards into.

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Once assembled it was an easy matter to get it on the roof using my step stool. I still need to get it painted.. but it is easy enough to get down and back up so will do that once the coop is done.

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From the inside you can see it covers the open gap yet still allows a lot of air flow. The new top was put to the test when we ended up getting a good rain. It looks like I am going to have to redo this a bit. By attaching the fence boards they way I have to the board.. it creates a small “V” that is not water tight, so we do get a small amount of water into the coop. To fix this I will take one of the boards off and more it upwards so the two fence boards over lap. The square board will still add some stability, but it should eliminate the “V” and make this more water tight. I will also get the boards painted and hope that seals any open areas.

Another weekend and we are closer to being done. I sure did not think it would take this long to get the coop completed. We did not spend as much time today as we have spent in previous weekends getting our weekend goal done. This weekends project only took about four hours of work. I’m sure it would go faster if I could spend more money at a time as well as spend all weekend working on the coop. Since I also have to do laundry and get the house cleaned before going back to work.. I only get to take one day of my weekend to work on the coop. So some days are long.. and some, like this day, are short.

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Next weekends project is to seal the coop floor, get the rest of the hardware cloth on the coop and get the latches on so we can get the chicks out of the house. They are still small and will live in the coop until they get big enough they can’t get out of the field fence openings. That will give me a few more weeks to get everything done. Thankfully Texas still is pretty warm and the chicks should not need any additional heat.

Once the chicks are out, what will still remain is the wire skirt around the coop and to finish enclosing the run. We still have to finish closing off the nest box end and then enclose the other end and create a door. I still want to add some more wood chips to the run before I work on a door to the run. I am not really good at creating gates or doors, but since it will be the last thing I do, I am actually looking forward to getting it done.

See ya next weekend…

 

Running Total

COST: $581.81

TIME:  31.75 Hours

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