Monday, July 11, 2011

New Coop Progress Report

I need a new coop. The fancy brooder cage is getting really crowded. Packing the chicks into the cage makes me feel like a conductor.

Doc and I considered my construction skills, the Texas summer, and the urgent need for a new coop. We immediately hired a couple of likely youths to build a coop. They said, "Sure, we can do that in four hours". I told them I needed it done in two days. "No problem".
Off to a good start
I gave them the dimensions, helped them collect the scrap wood, and supplied them with tools. They assured me they knew what they were doing because their other job was building kitchen cabinets from scratch. I watched them carefully and learned a few carpenter tricks, like measuring.
Fancy tile backer cement board floor
After I came back from lunch, I checked on the young carpenters. Uh-oh! According to the plan the cement board should have fit perfectly with a single cut to add an extra strip. They had to cut the cement board in multiple places and nothing seemed to fit right. Did they check to make sure everything was square as they were building the base? Nah, that is the installer's job....

Next day, the plan was to put up the walls, roof, and doors. After much sweating and colorful language, they presented me with their "completed" work.
Looks pretty much like a coop
I paid them and we all went away wiser. *sigh*

Doc and I dismantled the most egregious errors and reconstructed the coop in fits and starts. We fastened the hardware cloth using screws and plumber's hanger tape.
Hardware cloth fastened over treated wood
We eventually enclosed the exterior with hardware cloth. Searching the barn, I found some ancient plywood that could be wrangled into a roof-like structure. Doc carefully guided me up the ladder and onto the roof. With much trepidation, I screwed the plywood to the rafter, actually making it into the wood, thanks to Doc's good eye.
A roof-like structure
By the time we stopped for the night, I was sunburned enough to have a slightly smoky smell. Doc's theory is that the "smoke" was actually my personal aroma made visible.

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