The new coop on the block

Greetings from Midwest where all of a sudden, Fall is upon us! And I mean all of a sudden! Last weekend we were sweating our hineys off and swatting at mosquitos, and this week we are turning the heat on in the car and preparing for frost warnings.

We have known for sometime that we needed to get a new coop for our lovely ladies.  When we first set out on our chicken adventure we were gifted with a glorious (much loved and used) coop which was so great in that ‘all’ we had to do was build a run. (The hubby probably just rolled his eyes as ‘all’ we had to do was build the run not once, but twice…and it took a lot of effort…and $…..and time) BUT NOW we have the Fort Knox of all runs that will last for years and years.

The coop on the other hand is about ready to fall apart…and is drafty…..and mice seem to keep finding their way in….and and and…..

So we needed something new.  This thrifty Craigslist lover has been watching and waiting for something to fall into our price range (really $3000 for a coop??) But anything that was affordable was either dilapidated or WAY too big to even think about moving.

So it became clear we were going to need to build it ourselves.  I had read an article about this coop design and how well it was written that I decided to invest the $ in buying the plans to ensure we had a good start.

The next step was figuring out how we could build this coop on a budget as we didn’t want to spend yet another arm and a leg on this project….so in came Craigslist again and boy did it pay off.  We found plywood sheets as well as some roof tiles for a SONG! Then I took a trip over to our local Habitat for Humanity Restore and scored a bunch of items needed for $6 total!(little known fact…..I have an obsession with this store…I secretly frequent over my lunch hour…the endless possibilities are stupendous…but I digress) All in all I believe we doled out a total of $40 for this little beauty.

Next up…pick a perfect fall day to start this extravaganza…..

Check!

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Then it was time to start building.  One of my biggest peeves is starting a project and then not being able to find any of the tools needed. So the day before I grabbed every tool that I could think of that we would possibly need and got it all in one place (genius I might say….we have never tried this before….previously we spent half the work day trying to find everything and swearing through it all…)

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Yup, we have found that a cat litter bucket does a pretty good job of corralling all the stuff into one easy to carry vessel.

Then it was time to measure, mark, cut, repeat…repeat…repeat.

And we spent one whole day just measuring…then marking…then cutting

BUT A BRILLIANT CONCEPT WAS DISCOVERED!

Previous projects had me relying on the hubby for all the saw maneuvering.  I can’t exactly explain why as I took wood shop (many many many years ago) and loved it,  but something over the years made me fear the circular saw.  And then on this lovely afternoon I said SCREW IT! Show me how to use that thing! He obliged me with a good overview of how it all works and adjustments I may need to make and then told me to have at it.

And here is what I found out…..cutting with the circular saw is kinda like sewing (NO REALLY…..except I am pretty sure my sewing machine won’t cut of any appendages).  And guess what, I am pretty darn good at it.  And now I don’t have to wait for the hubby to drop everything to help me.  I can do it myself!  Not to mention, I worked really hard at perfecting my control of a drill that I can proudly confirm there are NO STRIPPED SCREWS ON THIS COOP! YAHOO!!! (Somewhere my dad is smiling and super glad that be bought his girls all those tools)

Here it is looking pretty good and ‘coop-like’ if I do say so myself.

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And in a stroke of genius, I had the boy construct the nest box. It went together with some nails and a hammer so I handed over the picture, the pieces and the tools and let him take a crack at it

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And he hit it out of the park.

Last up was to put the final roof pieces on as well as prime and paint.

Then we called in the inspectors to give their seal of approval….

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Then we moved it into position….and…….

Well, I would love to say the new coop slid up to the old(er) run and it was a match made in heaven. Alas, that was not the case.  It took another two hours of head scratching, heaving, pushing, re-combobulating, and then just some plain old brute force with a healthy does of McGivering to get the two pushed together without any varmint sized gaps.

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….and the ladies confirmed they have moved on up….to a hen house in the sky……

…combined with a fresh bale of straw……the ladies declared in Christmas!

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