The hours put into this project have run together just like the sweat and sawdust that mixed on my skin as I worked. But continue we must, as the birds weren’t growing any younger in their garage box. So, we got the siding up and positioned and nailed:
And then cut out the openings for all the doors and windows:
All the siding is on and the roofing as well. I must say, having a tractor to pick some of this stuff up was great.
I spent at least nine hours on July 4 painting circles around the coop. The T1-11 siding really drank up the barn paint I was using. I like white farm buildings, remember, so that was the natural choice for this little house. Plus, I am hoping it will help keep it cool inside.
Then I put 1/4″ hardware cloth inside all the window openings, hammering in poultry staples every few inches for a tight fit. And then I screened in the eave vents, with the idea being to eliminate any access point for predators. And then I installed the windows—storm windows that I put in with their latches facing outside so that I could open and close them without actually going inside the coop—like when I am all dressed up and on my way out to work!
Meanwhile, Dad framed in the wall that will divide the bird area from the storage area, and he built four beautiful custom doors: a front door, a storage/bird area door, a cleanout door for the opening beneath the roosts, and a tiny “chicken” door that will provide the birds access to the wild blue yonder.
Here’s about where the temperature was—in the shade—during this entire construction project. It’s been a beastly slog, up at 7 a.m. and working until 9, 10 at night during a rainless heat wave.
But the good news is that after a few late nights last week, including a Thursday night that ended at 11 p.m., the coop is done! Well, done enough to move the birds in anyway—I still need to trim the doors and windows and put on the roof, which is sporting a space-age silver tarp until I can get that done.
The whole project has been way more involved than I ever thought it would be…but I am happy to say that it is great and I think it will be just perfect for my needs and the birds’ too. If there is one thing I know about keeping animals it is that their enclosures need to be well designed and well built to keep caring for them from being a dreaded chore.
And this coop is built solid as a tank, so if this whole bird thing doesn’t work out, I have a really nice guest cottage!