Coop Conversion, part 6

The coop project is at the stage where there is a trickle down effect: ventilation spaces go above roosting bars and nesting boxes. I needed to decide how I was going to build those items – and where they would be placed – before I could finish work on the shed itself. There are so many ideas for both items all over the internet that my brain would start whirling and I felt stymied to do the work. I even started pulling up fence poles from the field to lay out the coop’s run instead of making a decision!

Well, I finally made a decision on the roosting bars and did the work yesterday. I planned to use some salvaged wood as a base for the verticals, but that didn’t work for a few reasons. Instead I ended up using 2 x 4’s and some scrap from the milking stand project.

20170222_cooppart6_01I knew I wanted a 3′ base, so I measured in a 2″ edge and outlined the space for the end pieces: a 12″ length and a 24″ length. Next I worked some math to figure out the middle of the board and outlined an 18″ length. With plenty of space left I cut 15″ and 21″ boards, worked more math and outlined them on the baseboard.

Math – not my favorite thing in the world, but it’s an everyday feature of farm life. Figuring fractions is critical with woodworking. With the measurements on one end board I laid another board beside it and marked a second baseboard – much easier than working the math a second time!

20170222_cooppart6_03After hammering the boards into place I looked to see how much remained of my 2′ x 4′. It was an 8′ length so I cut it in half for the roosting bars. After a quick run to the hardware store for one more board and a fresh box of nails I completed the project. I may add braces between the uprights to add a bit more support – it’s just a bit wobbly and it wouldn’t surprise me if the chickens all want to sit high.

I’m glad I decided to build a riser instead of a box-style for these roosting bars. It maximizes space, there is plenty of space below for cleaning, and the chickens will be able to crowd close and keep warm in cold months. It also helped me visualize where ventilation holes can be placed so I can move forward with that before building nesting boxes.

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