Sunday, January 27, 2008

Building our Chicken House

Hold on a minute...I've gotta open my blog in another tab so I can see where I ended.

OK, I checked...I've gotta write about the roof and all the rest of the finish stuff. Not that it is even finished yet. We still have some aesthetic details to take care of.

Here is a close up view of the brackets that we used to attach the roof boards. They are called hurricane straps or something like that. Kevin is sleeping and I don't want to wake him up just to make sure that they are called "straps" and not "plates" or whatever.

After we sawed off the ends of the timbers and added the roof boards, he added these cap plates to the ends of the boards.

Kevin and I went to Home Depot to find some roofing material. There were basically two different kinds. He wanted the wavy type that lets light through so the chickens would have light all day if it was cold out and they stayed inside.We found a product called- "Suntuf — General purpose corrugated polycarbonate sheets"

The picture above shows a piece of it. It was kinda pricey but it is worth it. It lets the light in but not the damaging UV light. We got the "Solar Grey" color. It says it lets in 35% of the light. It was funny, the first really heavy snow that we had, we walked in and said uh oh... snow does not let light through. It was really dark in there despite being a sunny day. We did not plan on snow being so dense. It melts pretty quick around here so it's not dark for long. Plus we have two heat lamps set up. One that comes on at 3:00 pm and off at 9:00 pm that is a regular light and another that comes on at 9:00 pm and stays on all night that is red so they will sleep.

Here is a closeup of the roof when we were installing the "closure strips". Of course, they were installed on top of the boards as the picture below shows, not next to them . They were just laying there til Kevin attached them. The next picture shows a close-up of this.

This diagram is from the Palram website. It shows a much better installation diagram than I can ever describe.

I am going to go out and take a picture of the roof later today and add it so you can see the finished roof. I cannot find a picture anywhere. I also need to take some pictures of the little lean-to that we added to the side so the chickens and turkeys had somewhere dry to hang out and eat. It's funny, some of the chickens have decided that they would rather lay eggs outside in the lean to rather than in the chicken house.

OK, we went out and here is a picture of the finished roof. But guess what, there is snow all over it and you can't see a thing.

Here is the back side of the lean to and below is the inside. The chickens love it and hang out in there all day.

We keep the feeder, a bulk feed storage tub and we have the heated waterers in there too. The upper bucket has the nipple waterers in it but we are afraid that all of the chickens won't find the nipples so we have a regular bucket out there too. It is for horses and kinda tall but we keep a skid next to it the chickens are able to step up reach in and drink just fine. This way we only have to worry about watering them every few days or so. I feel for the people who have to carry water every day.

Here is the windows that Kevin cut in with a chain saw. We are going to add some more trim boards this summer. I put plexiglass over the this one and then covered it with cardboard when it got cold.

This one had poultry netting stapled onto it and when it got cold I added the plexiglass and then when it was really cold we put cardboard over that one too. With the roof letting light in we didn't have to worry about it being dark if we covered the windows to stop drafts. Eventually we want to make some kind of shutters to close for the winter.

Kevin made these nesting boxes out of 5 gal. buckets. The chickens love them so much they sleep in them and they are always dirty. He used two buckets for each one and cut a hole in one for the egg to roll back through and I got some fake grass stuff to line the bottom so it wouldn't be slippery. As you can see below it works pretty good although they all fight over the bottom right one. Sometimes there will be three chickens in it all at once.

See, works pretty good!

Here is one of the independent girls that have to lay outside under the lean to, so every day I have to climb through the fence and get the eggs. We have maybe five or six chickens that lay outside.

Here is the free standing unit before I built the wall around it. I built a pretty temporary wall between the two spaces in the chicken house because we were not sure of the final space and we didn't have any good lumber so I had to use scraps. It's not pretty but it works.

I went to the lumber yard and got this inexpensive screen door for about $25.00 and cut it down to fit. I stapled poultry netting to the bottom and covered the top half with plexiglass. I wanted to be able to see in but keep the draft out and most of the dust. The only thing I think I didn't cover was the fence. I didn't take any pictures while we were building it so I need to take some pictures of the fence and post them next time.

Earlier when we went outside we fed and watered the chickens. Everyone was happy except we seem to have a broody chicken. I just don't have the heart to take the eggs away but I guess we are going to later on today.

Here she is the poor thing. She's got 5 or 6 eggs under her. I have taken the eggs away a few times but she stays there anyway. I don't really want to take them away but it is way too early to have baby chickens. Besides that, our rooster is a Golden Phoenix and the chicks will be probably small, not too good for eggs or meat. We are going to get a larger rooster sometime soon. Our Phoenix is beautiful but he is kinda mean, always chasing the kids. He has attacked me a couple times but I chase him til I catch him and I kinda got him a little scared of me I think, maybe just respectful?

The other day I took all the eggs and lined them up to see how they compare. As you can see, we have more brown than the green, then white, then the small tan ones in front. The brown are from the R. I. Reds and Buffs, the green from the Americanas, the white from the Polish Crested and the tans are from the Golden Phoenix.

I held the largest Americana egg up and compared it with the smaller Phoenix... you can see why I am definitely getting a new rooster!


jolynna said...

There is a huge difference between the size of the Americano egg and the Phoenix. Wow. Your chickens look really well cared for and healthy. I love that their house is log. You did a good job.

adelethefish said...

Great blog! I am amazed at how nice your chicken coop is-- its a chicken palace! Your sister, Amy, signed my guestbook on my site and told me about your blog, so I checked it out. I agree with her, the video of the turkeys pecking you it pretty funny. :) I have definitely had that happen too many times. If you want, you can check out my site at

Chloe said...

I love the idea of the landscaping timbers to make up that great "log cabin". What are the overall dimensions? and how did you stabilize the walls so that they couldn't fall. Did you use Rebar and drill them? Oh yeah and please get back to me at
Good luck in everything nice video and nice blog!