Sunday, January 20, 2008

Onward with the Chicken House!

When we decided to construct this chicken house, we wanted something that was really low cost for the square footage but we also wanted it to be draft free and nice looking. We built it close to the house so it was important that we enjoyed looking at it. We ended up splitting the house into two sections, one for the chickens and the other half for us for storage and maybe to start some seeds in the spring. The roofing allows sunlight through so it will be perfect for some plants.

We always sit on our back deck and the chicken house is in full view so we can really enjoy watching the chickens and turkeys all day. Although today it is only 11 degrees with a -6 windchill. Brrrrrrrrr! The chickens and turkeys don't mind too much. They have been outside all day.
At this point in the construction, we added 2 x 4' s as a guide for the framing. It was really easy from then on and much faster than trying to use the level, constantly checking for straight lines.

When we priced different types of structures, all in all, this seemed to be the best for us. We love how it looks and the walls are already thick. In the end we put spray foam between the timbers to seal the cracks. We weren't sure how much air would get through and it ended being quite a lot because the timbers are far from perfect. We were also thinking about some type of rubber weatherstripping but the spray foam worked great, also acting like a glue. Next time we will definitely apply it between boards while we are building. We think it would take much less foam and would help to hold everything together.

By the end of the first day we had the wall up this far. At this point we went ahead and ordered the rest of the landscaping timbers. We had them delivered from Home Depot. They were on sale for $1.99 so we ended up spending about $350.00 for 170 timbers. (Plus $70. delivery fee.) Add another $50 dollars or so for the nails. I think we ended up getting 30lbs. of nails all together. We used three nails per timber.
Here is the second delivery of timbers. At first we weren't positively sure about the finished size but eventually we decided on the 8 x 16 foot size and we also decided to make the roof in a "shed" style so we ended up ordering more timbers. We were able to calculate exactly what we would need at this point. We had wanted to gather the runoff water with a gutter and run it into a watering system but the turkeys decided to spend time on the new roof and poop all over it. Not good for them to drink! We are still trying to come up with a good way to keep them off. Ideas anyone?

After we had a good start on the walls Kevin wanted to go ahead and lay the floor down so it would raise us up higher, making it easier to reach as the walls got higher. He had left an edge exposed when he laid the first timber down on the base so he could use it for a nailer for the floor.

We got the floor boards for free. We work at a place that gets steel delivered every day. The sheets of steel have 2 x 4 x 8's in between them as spacers. That was a real savings. The quality of wood is not high but it works for simple framing and definitely chicken house floors.

There were a lot of timbers with slight bends in them. We would nail one end in and then push as hard as we could and nail the center and then the other end. We put the most unsightly ones in the back, you can see some of the bulgy ones in this picture.

It was at this point that we started on the roof. I kinda wanted a peaked roof but it was more cost effective to go with the slanty one. Plus it fit with the idea of making a greenhouse/seed starting area and it seemed a good way to gather water. In this picture Kevin is checking the roof pitch and how many timbers we still had to add to get there. The sides are really high now and the timbers were getting heavier and heavier the higher it got.

I had to add this picture because I took it while we were building. I came across it in a folder with all the chicken house pictures. I love this plant. It is a Passiflora - Passion Vine, and it it the coolest flower I have ever seen. The three lobed leaves are different than most plants too. For those of you that have not seen these before, they are really quick growers and would cover a trellis their second year. I am going to train them up a trellis on the side of chicken house (to cover the seam between the sides) this summer. If you'd like to know more about these plants here is a link.

Here he is attaching the roof trusses... trusses?... yeah, I guess that is what they are called. He left the sides rough and he cut them off with a chain saw after he had the correct roof line.

Here is the front view. You can see the timbers sticking out in steps and below is the back side after he sawed them off. He used to work for a tree company so he is awesome with a chain saw. That is how he cut out the windows and the small chicken door too.

Below is the front view very nicely trimmed up too.

You can see our back deck in this picture. As soon as it warms up we will be sitting here every spare moment. We used to sit and watch the kids swim but now we watch kids play with chickens. As you can see, the house need painted and a new roof really bad. You may not be able to see but there is a large cooking pot over one of the old vent pipes in the roof. There is also a coffee cup over another small pipe. For some reason Kevin thinks we need a new roof and we also need to paint the house.

I really want a lean-to shed built onto our barn for some cattle. He thinks the house is more important. He said NO MORE ANIMAL PROJECTS until the house is done! Oh well, we will see. All I know is that when I'm on the deck early in the morning drinking a cup of coffee watching the animals I can't see the house. It's behind me.

But I've got my chicken house, I'm HAPPY! (You watch come this spring, he will be itching to work on the barn.)

Next Post: the roof goes on, we build an inside divider wall and door, nesting boxes, perches and a fence that no dog will ever get under!

1 comment:

P&T Poultry said...

Hi, wow what an amazing chicken house! :) we dont do it on that scale here in the uk. We love chickens but our houses are much smaller. Have a look at our at but it wont match this one.