Posts Tagged ‘frugal’

The plans were drawn, the chicken permit application approved, and the materials gathered.  Time to build!

The first step was putting the posts in that would support the entire coop.  The reason I wanted a raised coop was because it would give the chickens shade during the day in the summer, a space to dust bathe and hang out, and in the winter, straw bales around the perimeter would provide an area to be outside yet protected from the wind.

(I would like to make a note here, before going any further, that Richard worked tirelessly to make this coop actually come together.  He built it while I was at work, and I helped out in the evenings and on weekends.  He’d send me pictures at work when he’d completed a wall or framed in a window, keeping me updated with the progress.  He worked countless hours to make my dream come true, and I’ve never felt more loved.)

We marked where the posts would go and then used boards to keep them upright.


Uprights of a chicken coopThen we dug post holes, put the 4×4’s in the holes, and poured cement to anchor them.  We used great big bolts and nuts to connect the 2×6’s to the posts, and then framed in the floor.
We attached plywood sheets to the bottom of the floor, then laid insulation, and attached plywood over the top. The floor, walls, and roof are all fully insulated this way.
IMG_20130903_192152Richard sawed off the posts to the correct height.
IMG_20130909_182745We framed the walls and windows, and built the trusses.IMG_20130911_185030 IMG_20130914_164924 IMG_20130914_174155 The end trusses had aluminum vents (from craigslist; $20 for both).
IMG_20130914_174213In this picture, you can see the 1/2″ hardware cloth attached along the undereaves. We lined the truss vents, the roof vent, undereaves, and the windows to allow lots of ventilation while keeping out predators and rodents.
IMG_20130915_183418The steel roof paneling went up next.
IMG_20130916_191645Windows and insulated walls…
IMG_20130918_172908 IMG_20130919_180312Wiring and outlets…
Main access door and pop door…
The nesting boxes were made with repurposed wood from a teak outdoor storage cabinet.
Cleaning doors…

… and then we were ready to host a potluck painting party!

We invited our friends to come help the last weekend before we were scheduled to pick up the chickens.  We had a beautiful sunny day, a nice breeze, and everyone brought their kidlets.

Chrystal and Greg helped paint the coop exterior and support posts.
Russ and Heather tackled painting the interior walls and floor.
Katie paints the roof, with supervisors Jess and Lo.

Dennis puts the fence posts up.IMG_20130929_172856
Richard takes a break with little Eli.
Eli plops down with some toys in the yard.IMG_20130929_153620
Greg samples dip from the potluck spread.IMG_20130929_145228
Eli’s dad Ron takes a break in the shade.IMG_20130929_145221
Richard cuts trim pieces for me to paint before they’re attached to the coop.
The trim pieces are painted and drying in the sunshine before being attached to the coop.

Russ takes a break from painting and enjoys a cookie.IMG_20130929_155808
The sliding pop door is rigged.
Dennis pounds in another fence T-post.
The fence stakes are ready for fencing.
The interior is painted and drying.
Richard attaches decorative trim pieces to the main door.

The coop was finished. All that remained was hardware, fencing, and preparing for the chickens to move in.
IMG_20130930_181159 IMG_20130929_184948
In the week that followed the painting party, we got the fencing up.
IMG_20131004_074039 IMG_20131002_180032
Straw, feed, barn lime, heating lamps… and a roosting bar to put up yet!  So much to do before our ladies arrived!IMG_20131004_074123 IMG_20131005_115227 IMG_20131005_114955
And finally, we were ready. Next up will be the final post in this series of the evolution of our coop, when the chickens came home to roost!

Read Full Post »

While I may have the nutrition market cornered in our house, Richard has taken the initiative with making cleaners.  I discovered his little stash growing in the laundry room.  He’s been collecting emptied cleaner bottles as they become available in our house, basic cleaner ingredients on grocery shopping trips, and cooking/mixing containers from various sources.  I used to think this was a little bit ridiculous and a lot crunchy.  And possibly stinky or streaky.  What could possibly work better than a blue window cleaner, or an expensive orange jug of laundry detergent?

I, of course, was badly mistaken.  My crunchy friends know this, and have been trying to tell me for years that I am an idiot, in the friendliest and most non-aggressive ways, which is apparently why I missed it completely.  Speak more clearly next time, please.  “You can use vinegar and baking soda to clean almost everything in your house!” doesn’t cut through the duh that has accumulated in my ears from decades of marketing.

When we ran out of Costco dishwasher detergent and rinsing agent (please don’t carp on me about using a dishwasher – baby steps) he made some.  (Sorry about the cruddy picture quality.  No natural light at 10:30 pm.)  On the left is the tub of dishwasher detergent, and on the right in the rinsing agent – pure vinegar, in an old water bottle.

When I went into the pantry the other day, what did I spy?  He’s brewing a little general/glass cleaner.  All you do is fill up a mason jar tight with orange peels (which we have from our juicing every morning).  Fill up the jar with vinegar.  Stick it on a shelf for 3 weeks.  Strain it, and use equal amounts of the cleaning mixture and water to fill up a spray bottle.  Voila, orange cleaner.The man has plans.  Tonight he mentioned that he’s been reading some blogs on how to make soap.  He’s my rock star.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: