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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
March 26

After supper I got the front wall of the secured chicken run done.

Front wall and both end walls studs are on 16" centers and will be covered with 1/2" hardware cloth. Took a 2" x 4" x 8' and cut in in the middle for the vertical studs, overall height just under 4' 3". Horizontal pieces are two, 2" x 4" x 8' and one half of a 2" x 4" x 8' for a overall length just under 20'. No scraps!

Back wall will be covered with steel installed horizontally so I figured studs on 24" centers will be adequate.

Used 3 3/4" deck screws to fasten it together. Then if when I make a mistake or later want to reuse the lumber it will be easier to take apart.

A closer detail view of the design. The 2" x 4" turn on edge is to give rigidity, keep the litter in the run and provide more support for the roof.


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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
March 31

I got the North 20' chicken run wall up. Studs are on 24" centers and will covered horizontally with steel roofing.

End wall (West) 6' with studs on 16" centers. Design change, I was going put the people door in this wall. Then I thought why walk all the way down to the far in to enter the coop, why not put the door on the East end? I will add two chicken doors on this wall at a later date for open ranging.

And then the South wall, also with studs on 16" centers. Did have to break out the chainsaw to encourage a tree to move out of the way. The two boards across the top are temporary and support the front and back walls until I get the roof on.

With the help of scrap treated lumber and 8" cement blocks, got the walls level and square. Then the fun part of trying to figure out the roof slopes. Coop roof has a 5/12 pitched roof (every 12" horizontally the roof slopes down 5").

Start building the East wall (also with studs on 16" centers). North slop matches perfectly with the coop! South slope is way off! I'm going to have do a rethink on this.

The relocated people door is on the left. It's 24" wide and almost 72" tall. I need to do a rethink on this too.

April 1

I'm investing way too much money and time in this for only 8 + 1 chickens. I get the screw gun out and start taking the run apart and drag the coop out to the front yard and put a For Sale in the window...........................................................April Fools!

As I'm sleeping thru the Sunday afternoon's NBA game, I'm doing my rethinks and redesigns.

1. Instead of roofing the entire run I'll do the first 8'. That still provides weather protection and allows me to hang the feeder in the run.
2. Raising 12" of the front (South) wall will correct my roof slop and provide for a larger people door.

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
April 2

I got the roof slopes figured out to match the coop's. I just had to add 12" of height to the front wall to give me the roof slope I wanted. This is the part of the run that will have a roof over it.

The picture also shows the 8" blocks I had to use to bring the wall into level. Looks like I'm going to wheelbarrow a lot of sand for fill.

The run roof angles match the coop's! YEA!

Now I can move on to the rafters and the people door design.


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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
April 4

Wife was on the phone when I got home from work. That meant supper will be late! Which means I can work on the run longer!

Used the first rafter that I had cut previously as a pattern, cut 6 more rafters. Put the long side of the rafters up first, then the short side. The bottom end of the rafters I used 1 screw up from the bottom to hold it in place for now. I need to get some of those metal plate duffers to fasten them better.

Walls are a bit wavy so I made sure I measured from wall to wall before fastening the rafters to the final wall.

Roofed section of the run I can almost stand upright in as long as I'm under the high part. Hang the feeder and doing routine maintenance should be easy. The unroofed section I'll have to stoop a bit but I will not be spending a lot of time in there, no problem.

People door I'm still thinking about. Not quite sure how I'm going to build it. Doors are usually the weak points in security but I don't want to build it so "heavy duty" that it weights down that corner of the run. Maybe a 2" x 2" frame with 3/4" barn siding to match the coop?

Some type of tunnel between the coop and the run.... recommend a solid floor. Something with screened sides and perhaps a small roof that is removable for cleaning and allows easy access for painting the coop.


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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
April 9

Finally had some time to spend on the secured chicken run.

45 degree bracing for the roof. Left a small space between the top of the brace and the roof line to allow the future plywood roofing to clear.

Studs to the end rafters. Notching and cut the right angles was a bit interesting. Once I got the first one figured out the rest were easy.


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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
April 11

During lunch hour I stopped at the purveyor of Man tools (lumber yard). Got home from work no wife, which means supper will be late. Change clothes and hustle out to the coop.

1" x 4" x 8' for the roof edge trim boards.

A full 1/2" x 4' x 8' and a 1/2" x 15" x 8' CDX exterior grade plywood for the back side of the roof. Nice side of the plywood down. Running low on 7p nails so I just tacked it on for now.

That left a piece of a 1/2" x 33" x 8' plywood that was EXACTLY the correct size for the front roof. NO SCRAPS! I couldn't have done that intentionally if I had several lifetimes to plan it.

Roof edge trim will be painted Forest Green to match the coop. Found some "old" paint the would work as a primer, so I gave the board a coat before the drip edge molding is installed. Maybe I should have paint both ends of the roof (2 x 4) too?

(Disclaimer. I'm not a Carpenter. I have NOT slept in any hotel lately and I think the year is 1868).


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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
April 13

(Disclaimer. I'm not a Roofer. I have NOT slept in any hotel lately and I think the year is 1868).

Forecast is calling for rain tonight and tomorrow. So I better get the roof shingled!

I wasn't going to use roofing felt because I'd have over half of a roll left. But then it runs against my grain not to. At $16.72 a roll it's cheap insurance.

Got the roofing felt on, aluminum brown roof edge molding and started throwing on the shingles.

I used the same architectural type shingles that the coop Builder used. 3 in 1 shingles you just cut them into 3rds for ridge caps but architectural type shingles require "special" ridge caps. They sell the "special" ridge caps in 30 foot lengths, I only need 8 feet! So I cheated and didn't use ridge caps.

The shingles on the back roof (left) came up and over the peak by about 4". The front roof (right) shingles went up and over the peak and over lapped the back roof another 4" and fastened with aluminum roofing nails. Unless you're a Hawk circling over head you'll never notice that I "cheated".

Architectural type shingles have an advantage over the 3 in 1. The scrap that gets cut off at the end of the first row can be used to start the second row and so forth. Less scraps! You don't need to line up the tabs (because there aren't any) like you do with 3 in 1 shingles.

April 14

Looks like it's going to rain any second. So I'll stay in the shop to cut and assemble the horizontal wire fabric supports for the for the secured run's flat roof.

Not raining yet.

If you take a clamp and a scrap piece of wood you will have a "extra hand" to hold the horizontal wire fabric support in place.

Add the horizontal support and fasten with deck screws.

And when you are done you have a support system that *****, foxes, coyotes and dogs can jump up and down all day without collapsing the welded wire fabric (at least that's the plan).

Still ain't raining (There are only two jobs where you can be wrong most of the time and still keep your job. Weather Forecaster and Politician) so I move on to the other end of the run.

Finished the framing for the people door. I ran out of lumber and energy so I'm done for the day.


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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
April 18

When I built the 4 walls I leveled each wall as it was built more or less.

Then I started pounding, banging and crawling on the roof to build the rest of it. Figured the leveling may have changed. So I used a 6' level, 2 x 4 x 8', some scrap wood and started at the "high end" to re-leveled the entire coop. Then I'm planning on bring in sand to wash under the walls to maintain the level.

I wanted to make sure all was level before I sided the back wall and install the hardware cloth.

Using the 2 x 4 x 8' as a lever, pushing down on the far end raised the wall. Slide scrap pieces of wood under the wall until level.

Yep. Looks level to me!


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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
April 24

UPS delivered the wire fabric today. Evidently the shipping label fell off which caused a day's delivery delay. Since I got the wire at 50% off with free shipping what's one extra day?

Got the bottom half of the run covered in wire so I could frame and install the Chunnel floor (tunnel between the coop and run). The rest of the Chunnel will be built after the coop is painted.

Once the floor for the Chunnel was built the rest of the wall was covered. I'm just tacking the wire in place for now. Once all the wire is on then I'm planning on permanently fastening it with fender washers and screws.

The bottom of the wire I didn't tack. I want to install all the long pieces of wire first. Then I'll come back with "L" shape scraps to make a flair out from the walls 12" to 18" to prevent predators from digging under the walls.

The back wall will be sided with steel siding so I wrapped the wire around the corner. When the steel siding is fastened in place it will hold the wire securely in place.

I also over lapped the wire 1". Planning on weaving a wire in the overlap to prevent predators from pulling the seams apart.

Remember! Always wear and use safety equipment and gloves when working with metal. Fortunately I'm left handed and didn't need my right thumb. I performed first aid by the tried and true manly method of sticking the thumb in my mouth and sucking on it until the bleeding slowed.

Then I moved on the the other end of the roofed section of the run. I wanted to bend the wire so I measured the 11" and laid a 2 x 4 across the wire.

Then using my knees to hold the 2 x 4 in place I bent the wire up.

Why did I need to bend the wire? I was concerned about leaving a gap in the wire where the wall met the roof. So I applied the principal about extending wire out past the bottom of the runs to prevent predators from digging under the wall to this situation.

Measured the width I needed, 84". So I had a "male moment" and proceeded to cut 72" instead! I'll piece it in later with a piece of scrap. If I don't say anything about it no one will ever notice!


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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
April 27

For this evening's project you will need the following:

1 3/4" construction screws
Wire cage clips

3/16" x 1" fender washers
Wire cage clips tool

I overlapped the wire fabric 1". I was planning on weaving a wire thru the 1" over lap to prevent predators from forcing their way in. Then I found these wire cage clips and the tool to apply them. Cool! A coil of aluminum is much better and quicker!

Then I used the construction screws and fender washers to security fasten the wire fabric to the run.

I haven't installed the wire cage clips on this section yet.

I left excess wire at the top and both ends to wrap around the corners, like wrapping a Christmas gift. A predator will have to pull out the screws and fender washers, then go thru two overlapped in different directions layers of wire to get thru a seam.

We had some rain during the day and the ground was muddy.

Look what I found on the threshold on the run door and on the nest box lid! Looks like a raccoon is already doing a recon.

I'm not sure what this is a track of....possibly one of the million stray cats the wife feeds?


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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
April 27

Before I cover the front of the run with wire fabric I want to fill the run floor with sand. That would be easier then trying to carry the sand thru the 24" people door.

20' length x 6' width x .7' average depth = 84 cubit feet / 27 = 3.1 cubic yards.

Local Gravel Pit tells me about 1 1/2 yards = 1 ton. So I needed about 2 tons to fill the bottom of the run.

Washed sand is 7.25 per ton. Delivery charge is $35.

Cost $35 to deliver $14.50 worth of sand....hmmmm....if I double my order to 4 tons then I'm sure to have enough sand and I can do a paving brick type sidewalk to the coop too! Done! They will deliver this afternoon.

So for $64 I get 4 tons of sand and many many enjoyable trips with a wheel barrel hauling sand back and forth, back and forth, back and forth...

Word of advice. Don't have sand delivered after a rain. You will be paying for more water then sand! Wait until several days of nice dry weather to before your have your sand delivered.

Local Lumber Yard sells bagged play sand for $3.53 in 50 pound bags. That would be 160 bags and $564.80 for 4 tons. Ouch!

8700 pounds were delivered as promised for a total (including delivery) of $78.73

Notice the stray cats are already using it as a giant litter box!

Well it didn't take me long to scrap the wheel barrel method of moving the sand to the run. I brought out the big guns.

Plan is to fill the run to the top of the 2 x 4. That will give me a sand depth of 3 1/2" on the "shallow" end and almost 12" on the "deep" end. When the rains have washed enough sand under the walls to support them, then around the outside of the walls limestone to keep the sand from washing out further.

Here's a picture of how much the first wagon load covered on the "shallow" end.

I tempted to see how much the neighbor would rent his Bobcat with a Driver...but then the exercise will not hurt me...shovel in, drive in a circle, shovel out, drive in a circle, shovel in, drive in a circle, shovel out, drive in a circle, shovel in, drive in a circle, shovel out...


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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
April 30

I've got a dilemma.

I ordered two pieces of gray steel siding cut to length from the local Lumber Yard. Web tracking indicates my order arrived yesterday (Sunday). So today during lunch hour hi ho hi ho off to the lumber yard I go.

Yep they got my order. Fork Lift brings it down off the siding!....wait....they took two new pieces of green siding and sandwiched my 2 pieces of gray in the middle!

Now I've got 4 pieces of perfectly good siding for the price of 2! AND the green also matches the shop color scheme too!

What plan should I go with? Note. Both ends walls, front wall and 2/3rds of the roof are 100% open (covered in wire fabric.).

Plan A. Steel siding is going on the back wall which is 53" in height, siding is 30" which left 23"for ventilation across the top. Save the 2 green pieces for some future project.

Plan B. Use all 4 pieces. Overlap them (no cutting) to allow for 8" of ventilation across the top.

Plan C. Use all 4 pieces. Overlap them (no cutting) to allow for no ventilation across the top.

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
May 11 & 12

Got tried of hauling sand so I worked on the putting on the steel siding on the back wall. I should have waited until I had some help, but I made do.

Steel siding overlaps the wire fabric about 4" at the top and 2" at the bottom.

Doesn't look to bad does it?

Had a few screws left, why save them so I added more screws on both ends. Lets see a predator get thru this!

A few more loads of sand...

Finally got all the sand hauled and shoveled in the run!!!!

Got most of the front covered before I ran out of wire fabric.

Fasten the seams together. I was hoping to have enough wire fabric to make it all the way but I ended up about 12" short. If I had known I would have been short I would have put the seam over a stud, pan washers and screws would have secured the seam.

All that is left is wire fabric the flat roof and a few small areas, finish the Chunnel and make the door.

8 + 1 BO will be here next week. I'd better stop dinking with the run and prepare a space for the BOs in the coop.


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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
May 18, 19 & 20

All the wire fabric is installed. Got a few places that need a few more fender washers and screws.

Removed all the hardware and doors from the exterior of the coop and started painting. Primer first.

Give the entire coop one coat of primer.

Play a few games of Xbox Black Ops live while the primer dries, then paint the light gray color.

Play a few games of Xbox Black Ops live while the gray dries, then paint the green trim.

Play a few games of Xbox Black Ops live while the trim paint dries, then rehang the doors and install the hardware.

Still got the roof edge trim to paint and windows, need to get a smaller brush.

Installed the ramp that came with the coop at the end of the Chunnel.

Floor of the Chunnel is treated 2 x 4 and a scrap piece of 5/8" plywood.

Then the walls and roof for the Chunnel. Easier to paint the trim before the roof drip edge molding is installed.

Why the green smudge on the front? Well you see if you shake a quart of green paint when the lid isn't on all the way, the lid comes off when you vigorously shake the can.

I quickly became the green incredible hulk.

Fortunately I wasn't wearing a shirt.

Unfortunately the wife has white carpet and white linoleum in the house. Do you see the problem?

Fortunately I didn't drip any green paint into the house as I leaned in from the garage to yelled for the wife.

Unfortunately the wife was upstairs getting ready for a wedding shower and couldn't hear me yell.

Fortunately we live in a woods with no real close neighbors.

Unfortunately the well water was very very cold.

Fortunately no one (at least no cops showed up) was traumatized by seeing a 58 year man washing his birthday suit in the backyard.

The backside of the Chunnel. Was going to make two slope roof to match the coop and run. But then I decided it was a lot of extra work for "just chickens", especially when you could not see it from the front.

The four shingles left from the run's roof should be just enough to cover. Silicon caulking so rain water doesn't leak in between the Chunnel roof and the coop.

Finished painting the Chunnel. Opening in the front will be for a Plexiglas window with green trim.

May 21

Just confirmed the 8 + 1 BO were shipped this morning! Will be here tomorrow! Warned the Post Office and gave them my telephone number.

I've got a corner of the coop partitioned off for the peeps. Tonight add the pine shaving bedding covered with paper towels, water, feeder and the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 chick brooder heater.

Cut and paint the trim for the Chunnel window and install with the Plexiglas.

Finish painting the roof edge trim making sure the lid is on tight before shaking the can.

Then all that is left to do is building the run's people door and sit back, wait for all the money to roll in from selling the 1 dozen surplus eggs I'll have every week.

Figure the money I have in the coop and run, if my children's children's children keep up the business, we'll break even in about...

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
May 21

Bedding is down. Wondering if I should cover it with paper towels to keep bedding out of the waterer and feeder?

Heater is plugged in, power light came on and the coop didn't burn down during the night. I've got the power cord "tied" so the fluffy butts can't accidental unplug it.

Feeder is filled with DuMor Chick Starter/Grower 20% (non-medicated).

Waterer filled.

Received email confirmation from Meyer, chicks shipped yesterday after noon with arrival 22 - 24.


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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
May 22

BOs left Mansfield Ohio yesterday at 3:51 PM

BOs arrive at South Bend Indiana today at 8:10 AM

Bos left South Bend at ?

9:40 AM. Walked to the local Post Office. No chicks. Advised mail from South Bend goes to Goshen for "sorting" then to local Post Office. arghhhh!

Call the Goshen Post Office. Nope they don't have any chickens...well that answer saves me a half hour car trip.

10:09 AM Goshen Post Office called. They are holding some chicks for me!

Drove to the "Big City" Post Office.

No they don't have any chickens for me, they went out to be delivered! No wait...they got two shipments today, here is yours.

Carried them out to my truck, man the bottom of the box is warm. Wonder where the PO was storing it?

The box Meyers shipped them in is a mini Fort Knox!

They pack extra bedding inside to help keep the chicks warm AND a heat pack. That explains why the bottom of the box was warm to the touch.

All nine chicks alive and are peeping MAMA! MAMA! MAMA!

I went ahead and laid paper towels on top of the bedding.

And as I learned on this forum, I dip each chick's beak into the water (careful not to get it's nostrils wet) and them a dip into the feed.

I thought they would all be thirsty, nope. All tried to feed out of the same hole in the feeder.

I moved the water over closer and one "found it" and took a long drink.

I also turned the heater 90 degrees and few "found it" too. Considering they are all Blonde's, I think we're good for now.

You can see them at Username: visitor Password: coop

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