Friday, January 6, 2012

Housing for the Livestock

On the left is my first constructed bee hive. Cat Dancing painted it with some help from Michael, now the ladies have moved in and made themselves at home. We got the bees a short time ago, after they weathered a fiercely hot summer. We already have plans to build more hives to sell, as well as working on a hive cooperative plan for area growers. I'll post more as it develops.

Previously I posted about our new chickens. They are all doing well, and the "rescues" I added to the flock have come along nicely as well. We've got daily eggs for breakfast and baking. 

This is the temporary coop that came with the chickens. It's barely adequate for the number of hens we have, plus, it is a bit reminiscent of the legendary "two story outhouse". Particularly for the hens on the bottom roost! Therefore, my current project is to build a new hen house!
For awhile I've been admiring pictures of what is called an "Amish" style hen house. It's a very compact and sensible design. I worked up my own plans for one and got to work.

The main frame verticals are tied directly to the skids. I used treated 4x4 lumber, notched and bolted at the base. So far this is the only purchased lumber to go into this project. Two skids are required.

The artisan at work. Ahem! 

Once the skids are done, the framing begins. Here the floor platform and the back wall is started. The footprint is essentially 5'x6'. The rest of the building is made from scavenged material. 

We had a nice piece of 3/4 plywood from an old bed frame we rescued from someone's trash. It was almost large enough for the floor. I added a pair of scavenged 1x12s to finish the floor out. 

Here the wall framing is nearly done. It is ready for the roof  joists. It is taking shape. You can perhaps make out the large doorway in the near end, and the chicken door at the far end. Also, the nest box area is visible. The sloping part on the right side will be the hinged lid to the nest boxes.

More to come!


  1. Good job, William, for putting up a coop for your chickens. You also used wood for its roof, right? Make sure that it's protected from moisture that can weaken its material. You can also treat it with varnish that has a pigment to prolong its durability against weathering.

    Santo Caridine

  2. Yeah, moisture is very bad for wooden roofs. Santo’s right about coating your wooden roofs with varnish. It will not only make your roof stronger, but it will also make it more pleasant to look at. =)

    Emma Phillips

  3. Well, around here moisture is the very last of our problems. And we rather like the look of weathered cedar shingles. They tend to last forever here. Thanks for your comments!

  4. Moisture isn’t the only bad element for wood. There’s a more terrifying element that can significantly damage wood: termites. They bank on wood as a place to live in. To prevent them from making a house in your wooden roof, it’s best to pain or varnish your roof, so you can get rid of both termites and moisture.

    Penelope Dingee