You have started on the coop, right? Week Four: chicks now flying about the box, perching on edge and defecating on the kitchen floor, feather dander on kitchen counter….must kick… chickens…. outside!
And not just for my sanity, I think they need to have more space. While I’ve raised birds to twelve weeks in the bedroom closet using bigger and bigger boxes, this time around I want to get them out into the clean brisk air of spring. So while I work on expanding the coop and run area for the adult birds, I decided to build a little brooder hut out on the back porch.
Start with a simple frame made of 2×2 lumber. The Stimpson Strong Tie corners make things really easy, but are optional. If I didn’t have a ton of the things hanging around, I would have foregone the expense.
Using 1/4″ exterior plywood, I cut the sides and primed them inside and out. Attach the sides using screws. Don’t worry about small gaps, you don’t want this thing to be air tight.
The north side of the roof is 1/4″ plywood on a simple frame which is hinged to the ridge beam to allow easy access and full ventilation on hot days.
Here’s a detail shot of a tricky joint. A 1X3 piece of lumber forms the top of the hatch frame; you can see one of the hinges in the right of the picture. The 2×2 lumber notched to be flush on the top of the joint- use glue and screws for extra strength. The 2X2′s are inside the house framing when the lid closes.
Butt joints are fine on the other side of the hatch frame. The long edge at the bottom sits on top of the wall sill, and a 1X2 is installed along the wall sill so everything seals up pretty tight.
The girls inspect my work….
They love their new box! Thanks Dad!
OK, I guess Stella would have chosen another color, and let’s me know with a peck on the ear.
OK, that’s it for the brood hut, and this should buy me a few weeks while I work on the extension to the run and coop facilities. It should be good transition housing, but they’ll out grow this pretty soon too. So I’ll say it again, and I can’t emphasis this enough:
YOU NEED TO GET THE COOP BUILT OR YOU WILL HAVE LAYING HENS IN THE BEDROOM CLOSET!