Backyard chickens: coop

Before we got a flock of chickens we needed housing for them.  We have a bandsaw mill and lots of trees that needed thinning at our remote land up in the Sierra, so we went up there to get the wood.  It was a bit of a process, since winter storms had blown a bunch of trees down:

Early 2011: We had a wild winter that year.

Step 1: Remove fallen trees from mill

In addition to the high winds, a fire burned through our property in 2008, leaving lots of dead trees and brush, and pine beetles had been leaving more of the trees weakened and dying.  We had plenty to choose from, but also plenty to clean up to get to them.

Between the winter storms, the 2008 fire, and subsequent beetle kills, there are plenty of trees that need to come out.

Step 2: Select trees for milling (cedar and Ponderosa pine).

Once the trees were selected, felled, and limbed, we moved them in sections to the bandsaw mill.

Refuel tractor as necessary.

Step 3: Clear brush, limb trees, cut in sections, drag to mill.

We got this mill as an upgrade from the chainsaw mill we were using originally for cabin-building.  It runs along a track, and can be raised and lowered to cut the stationary log.

Cedar: yum, that smells good.

Step 4: Start milling.

When done, cover and leave to age.

Step 5: Stack boards, repeat.

These aged for 3 months, from May to August.

Step 6: After aging, bring wood home.

We picked a nice site for the coop close, but not too close, to the house.

It's nice to have a tractor for this step.

Step 7. Select a site and level it.

We buried 0.25″ mesh galvanized hardware cloth 1.5 feet deep, to protect the chickens from digging predators.

Step 8: Install wire underground to predator-proof the cage.

Step 8: Trenching and wire for predator-proofing.

We used salvaged lumber in addition to the stuff from our property in framing up the coop.

Step 9: Framing

Step 9: Framing.

The roof is corrugated galvanized metal.

Step 10: Roof.

Step 10: Roof.

Step 11: Nest boxes and doors.

Step 11: Nest boxes and doors.

Finished coop!

Finished coop!

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