We’ve been having issues with our LGD Great Pyr, Mia, eating our chicken eggs. The fault lies with us, so I can’t really blame her. Our chickens don’t lay in the 3 nesting boxes in their tiny coop, they like to lay in either the hay bales or the alpaca hay bins. We will need to train them to go in nesting boxes, which means a bigger coop that can be closed off from the dog.
I decided that it would be best to have the coop open into the barn, making it a new structure. Our small coop is built onto one of our interior barn walls with a little run along side one of our alpaca pens. The new coop will face it and when we remove the old coop, we will have opened up that walkway a good bit. The photo below shows where the coop will be in the barn. We currently have that area closed off with a tarp to keep the winter winds at a minimum for our open barn layout.
And this is the outside of the area we will be building in. You can see the left corner of our small coop, along with all the hay stacked along the outside edge to insulate it. We had 35 plus hay bales that were moldy and we couldn’t use for food, so we currently have them all over the barn as wind blocks. The chickens love climbing all over this area and make a huge mess. Can’t wait to get rid of it!
I spent about 4 hours out there today getting all the measuring done. I cut most of the 2x4s needed for the frame. The rest will need to be cut as we are building because I want a slanted roof and want to make sure the measurements are more concise. I want to have a door midway between two wire mesh walls, for access to the coop. I measured and cut the frames for both sides of the door and partially assembled them. Wow, I made that sound so easy! It was not!!!! I have a number of issues including a partially torn rotator cuff on my right shoulder and shoulder impingement syndrome on that same shoulder. Hammering is never good for that. It’s important to use the right weight hammer. Mine is lightweight, but it’s still heavy enough that I don’t have to swing more than I need to. My other issue was that someone thought she was actually helping me. Not sure what was up with her, but she kept coming over to peck my hands or where I was hammering. She’s lucky I could see the humor in the situation.
As a woman, I really don’t like saying that men can do more than us, even though it is true sometimes. Mostly, it’s just that we need another hand to help hold and stabilize things. Moving a heavy frame would be hard for anyone, but it can be done. I like to use up all my end pieces of boards, so my frames are a little funky sometimes, which makes them even harder to move without the nails wanting to come loose. I’m using exsisting post from our barn construction to attach the front frame to, but there is already a frame there that has to be removed before setting in the two new frames. I couldn’t do this on my own, so that will need to be done tomorrow when Mark is helping. In this next photo, you can get an idea of what it will look like when we remove the tarp and boards and then fully install the new ones. That center board will be removed and in it’s place will be a door.