It has been a busy weekend.. we are exhausted.. as state on my last post, we have use the boys old swing set and convert it into a A-Frame chook house / run..
My girls are now between 8 weeks and 12 weeks old.. they are getting big and six of them will not fit into their existing coop (even though it is suppose to be for six chooks)…
I have a surgery recently which have blown my budget out of the way (it cost about 4 time than I expect to pay 😦 )so buying a new coop or even an additional coop is out of the question.
We have a old swing set which is being dump behind the car port.. looking at it the other day giving me the idea of converting it into a A-Frame coop. I got the idea from browsing those the housing section on Back Yard Poultry Forum… A lot of chicken coop are in a form of A-frame hatch and there was some very beautiful ‘enlarged’ version of it..
My only concern is.. the swing set is steel.. how do I go about putting my idea together, where shall I find material to made it as economical as possible.. (both me and K are not the DIY type.. we differentiate screw driver between plus and minus sign)..
I talk to my BIL who is very handy and he confirm that it is not that hard to ‘attached’ thing onto a steel frame so I decided to give it a go..
I have this grand plan.. I want an ‘off the floor’ coop inside the A frame as the girls ‘bedroom’ with plenty of space underneath for them to run around.. etc etc..
Walking home from the bus the week before, got me talking to my neighbor across the road, who is also a retired builder..
He always have building material laying around his car port so I ask him whether he has any spare iron sheeting that I can buy from him (hopefully cheaply) I explain my plan of converting the swing set into a chicken coop/run..
He basically offer me any spare supplies he has ‘as many as I need’ for free.. he said, either I take it or it is going to the dump.. he also happen to have 4 colorbond sheet in the carport as we speak and he said I can have them when ever I am ready..
The iron sheeting is exactly what I needed and told him I will pick it up on the weekend when we are ready to start work.
The next day seeing him delivery the sheets and position it safely onto my carport.. as the sheets are 3 m x .8m it is quite large to carry over the street (he drove the sheets over)…
The pressure is on to really get this project going so on Sunday.. we visited Bunning Warehouse to get an idea of costing to find out how much this project will cost me.. and guess who we run into in the ‘trade’ area.. yup.. the friendly neighbor..
I explain to him my plan of the ‘off the floor housing’ and looking for some board that will fit the purpose… After a brief discussion, he told me not to get any as he have some very old board (20 years old) which is still very solid.. it will fit my purpose..
I made plan to meet with him later that afternoon so we can go over my plan (I have about 3 sheets of drawing) and find out what I need and how to go about with it..
After meeting with him.. my ‘plan’ change completely.. I don’t need an ‘off the ground house’ for the chicken, it will made the work too completed for novice like me and K.. he also made a few recommendation and advice what is the best material to buy to add to the frame.. He even offer to buy it for us (as he go to Bunnings everyday) as it is too long for us to take home (6m in length)..
As he will be away for a couple of days to build something on his holiday site, I told him I will give him the measurement by Wednesday so he will know how many ‘frame steel’ to get for us..
K have a RDO on Tuesday, I got a call from him at work, the neighbor have just drop by with 4 of the 6m length steel.. a pack of bolt and a roll of chicken wire.. He also show K how to bolt the sheets onto the frame and how to cut the sheeting to length and lend us the cutter for the job.. We got almost everything to get started and the pressure is on..
Anyway.. This is what happen
During the week K start by removing all the swing bits from the swing, move the frame into the yard for work.. we also try to cut the ‘steel frame’ to size (the yellow bits) just to see how easy or hard to cut them to size
Swing Set will all bits and pieces removed
On Saturday… work begin
The bare frame under the patio
We move the frame under the patio so we can work out of the sun
Bolting the frame at the base of the swing
Cutting the sheet into size..
Using the offcut of the sheeting to cover one end of the frame.. it is like a jigsaw puzzle..
One side cover.. we used 4 pieces of off-cut.. which made this very heavy
Move to the lawn before it get too heavy
We move the frame to the lawn before it get too heavy.. don’t think we will be able to move it once it is all cover in iron sheeting.. We lay the sheeting against the frame to get an idea of the finish product…
We lay 2 sheet overlap on top of the frame (the yellow steel) and bolt it onto the A-Frame at one go.. once all the sheeting in place, it is time to fit the avery mesh.. I did not use the chicken wire given to me as I already order some avery mesh on line before I know I am getting some chicken wire.. wish I have used the chicken wire though.. at hind sight.. the chicken wire will be more easy to handle..
One part of avery mesh gone up.. chicken check out their new home
By the time we one the first section of the mesh installed it is pass 6:30 in the evening and we also do not have the right tool to join 2 lots of mesh at that point of time so that is end of day one..
On Sunday – Finishing the project
Don’t really know how it happen, but I got sunburn from Saturday, Sunday is another hot day so we did not start work until well into the afternoon.. I spend the morning in Bunning checking out supplies..
The mesh was joint by lots of netting ring
putting the steel in place trying to get a door frame together
Door frame bolted in place
Door fitted onto the frame with 2 hinges
Gap filler foam to cover sharp edges
Roof ridge delivered and fitted by professional builder
Come home from work today to see the roof ridge being installed by my neighbor.. now the coop is water proof..
Food and Drink hanging from the roof..
The girls happy in their new home
Finish product with happy chooks..
I must admit, I think it will be another ‘all talk and no action’ project if the neighbor have not been actively involve in this project.. apart from fitting the roof ridge as finishing touch he did not involve in any of actual building.. but he contribute heavily on the material.. not to mention the moral support.. knowing that he is just across the road and will be more than happy to help if we stuff up give us the confident to put the thought into action..
I am sure the chickens is very happy in their new home.. and I will try to post an update of their progress as soon as I can (been a bit slack lately)
Until than.. see ya 🙂