Saturday, April 14, 2007

So yesterday tornados whipped through the Metroplex. An apartment building near us lost it's roof. We had winds of 75 miles an hour and a downpour that rivaled anything in the tropics. And the coop withstood it all. The interior was still dry as well. I'm so glad it could withstand such extreme weather. I have hardwire cloth in the bottom as a precaution against the opossums that visit the back yard. So this baby is rather safe. The chicks are doing just fine in it. They go into the windblock at night and all rest, some even roost on the top edge. Miss Bracocin is doing just fine with the other birds. She is somewhat smaller that the others but sure can hold her own in the brawls. Cock-a-doodle-roo is as he is named, a Roo. His comb is bigger and much pinker than anyone elses and he spars with anything that moves. I'm not sure if any other chick is male tho. I guess I'll have to wait a bit longer before I can make the decision on who stays & who goes.

Monday, April 09, 2007

chickens outta da house!

I moved the chickens out to the coop today. I'm so worried about the overnight, but that seems normal. The chicks seem to like their new home and some of them are even roosting on the roost bar I provided tho most choose to roost ontop of the brooder. Tmw I'm going to buy some hardware cloth to put on the bottom as I am very concerned about coons & possums getting to the chicks. I hope they have enough sense to go into the brooder for the night as I tried to put them in and they kept flocking to my feet outside the brooder. Silly chickens.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

coherent Econo-Chicken Tractor plans

3 2"X4"X10' Pressure treated boards
4 L shaped galvanized metal plates for making a square butt joint
deck screws
8 10' schedule 40 1/2" diameter PVC pipe
1 4' Schedule 10 1/2" diameter PVC pipe
3 1/2" 90 degree elbow joints
12 1/2" conduit clamps
3 2' X 25' green PVC coated chix wire
300 8" outdoor rated zip ties
2 very large blue camping tarps( scavanged from my camping set up)
bungee cords to hold on tarp
1/2" 90degree elbow joint for door latch

make rectangular frame with 2X4's, Deck screws and L shaped plates
mark 2' intervals on outside of frame for PVC ribbing.
screw on conduit clamps at marked intervals.
insert PVC into conduit clamps, bend to make hoop shape , tighten conduit after pipe is inserted.
After all 6 ribs are formed zip tie top spine down the lenght of the ribs at top.
Attach chix wire to frame. I attached it at each rib point rather than going the lenght of the frame. Make Sense? I used zip ties. A lot of zipties.
make door. Attach elbow joints to 4' section of pipe. Bent 10' section into Elbow joints. Cover with chix wire. I attached this horizontally so there was a very small gap at the top for the latch. attach door to frame on one size using zip ties. Place an elbow joint on the end of the top spine, close door and turn joint up to form a latch. secure door at bottom with a bungee.
Wrap rectangle of tarp around back of tractor, bungee on. Drape rectangle of tarp over top of tractor bungee on.
hang heat lamp inside with chain over top spine. tie excess cord up, feed outdoor rated extension cord thru chix wire at gap in the 2 tarps. Place tractor in desired spot.
This is light enough that Kevin & I could pick it up from the bottom and carry it over to the garden and I could drag it back & forth by myself. We shall see how it stands up to the wind. I have 4 screw in dog stale out posts and some chain if I need to anchor the bugger down in high wind.
I have already posted the pix in previous entries so I wont repeat myself here.

Monday, April 02, 2007

finished coop sans chicks

Just as I get the coop finished I look at the forcast and it will be getting down to the low 50's this week. Too chilly for the chicks so they will have to wait. But here it is in all it's glory just waiting for it's guests. I'm sure those chicks would like to get out of that bin. there has been alot of butt pecking in the last few days. I have not seen any in the last 2 days though. I hope it stops and they can hold out till they are 5 weeks to go outside.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

here is my chicken tractor. the bottom is 10X4 Pressure treated 2X4's held together with a L shaped metal brace. the ribs are 10' PVC schedule 40 pipes held on the outside of the frame with condiut clamps. the top mid rib is put on with outdoor rated zip ties. the chicken wire is green PVC coated wire held on with zip ties and stapled at the bottom. the tarps are camping tarps held on with bungee cords. This has taken me 2 days to do with no helpers. I probably could have gotten it finished in one day with help. I still have to fashion a door somehow. I think I'll use the PVC pipes bent into a U with elbow joints and a bottom piece. I can probably get the door to swing using zip ties but I'm not sure what kind of latch I can use. I have tomorrow off so I can probably get that finished then.