Friends! Today is Friday.
Last day of the week.
Day before the weekend.
Are you looking for a cool weekend project?
Katie and I have a lot of trade-offs in our marriage. It makes things fair:
‘I want a new guitar’ (me)
‘Ok, I want a new bed comforter’ (Katie)
‘I want some rose bushes’ (me)
‘Ok, I want a herb garden’ (Katie)
‘I’m leaving you with the kids and going to visit Jordan in Switzerland’ (me)
‘Ok, I’m leaving you with the kids and going on a girls trip to Spain’ (Katie)
‘I want to get some beehives’ (me)
‘Ok, I want to get some chickens’ (Katie)
Which brings us to the chicken ark…the portable chicken coop that doubles as a getaway boat in case of world flooding!
You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. – Genesis
While it does look like an ark, sadly it will not help us survive a hurricane.
Katie found the plans for the chicken ark online for $19.99. She wanted a coop that we could have at our house and be able to move around the yard easily.
You may not know chickens wreak havoc on the ground. Grass? Gone. Weeds? Gone. Chickens will leave you with a bare scorched piece of earth with all of their scratching.
As I write this I’m not sure why I would want to move the coop. So my entire yard can be destroyed? Anyway…
It was a fun project to work on together. If you don’t have basic woodworking skills you’re better off just buying a prefabricated coop or getting one off Craigslist.
I thought it of it as a personal challenge to see if I still had my high-school wood-working skills. I’ve lost my high-school metal shop skills. High-school sewing skills? Still got ’em. High-school baking-skills? Check.
Do they even teach that stuff anymore?
You can get your own set of plans from Catawba ConvertiCoops
The materials for this project are $300 from Home Depot. The plans indicate you can do it for $200.
If you can find a lumber yard where you can buy #2-grade wood then the $200 price is realistic. My local Home Depot doesn’t carry the necessary sized wood needed in a lower grade. I had to buy #1 grade – the same type used for building shelves, cabinets, or furniture. These chickens are getting top-quality construction materials.
My local Home Depot also didn’t have any pressure treated lumber in the sizes the plans called for. We’re going to have to prime and paint our coop with exterior paint.
We borrowed a miter saw which I cannot emphasize enough is necessary for making the angled cuts properly. While it’s possible to use a skill saw it will take ten times longer.
My first step was to cut all the wood to the dimensions in the lumber list. Wouldn’t you know the first thing I cut was wrong. I made the right cut, but it was to the wrong piece of wood. Thankfully that was also my last mistake.
Cutting wood took two hours. I love the smell of sawdust. It ranks right up there with fresh cut grass. And chocolate chip cookies. Maybe not that high.
The most important part of the project!
It took the better part of a day to assemble the coop. All the wood framing was completed on day one. We got as far as installing the hardware (handles, hinges, gate openers, drawbridge).
This was the initial frame. In the background is the beehive stand I built out of cedar wood.
Now we have some cross braces and the chicken roost installed.
The following day we finished up with all the hardware and trying to get the doors to fit correctly. The ark has a removable side so you can clean it out.
Oh yeah – a drawbridge with a pulley.
Both sides are removable as well. This is in case we want to add a bigger pen for the chickens to roam around during the day.
FYI -doors can be made to fit with a hammer and chisel.
Here is the chicken ark from the side.
All that’s left is a coat of paint and some chickens!
Fresh eggs are just a few weeks away!