I love to build.
I also love to “design” building projects from scratch. Sitting down with a pencil and some scrap paper and a few ideas is one of my favorite ways to wile away a winter evening.
Then, starting to put things together, working out problems along the way, researching, adding on, tweaking the design. Getting down to the nitty-gritty, then putting the final touches on it: paint, hardware, flooring.
With the sleet and snow and temps in the teens and twenties, all I’ve been able to do lately is stare at my half-built contraption through the window. Right now it’s raining cats and dogs but it’s 40 degrees so I may be tempted to get out there for a while and drive in a few nails.
What this is, is a two-story combination chicken coop/duck pen. The upper floor is for the chickens, of course; they like to be high up. The ground floor is a duck house, ducks being ground-dwellers. The entrances face opposite directions. Each floor has a big door for unimpeded clean-out and egg retrieval.
The walls are insulated against drafts and each floor has through ventilation up high with sturdy hardware cloth-covered windows to reduce moisture build-up and provide light while keeping out predators. I can cover them when temperatures are extreme. The doors are sized to fit automatic door openers (in case I win the lottery). Barring that, I plan to build easy-opening doors with latches.
A lot of the lumber was recycled or found.
While the chickens already have a nice coop, it’s a converted playhouse/shed. I want to reclaim the shed for other uses, so new coop it is! Maybe that’s just my excuse for building a new one, but I think it’ll be good for the chickens in the long run. And maybe, just maybe, a couple of ducks, too.
More photos and details on the plans as the project continues.