I figured I should begin on the doors as they would be the fiddly bits on the build. The front door which I’d be attaching the nesting box to was first up. The galvanised hinges were one of the bigger purchases for this project and I would have preferred the heavy duty ones but the super tight budget pushed me to the light duty ones. Difference in price was ~$13/pair vs $30/pair so for all four doors the saving was ~$68. They work fine as when the doors are closed their weight is taken up by the floor and I don’t anticipate having them open very often.
The door on the left is the one to which I’ll be attaching the nesting boxes. I wanted to use the deep litter method (~30cm deep) and so the opening to the nesting boxes had to sit around 40cm above the floor. In the top corners I screwed in two short bracing pieces. Simple rule of thumb is if you ever need to make something rigid put a triangle in it!
I had to give the hinges something solid to screw in as the side walls were too thin so I added those small square bits of wood on the side panels just in from the top and bottom.
Opening the door to check that it swings okay and that the hinges are aligned.
Next up was the nesting box access hatch. I wanted it to swing downwards for two reasons. Firstly when open I wouldn’t need to prop it up while collecting eggs. Secondly if a snake were to be curled up in the nesting box I’d be able to see it while the door was just opening giving me time to slam the door shut and let out a high pitched scream that would put a ten year old girl to shame. I think snakes are beautiful creatures, just not within 100m of me. If my snake paranoia seems excessive just jump onto social media or chicken forums and see the multitude of fat snakes bloated in chicken coops. If my permaculture experiment works out my yard will be an oasis, in a suburb full of lawns and concrete, for all fauna in the area including snakes. Since starting this garden project I have seen a spike in native frogs, skinks and blue tongue lizards populations. Given that I’ve encountered several 2m+ pythons in my street over the years, it’s just a matter of time.
The roof is UV resistant corrugated polycarbonate sheeting once again salvaged from the rustic shack in the music video. I left several palings off the side as this would be the entrance for the chooks. Until I knew exactly what the adult size of the chickens I’d be getting would be I figured I’d hold off on the door opening.