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As busy we’ve been around our place, we’ve been spread equally thin at our 9-5’s (8-6’s) and with other responsibilities, so “blogging” has been a bit hard lately. I sit at a computer all day to make ends meets, so after work, it’s rare I want to come home and write. However, we’ve had some exciting things going on.

Kate and I both had Good Friday off so we used the Easter weekend to make some serious headway on the large coop for our soon-arriving flock of meat birds. We have an old, very large, rectangular corn crib. While in rough shape, we’ve wanted to re-purpose it somehow.

An estimate to re-roof the structure didn’t require a second thought – it wasn’t worth it. Since at the moment we only need one-third of it, I decided to just build a new roof underneath it and take advantage of what cage was already there.

We also worked on closing off the last portion of the structure, where we will put the roosts. Because it’s a coop for meat birds, we aren’t too worried about cold weather protection right now. It will only serve as a coop for a few months. However, I plan on building it so that it could be easily turned into a year-round coop with a bit more investment. Right now, time and budget are dictating a quick and cheap solution!

It will need some additional hardware cloth on the bottom and a new door, but it’s coming along nicely right now! The car-siding was more pricey than i had hoped, but all in all, the coop should come in close to budget. The pylons of the crib are not plumb, so i had to had use some scrap 2×4 in some areas to keep the space between at just under 6 feet. This way, I was able to buy 12-foot car-siding and have no waste… whenever possible plan your project around the dimensions of your lumber. I used a boring bit to recess the bolt and help protect it. Should the building need to be re-purposed again, I’d like to be able to remove it.

I wanted to reuse barn wood from an old garage atop our property, but I think if a coon farted in the structure, it’d come tumbling down, so I haven’t decided how to get the good siding out of it without razing the whole thing (with myself still inside). Hopefully, a coon WILL fart in it, bringing the building down and dispatching a coon at the same time.

My roof  (PVC panels) is going to run more that I’d hoped also, but it should be very permanent and  keep the elements out. I used cheap untreated lumber for the framing as well. One- to save on costs, two – because treated wood has “preservatives” in it. At one time it was arsenic and copper, among other elements. Since chickens peck everything and it would certainly leach into the ground at some point, I’ve avoided using it on the coops.

Of course, had I reused old barn wood, I’m sure I would’ve added plenty of lead to the ground around the coop, so you’ll never really avoid all heavy metals if you want your projects to last or you use old material.

So, we got most of this done over Easter. This weekend (with the little nice weather we had) I managed to get the first round of red paint on it. It’s the pretty “lead red” that covers many barns in Wisconsin… sans the lead of course.