Yeah, I know you haven't heard from me in a while. I've been trying to fit a year into the last month of my summer before I go back to work, even if it's a temporary gig. So, I've been spending my days playing with my kids and getting the last of the to-do chores done. Fun over blogging. I don't feel bad about it.
That said, one of the things on my to-do list was to get the chicken arc ready for layers. So, last week, I finally got to it as my birds were getting to be 5 months old.
I started by building a platform with left over plywood and 1x2 scrap from the coop project that I'd been saving for this very reason. The placement was as high as it needed to be to reach the sides of the triangular arc.
Sure it doesn't look extremely sturdy, but really, how heavy duty does it need to be to be to support a few hens laying eggs?
After that, I decided to use recycled corrugated fiberglass panels from my broken compost cover for the sides. Not only is it water proof, but it adds more light, which will be good during the winter months. The door was a bit more tricky as I had no idea what angle my arc was set at, so we resorted to tracing it on the plywood and cutting it out. I used a left over hinge that was way too big for the application, but I had it.
My brother wanted to use a hook latch for the closure, but I have found eye-hook latches to be pains in the rear over the last few months. I like barrel bolt latches much better. Thankfully I had one on hand, so I used it.
So, as it sits now, it isn't pretty, but it's very functional and not particularly heavy. Just what the doctor ordered, and if you read yesterday's post, I built it right in time.
It's not finished yet. I still need to build in a lip to keep nesting material in there, and maybe build some sort of a ramp to let the chickens up there. I'm thinking of indoor outdoor carpet in the nesting box to help keep the eggs from rolling around when the arc is at an angle, which happens regularly, depending where it is in the yard.
I also want to replace the rusty chicken wire with some galvanized welded wire, maybe in the inch or two variety, to cover it. As winter approaches, it may be that the hens are out after dark some days, so I want to make it temporarily predator proof. I've got my work cut out for me.