Saturday, March 21, 2009

Helping Hands

Dave -

An honorable mention goes to Bill who stopped by yesterday to lend me a hand with the chicken coop.

When I designed the chicken coop, I surfed the Internet and skimmed through several books on raising chickens to determine the optimal size of nesting boxes, the best height for roosts, different ways to keep vermin out of the coop, space requirements . . . I am finding that as I build the coop, I have to tweak my 'perfect' blueprints to fit into the real world.

Now that I am well along in the construction phase, I am facing another issue that has nothing to do with the making the chickens happy. Now my concern is structural rigidity. Yes, I realize that this is "just” a chicken coop. Yes, I realize that most people use scrap lumber, camper shells, crates or large cardboard boxes to make their chicken coops. So what is my fixation with structural rigidity? I don’t know except that I don't want to worry about the darn thing collapsing within the first year.

People offer various chicken coop designs on the Internet for a couple of bucks. I am thinking about offering my updated 'perfect' plans also. This could end up being my only source of income if work doesn’t start to pick up. I imagine that most people evaluate chicken coop designs based on size, ease of putting it together, and anticipated cost of construction. This last point really has my attention as I trudge back and forth between the garage and the “construction site”. I keep rolling around in my head different ideas that I think might make the building process easier and lower the construction cost.

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