Saturday, December 28, 2013

Renovating Chicken World

The last few weeks have been cold, and windy.

I've been unhappy with the fact that Chicken World is bare metal in the inside. It was supposed to have sheets of paneling against the walls to buffer against freezing wind and burning heat. But that didn't come to pass. So, I'm working on it - by cutting up used pallets and nailing the boards to the wall.

There are a lot of ways to reuse pallets. Google opened up a rabbit hole that sucked me inside for several hours.

I'm going to finish up Chicken World before I try to expand our shed using pallets. (hehehehehehehe!) Seriously, this is a very slow progressing project. The pallets have to be taken apart - not easy! Although, we did buy a crowbar/wrecking bar/nail puller and a rubber mallet, to make it a bit easier.

Still, it take raw muscle to pry the slats off the pallet. Then there are the nails - dozens of nails that can't be allowed to escape. I've got a huge plastic jar about 1/3 full of nails already.

Anyways - I'm putting new nest boxes up, and making more roosting space. Alot more roosting space. Then, if I can figure out a way to do it with a sprayer, I want to whitewash the walls.

What I've got done, so far, is a partial take down of the old nest area, and one half of one wall completed. It's been SO slow, I'm dismantling, because I want to re-use the wood and the screws. This will be the 3rd go-round for some of these materials. Nothing like recycling - saves me a buncha money.

The top third of the wall takes about 33" slats. I've got some that were already painted white, they look like siding. They are going by the window, to reflect the light. The thickest boards are going where I'm putting up nest boxes and roosts.

The center third and lower third will require 24" slats. These won't need to hold any weight, so they can be thin. I've got a few center boards in place. These slats seem to make the most difference in the temperature of the air. I think it might be because I use a deep litter - enough to heat up. Heat rises.

The window was on the outside - a couple of chickens banged into it, nearly knocking it down. It leaked air instead of keeping the wind out after that. I've tried a couple of times to put it right. Until I finally took it completely down and put it inside, I couldn't get it secure.

Now, there are just little gaps around the window - can't put a finger between it and wall any more! Of course this means that the hole outside the wall needs to have some kind of framing. Don't know what yet, but I'm working on it.

The goal is to moderate the winter temperature - so cold snaps don't stop the eggs from hatching. We'll have to see how that works out. So far the window made the most difference. I'm looking forward to moving the roosts and the nest boxes. I think I can predict where the ducks will lay and where the hens will lay. The geese will lay on the ground...need to leave space for them!

Stay tuned!

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