The Broody Coop Build Starts

Ruby and the chicks need a proper home! They’ll be fine in the cage for a few days, but with the cardboard box and drinker and feeder inside the cage there’s not much room for anything else – if it was only the chicks then this space would be okay, but add Ruby to the picture and things get a bit squashed!

I’m going to build a small broody coop and run for Ruby and her Rubies. I’ve thought about different designs and seen pictures of different setups, and the requirements will be:
• Coop and run to be used indoor for a few weeks then moved outside
• Predator and vermin proof
• Mesh to be about 13mm x 13mm squares to protect the chicks from vermin
• Coop area to be no more than 600mm x 600mm
• Run area to be 1800mm long
• Coop and run to be strong but relatively light so that is can be easily moved
• Removable roof panel for the run area
• Back of coop to be hinged for cleaning
• Roof of coop to be on a hinge

For these projects I have a rough idea in mind of how things will start, and rather than design everything on paper or the computer I prefer to have a clear starting point, and take things from there – I find being able to see things in front of you is a better design and build process for me. For this project, the starting point was the 2 600mm x 600mm side panels that would be made from a 45mm x 45mm timber framework, and clad with shiplap, so I started with these.

These sides were then joined together with the same framing material to create a cube, and the build was coming together. To speed things up I used stop blocks on the mitre saw to give consistent cuts; the framing timber was either 600mm long or 510mm long (to allow for 2 x 45mm widths) and the cladding would be 600mm also. For joining the frame together I made a drilling guide – basically a section of timber with holes marked out – for consistency of screw position, which were all 75mm outdoor deck screws. Again, to help speed things up, I use one drill with a combined drilling and countersink bit, and a separate impact driver for the screws.

By the end of the first day the frame was complete and two sides clad.

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