Extreme Farm Makeover paid a visit to Eastside Farm! After a careful assessment of the chicken coop, it was decided that a makeover was LONG overdue!
Yes, Farmer Jeff and I lost our minds again. We decided a couple of weeks ago to COMPLETELY overhaul the chicken coop. When we first built it 2 1/2 years ago, we only had so much time and money we could put into it. Even then we built it more sturdily than our house!
After cleaning the coop and washing eggs for a couple of years, we decided to take the plunge and rip the inside apart.
We started this project the day before with the assembly of pre-fab nesting boxes. Complete with bizarre instructions written by someone who, big surprise, could not write instructions on how to crawl out of a paper bag. Needless to say, it took longer than anticipated, but we did end up with some new, neat and clean nesting boxes.
Yesterday we were both so excited by the project that we were awake by 6 (something I NEVER do) and were hard at work by 8 am. We started by scooping out all of the shavings/poop from the inside of the coop. Then we started pulling everything out: the
nesting boxes, "droppings bin", perches and hardware. We literally tore it down to the studs.
Then the rebuild began. After a serious trip to The Home Depot, we were then on a mission. We wanted a coop that we could clean & sterilize. I think it is because both of us have our
background in the food industry, our solution to this problem was FRP. (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Composite) Since we were going to put that up, we both agreed to insulate the coop. I worry about the cold of and the heat of summer. We had considered insulating the coop for several years, but knew that in order to do so we just had to tear it apart. SO...yesterday we insulated.
After the insulation was installed, we cut and installed drywall. I can't believe how much weight we lifted, cut, moved, held and
installed. Whew! Makes me tired just thinking about all that we did!
Next step: we paneled the roof to keep it warm and keep the rats out. Little buggers. We could hear them last night, along with the chickens who were locked outside. Everyone was agitated and perplexed! We tried to placate the troops outside but little solace was found. They really complained the whole time! We tried to keep the girls happy by setting their familiar nesting boxes outside, but that really didn't help. We did get about 10 eggs from them yesterday, but that was about half of what we normally get. I can't blame them. Their sweet and familiar life had been interrupted!
After the plywood and ceiling were in, then we could get to cutting and installing the FRP. As you can see by the pictures, night fell by the time we got to the FRP. The girls were stacking up on the ramps to their doors, that were closed, and they started picking on
each other. I tried their cracked corn, "chicken pancake treat", but that didn't do much. We rigged lights into the pen and that seemed to finally calm them down.
We had laid out the FRP on the grass to make sure that it "gassed off" and it ended up being wet from the dew/condensation. We dried it off best we could and then cut it and glued it to the walls. Not content with these incredible walls, we took it one step further and laid linoleum
! It is so easy to clean and keep clean!
Once the floor was done, the next step was to install the nesting boxes, one of which I was assembling on the floor! They turned out to be pretty cool looking and CLEAN!!! After the boxes came the perching rails. Farmer Jeff kept me apprised of the time. At first he said, I think we'll be done by 11. Then it was, I think we'll be done by midnight. Then it was, we're almost finished, Hon...
The nesting boxes on Napoleon's side are a stylish blue, but all in all, I think it is a very stylish look!
What time was it all over? 2 am. We had worked for 18 hours straight. The flocks reaction? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??? I AM NOT GOING IN THERE? At that point, Farmer Jeff took me by the elbow and led me inside to go to bed.
The first thing we did this morning, um, later in the same morning, was to wander into the chicken coop. Thankfully, several of the girls were not only checking it out, they were actually beginning to lay eggs and as of this moment, we have 4 eggs on Napoleon's side, and 7 in the main section!
It is a glorious day. The temperature is a perfect 69 degrees, the sun is shining and the chickens are happy. The revolt we saw brewing yesterday has given way to sun bathing and exploring the "new digs". Our girls are happy, once again!
Labels: Eggs, FRP, nesting boxes, remodeling