February 9, 2010

Chicken Coop Update: Almost Ready

Well, we're getting near the end of our chicken to-do list. Still need to make the nest boxes (not a priority), roosts, gate to the chicken yard (materials are at hand), finish ramps, clean up our mess, and set up the brooder. What we have gotten done, hasn't been accomplished without a problem however.

The problem was a big one, as the roof on the shed developed a leak. Several leaks, actually. The roof, tin on top of shingles, hadn't leaked the entire time we've been here, but unfortunately, in this last bout of storms it did!

This was bad news because we're getting down to the wire before the chicks arrive. The silver lining though, is that it was better to have it happen now, rather than after we had chickens housed there.

This situation created something of a dilemma. If the roof was leaking in only one spot, we could have fixed just that spot. But there were several leaks and the roof obviously wasn't going to get any better.

We discussed the options.

Patch it? Pinpointing all the leaks was one problem. Then too, there is no guarantee more won't develop.

Build a new coop? Even if we reallocated some of our savings there wasn't enough time.

Put on a new roof? This seemed the necessary option, but we hesitated. Time and money were one consideration, but the age and condition of the shed was another. Putting a new roof on a semi-dilapidated shed would be like putting shiny new hubcaps on a car with a rusted out body.

In the end we opted for a quick fix, which hopefully will last until we can actually make and implement plans for new housing. I bought a 16 x 30 foot tarp, which covers the entire thing.

We put the blue side down and you almost can't tell it's there. (That's Rascal in the photo, testing out the chicken door.)

This is a real "making do" solution, obviously not permanent, but hopefully satisfactory for the time being. Dan has been itching to build a new barn, so he doesn't mind pushing the project up on the priority list.

Chicken Coop Update: Almost Ready text and photos copyright 
9 February 2010 by Leigh at http://www.5acresandadream.com/


katrien said...

Necessity is the mother of invention!
You're nearly there. I can't wait to see your chicks!

Julie said...

Lucky, Lucky you I have always wanted chickens.

Maybe someday!

Renee Nefe said...

when I was reading this I was thinking "tar paper!" but your tarp is a great solution too. I hope it lasts you a good long time so that you can save up enough funds for that new barn.


Woolly Bits said...

I think that's called "adapting to circumstances":)) like renovating an old house, there's always something unexpected and you have to work around it. the tarp doesn't look bad though - and as long as the chicks are kept dry, you can work something out later. looking forward to pix of cute newcomers to the household (but won't Rascal try to "do" something about them?)

Annie said...

I love the cat pretending to be a chicken!

Theresa said...

I think you'll be surprised at how long the quick fix lasts. At least I hope so! When do the guys & gals arrive?

Laura said...

In Oregon, we call the blue side the state flag!!

Good thinking!

Nina said...

My personal worry about quick fixes is that they end up long term fixes. We're being pretty careful about avoiding that in our repairs and renovations here. The woven poly tarps that we find in the stores around here, aren't always all that water proof or weather proof, in my experience. For our weather extremes, I'd be more inclined to pop off the metal sheeting and slap another layer of shingles on, or rolled asphalt roofing is fairly easy to install as well.. However, I'm pretty certain that you don't have the winter heaving, heavy snows, ice, frost and blustery winter winds that we have to contend with in the autumn, winter and early spring, so it's a moot point anyway.
If it works for you and the chicks, then that is all that matters :)

Anonymous said...

UV light on the tarp, along with weather, will age it more than you might think, but it should be good for a year or two.
Having just chased a coyote from my neighbor's chicken coop area, I hope you have planned for same or similar critters entry into yours, especially those of the egg-eating variety.
-Sue in MA

Leigh said...

Katrien, I'd like to think it is anyway :)

Julie, any reason why you couldn't get them? Even if you aren't rural, they may fall under the pet category where you live.

Renee, thanks! Actually we had a partial roll of roofing paper, but it wasn't enough. In the end we figured this would get us through until then.

Bettina, don't I know it. "Unexpected" seems to be the rule around here!

Yes, I'm sure Rascal will want to get those chicks, which is why we're going to put them directly into the coop rather than try to house them in a box in the house for the first couple of days. At present, he can only get into the coop area if either the inside door or chicken door is left open. Once they grow, he will be more worried about them getting him,then him getting them.

Annie, I've learned to keep my camera handy!

Theresa, I hope so. Chick arrival is Friday, so you can see why we're in a rush about some things. Others, like the nests and even the chicken yard gate aren't so pressing, though we plan to move right along until everything the chicken list is crossed off.

Laura, how funny! I did have trouble finding a tarp actually. Several places were sold out, so it would seem we're not the only ones dealing with leaks after all the rain we've been having.

Nina, Dan is constantly worried about that too. If we're going to tackle a project, he wants to do it right the first time. Fortunately, that tarp is solid poly, rather than woven. I was very thankful to find it like that.

Sue, if we can get a couple of years out of it, we'll be happy. The other concern, besides sun, is wind getting up underneath it and whipping it to shreds. Hopefully we have it secured properly.

For chicken eating critters, we're hoping we've got the yard fence buried properly. The coop has a concrete floor, and for all it's faults, is secure from being dug into. Hopefully we've taken all necessary precautions.

Unknown said...

wait, does that mean there are coops out there without tarps covering our less than perfect roofing? I thought that was what tarp were for!

bspinner said...

One nice thing about chickens they don't much care where they live. Should be ok thou since it looks like it passed Rascal's approval.

Lee said...

I see Laura beat me to the my comment. Exactly what I was thinking. Tarps in Oregon aren't just limited to sheds and outbuildings. They are pretty common permanent fixtures on houses too. There's a Oregon Parks Department site near us, and even one of their storage buildings is covered in tarps with weathered sheets of plywood holding them down.

I like the ramp up into your coop. Cute.

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

My motto is....whatever works. Sometimes in the world of farming a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. I just love fuzzy little chicks!

From the snowy hills and hollers of the Ozarks, ya'll have a wonderfully blessed day!!!

Randy said...

It looks like you are making progress. I am excited for you to get your chicks on Friday! Please take lots of pics!

Leigh said...

Az, *LOL, thanks for that! ;)

Barb, is sure is a good thing, isn't it?

Lee, I'm surprised more of them aren't used around here too. I have seen them covering leaking roofs on houses, but not chicken coops. And you noticed my chicken ramp! We're pleased with it too.

Nezzy, hopefully this works!

Lynn, lots of photos soon. :)

cyndy said...

Can't wait for the new chicks to arrive! I love the peeps!

katrien said...

Ah, we just decided not to get chicks this Spring. It's a legal issue with our town... Yuck! maybe in Summer, but probably next Spring. We were so looking forward to them!

Heather said...

I'm behind on blog reading but am curious to see what kind of chickens you get. My son really wants to get some soon.

Callie Brady said...

What a great fix! I think we may have to do something like this to our coop roof. The coop is an old dog run and shelter my brother built years ago that we adopted for the chickens. A new coop or barn would be very nice but pricey. So, we make do.

Benita said...

I'm just glad you were able to get one big enough to cover the whole shed. And, if you are planning to build a real barn anyway, I agree that putting a new roof on this building would be a waste of money. The roof would outlive the rest of the building.

Leigh said...

Cyndy, it is exciting isn't it?

Katrien, that's disappointing. I hope you can work through the red tape. I know it's an issue in a number of towns, though chicken owners are being successful in getting ordinances changed.

Callie, making do seems to be all we do:) Still, I'm happy to be thrifty as well as creative. An old dog run and shelter sounds like a good place for a chicken coop.

Benita, I was amazed too, especially since I didn't actually set out to find one that size. We already had one tarp, so the size I wanted was similar, thinking we'd use the two to cover the shed. But the size I was looking for was sold out, and the next size smaller was sold out. I bought the next size larger and it turned out just right! The best part is that it has stayed put with our high winds today, and didn't leak during yesterday's rain. Yay!

denise/deBRAT said...

I think you are very clever! after all in florida in 2004 when we had all those hurricanes come through the fix was blue side up... and it took all of two years for some of those blue roofs to be replaced due to contractors so backed up. so let it stay til you have to do something else!

Leigh said...

Denise, that's an encouragement! Thanks for visiting and leaving that comment. Hopefully we'll have a new coop before the tarp does wear out!

Marie said...

I love your chicken coop, how exciting!!! ;-)

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Rodney Orton said...

So how is the roof doing now? If the quick fixing lasted, then it's effective. Did you eventually replace it? The chickens might have been cozying there by now.

Leigh said...

BlogBloggers, I left a comment at your website (seems to be gone now) and never thanked you here for the comment and link. So thanks!

Rodney, good question. We never replaced the roof and 15 months later it is still holding up strong. Eventually we'll replace the entire building, but unless it starts to leak, won't worry about the tarp until then.