Hammerin’ on a Hen House

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The mild temperatures in Indiana this weekend provided the perfect time to tackle a fun project of repurposing in my garage. I decided to embark on half of a project that has been brewing in my mind since our return to our house earlier this year. I have been brainstorming an “indoor / outdoor” chicken coop. The idea is to take an existing window on a structure and allow the laying hens to freely move from inside the structure (thereby escaping the extremes of weather) to outside the structure in a wire encased house. [No, this is not going on my house].

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The challenge lay in the knowledge that I really didn’t have much money to purchase new materials. I began to poke around my garage and I ended up with the perfect outside hen house. I found a partial roll of garden wire, an 8′ 2×4, some 2×4 and 2×6 cutoffs from a purchase of firewood, a ping pong table half, a section of pvc pipe, a wooden dowel rod, and some shingle cutoffs.

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The house frame used up the 8′ 2×4 fairly quickly. I found some cutoffs to finish it nicely. For the roof, I found two truss cutoffs that matched angle and length. I cut the ping pong table to my desired dimensions. I then sorted the shingle strips and tackled the roofing. (I’m thankful we don’t have hurricanes in Indiana). The sides and floor were covered with the garden wire. The 4″ pvc pipe was cut with my saw to create a feed trough. I smoothed the edges with a Dremel tool. The dowel rod reinforced the garden wire where it met the pvc feed trough.

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The entire process probably took 8 hours. The reason for such a long project time was partially due to my lacking skilz in construction. I carry in my mind’s eye exactly what I want. Getting it to actually show up on my workbench is always a challenge. All in all, I am pleased with the fact that I took advantage of the milder winter temperatures, kept my mind off some challenges I’ve been facing lately physically, and got half of a desired project done.

I’ll post the other half when it gets finished…if the milder temperatures hold. Ha.


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