building a poultry palace (part IV)

Once you have a good idea of what you want to build, where are you going to find those building materials?  Of course, purchasing them at your local hardware or home box store is a no brainer.  If you’re interested in being a bit more environmentally conscious or are on a shoestring budget, try finding materials on local websites like Craigslist or Freeecyle.  Habitat for Humanity is also a good option.  Builders will often unload leftovers there.

Another option is to look around your own home and consider what you might use.  After reconsidering the best location for our chicken yard and realizing that we probably won’t get rabbits again any time soon (sadly, ours were attacked by a raccoon last August), we tossed the plans I shared earlier and decided to convert our two rabbit hutches into a poultry palace of sorts.  We cut out extra openings for interior doors and for the nesting boxes and added a middle unit to connect the two hutches.  The hutch stands were also wired to allow for a lower level.  We also saved time by purchasing pre-made nesting boxes by Wayfair at our local ranch co-op.  If you don’t have a ranching store in your community, I’ll bet that you can find them online as well.  Below are some production shots.  I’ll share our final results next time!

The existing hutch stands were reinforced at the base and sides.  We also constructed a middle unit to connect the two hutches.
The existing hutch stands were reinforced at the base and sides. We also constructed a middle unit to connect the two hutches.

 

The beginnings of the middle unit.
The beginnings of the middle unit.

 

The hutch bases were wired and we also added partial "walls" at one end of each.
The hutch bases were wired and we also added partial “walls” at one end of each.

 

Whatcha doin' honey?
Whatcha doin’ honey?

 

Trays were constructed to fit inside the upper partitions of the coop for easy cleanup.  The trays are lined with cheap vinyl tile to prevent urine buildup in the wood.
Trays were constructed to fit inside the upper partitions of the coop for easy cleanup. The trays are lined with cheap vinyl tile to prevent urine buildup in the wood.
Even the Sprouts helped!  We made four different ladders for this abode.
Even the Sprouts helped! We made four different ladders for this abode.
One of the base units.
One of the base units.

 

We used leftover roofing materials for the middle unti but did have enough.  So, we made our own wooden shingles to compensate!
We used leftover roofing materials for the middle unit but did have enough. So, we made our own wooden shingles to compensate!

 

Painting and staining the wood keeps red mites from hiding in the wood and later tormenting your chickens!
Painting and staining the wood keeps red mites from hiding in the wood and later tormenting your chickens!

 

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