Wednesday, April 20, 2011

.... Stupid Snow!!!

Well yesterday we got some wet, wet, heavy snow that smashed most of the row covers.  I was able to get them back up when I got home from work.  We had crop loss, but hopefully we will still be able to meet our first CSA delivery date.....  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Building of the "Chick-mobile" Part 2

OK... So after a week or two of my chicken tractor laying half finished I decided it was time to make some more progress.  Since it was raining, Michelle and I pulled everything into the machine shed so we would have a dry place to work.
 The biggest question I have been pondering since I started this project was how do I attach the pvc hoops to the wooden sides so that it is strong and does not cost me an arm and a leg...


This is what we came up with...  It seems to be holding very nicely and after both ends of the pvc are attached to opposite sides it tightens up even more.  I think that this might just work....

 One hoop down.... five to go...



This was about all that got done on saturday.... since the first three quarters of the day was spent in Ft. Dodge buying supplies for a couple other projects for the garden.




...Sunday morning... back to business....



.


....and no.. that is not my equipment in the background... 
but the hoops are coming along quite well.  



I am pretty happy with how this the door and frame came out.  We built it from 2X3s .... and I am not going to tell you about the part when I shut off my brain and made the cross pieces 5 inches too long... oh well.. thats what chop saws are for...


Finally it is starting to look like something.  I got the back panel on. I also attached the purlin to the top of the hoops to keep them spaced evenly under the stress of storms and what not.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Building of the "Chick-mobile" Part 1

This is the first look at my efforts to build my first Chick-Mobile.  I guess I should clarify,  I am not building a car that a high school guy looks cool in and cruises around to pick up girls..... Sorry Dad, no pink station wagon here. ;)

What I am building is a portable chicken pen that can allow my laying flock access to tasty plants and bugs while at the same time protecting them from predators (we have a fairly active coyote and raccoon population, not to mention the cougar my wife saw this winter).



First step was to find a good spot to work... sunny, out of the wind, and close to a plug in...




 Here is a basic idea of what I had in mind, this would be the main frame for the pen. ( I love SketchUp)


So after cutting all of the wood to size I started screwing things together to make one of the sides.

After completing one side I put another 10' 2X4 next to it and using a scrap chuck of 2X4 I marked where all of my vertical braces should go.  This way both sides are exactly the same.








Oh, this is for my sis...   OLD WOOD FOR THE TAKING!!!  Come and get all you can carry.




OK, back to the chicken pen...
After completing the two sides I realized the screws I was using would be too long to use to connect the cross member.   Well that is easily fixed with a vise and a hacksaw.


End result: Screw- 0, Hacksaw- 1




 So after whacking about an inch off of each screw, the cross members were securely screwed into place.




...and with a couple of corner braces throw in for good measure, here is the end result.



 So now I just need to add the hoops and roof and add some chicken wire and a few other final touches....   Then it will be ready to test out.... Hopefully I get this done sooner, rather than later....


Just as I was putting everything away for the day, my good friends (and awesome CSA members) came for a little visit to check out the new baby chicks we just got in.


It was a good day.  Hopefully I am able to finish most of the chicken pen this weekend.