Ready for the chickens, but only just

That was a bit of a close call! The coop and run are ready for the chickens, but only just. Partly because these things always take longer than you think, partly because rain stopped play, and partly because of my own idiocy, it all became a race to the finish.

Thursday’s forecast didn’t look good. A strong cold front moving eastwards was due around 1pm. Still, we had the morning, and made good progress on assembling the coop. It needed an additional foxproof skirt which took us several hours to fabricate. Then, right on schedule, the heavens opened, and we had to run for it. It rained steadily for around 5 hours, and apart from transferring the run panels onto site, that was it for the day.

On Friday we encountered the question that was to bedevil us throughout the remaining assembly. The run is made of wire mesh panels on a simple framework. So, mesh side in? Or mesh side out? I remembered that when we’d dismantled it, the mesh side was outside, and I have pictures to prove it. But it looks wrong, and, furthermore, the Flyte So Fancy website has pictures to suggest it should be mesh inside. So, in spite of my direct experience, I decided to go for the aesthetically more pleasing option.

Big mistake. Huge.

Not that we realised that on Saturday evening. With one more day to go, all we had to do was to put the roofs on both house and run:

With yet more rain curtailing our time on Saturday, we looked forward to a forecast sunny Sunday to complete the job. Luckily we got a warm dry day.

Unluckily my bad decision over the mesh inside or outside hit us hard. The roof wouldn’t go on, and clearly something was wrong. So the only option was to swap the side panels over, costing us precious time. And of course, even with the side panels correctly configured, the roof took a lot of juggling about to seat correctly. It was late afternoon before we were confident that we would make it, and by the time we’d finished we were both stressed and physically tired.

Worth it? You bet. Here’s the finished article:

We still need to furnish the run with a feeder, a drinker, and a dust bath, and to put padlocks on the house and the doors of the run. But these are details that we can attend to tomorrow when the chickens arrive or later in the week.

The colours of the henhouse are from Messrs Sadolin, whose stains and varnishes we relied on when we had a house with wooden cladding. These are their garden colours, and rejoice in the names of “Alfie’s Vegetable Patch” (green) and “Charlotte’s Garden Lantern” (cream).

2 responses to “Ready for the chickens, but only just

  1. Heather Norman Soderlind

    John, that looks absolutely super, well done to you and Jean for yeomanlike effort all round! Lucky chickens to have such a coop!

  2. I may be a grumpy old editor, but I do like this coop. Such a coup. I believe you can start counting your chickens now.

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