Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Building the Chook House

AKA - The Big House

The first week in October 2016 we started building the chook shed. 
Anyone who has milled their own timber knows it takes a lot longer than just going to the timber yard and coming home will all you need for your job.
First we have to find a tree and not just any tree it has to be a downed tree, then its usually a whole day to clear the area and set up the mill over the tree and if your lucky you may get to do one run before you have to cover everything and head on back to the cabin.
Not this time tho, it took all day just to clear enough and cut the section and roll it. Lucky for me i didn't have to help with this particular tree as our eldest son was down for a visit.

We were lucky with this tree and not so lucky. Lucky as there were not any leafy branches every where as it had been down for a couple of years. Not so lucky as after the section was cut it had to be rolled with the log dogs (canter-leavers).
Make no mistake these hardwood trees are extremely heavy.

The mill does not take very long to set up its all the prep that takes the time.

The next day your up bright and early to get started. Andrew works the mill and the offsider, usually me, gets to do the crappy job of tailing out. As i mention before these are hard wood trees and very heavy and whether your cutting 100x100 or 50x50 they are all heavy and after half an hour or so they just get heavier as you get tired.

The whole tree was milled then the timber was moved up to site.
The next day the four corner posts went up and the surrounds.
People think wow you milled a whole tree you should have enough to build what ever, but it doesn't go as far as you might think and before you know it the pile is empty and you have to go find another tree or limb and start all over again.

It took a week and a half to get this much frame up, the roof on and the floor in.
As always the supervisor was on the job and under foot.

This is as far as it got before we headed up to Sydney for two weeks.

While in Sydney we purchased 16 chicks, just about ready to come off the heat lamps.
I had forgotten how stinky chicks are in a confined space. Two crates on the back seat for 10 hours.
So grateful for all the rest stops.

We finished the shed off two weeks later. We ran out of timber for the two front bits so just put up some tin, we may get around to finishing it or we may not either way its secure.
The security door we picked up at the tip for free, the tin was a gift, the wire was secondhand, the timber was all milled by us, the silver paper inside was also free as was the piece of guttering. All the nails and roofing screws we already had. The only thing we actually purchased was the water barrel to catch the rain, $15 from the produce store.

Oh how i have missed having chickens, Barnevelders, Plymouth Rocks and Aracanas came home with us.

The chicks spent the next two weeks in the play pens during the day and in carriers in the caravan at night with hot water bottles to keep them warm.

We had to put a temp fence around the pens as the sheep kept getting in to eat their food.

At last trying out their new home. Three tunnels one for each breed as they have segregated themselves. They will sleep in these until they can fly up to the perches. 

Warm mash for breakfast, so spoiled already.....

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl


  1. Great work, the chook house looks fabulous! It must be very satisfying to mill your own wood for a project. There is nothing better than looking at a finished job, knowing it cost next to nothing except your hard work & you have recycled saving the materials from landfill!
    When we first bought our property I was getting a little frustrated with all the ‘junk’ others had thrown out that my husband was bringing home & stockpiling, it was like our own mini tip. (I do have a blog coming up about that one!!) I soon changed my mind & saw the value of recycling this junk into projects, especially as a lot of the projects were for my beloved goats & it was for things we could not afford to buy new.
    Yes Happiness is homemade!

  2. Great to hear how your new venture in chicken wrangling is going. The play pens are cute, as are the chicks. Lovely work with the milling and I know how "time", draws out on these kinds of projects - often longer than anticipated. We tend to make an estimate, and then speculatively, double it! As that tends to be more accurate, lol.