Monday, June 29, 2009

crazy coop caper 2oo9

here we go around the chickenychica coop

i am working inside the idea of upcycling again. this is the concept of taking items used for one purpose and giving them new life, new value, new use as part of another purpose. what am i upcycling? i am upcycling wood pallets.

in this round of crazy coop caper upgrades, i am using the wood pallets as shelter structures - specifically as the base to the new larger run on the west side of the coop and as the - not on the invite list - creature barrier on the east side of the coop (pictured above).

i wait until i can score a good number of pallets that are not only in decent condition but of the same size so that linking them together proves a fairly easy chore.

i use good quality 2x4 boards to link the pallets top and bottom. then i cover the outer side of the pallets with chicken wire. the above structure is built as needed. i finished the roof support structure yesterday. my plan is to continue the tin roof directly down the new overhang. for now i have takked up a large tarp to provide shade for the creatures and my working self.

once the roof is in, i will install a quality gutter/rainwater collection system around the entire coop perimeter that performs two to three - water saving - direct water using - tasks.
  • collect rainwater - a most valuable resource around here
  • direct partial run off to the fruit and nut trees located just west of the coop
  • direct partial run off to the outback garden located just north of the coop
it's a perfect system in my mind - let's see if i can pull it off as planned - if i do, the research and development plan for the orchard's water needs is solved and done. best now to get the roof in and finish the run expansion before venturing forward on that front. almost there though which is very exciting.

i have been building around the original chickenchica coop run throughout this process. in the next few days, i am hoping to
  • roof in the new run
  • finish two final doors on the coop expansion
  • shift my ladies over to the new coop while i work on the upgrades to the original coop
then once the upgrades to the original coop are complete
  • move the ladies back their original coop
  • move the eight metal shed w/palette run chickenchicas into the expanded coop
  • use the metal shed w/pallet run as the brooder for the newest babes
  • open the garage/barn coop back up to full size (currently working as two separate spaces
  • and start the summer cleaning cycle - coop by coop
sounds like a lot but i think i can do it - takes a while since it's only my two hands working but the feeling i get when viewing the finished result and the happy chickenchicas is worth the hard working - sweaty - too freakin' hot outside efforts. eih, it is the life of an urban - farmer in training. i enjoy it.

are you wondering what will i do with all the 'cleanin' out the chicken coop stuffs'? yes? no? well here it is. i am experimenting with sheet mulching. this is a process of laying naturally beneficial mulching materials directly on soil in layers. the process in short is about composting and enriching soil directly in place.

i am experimenting with a varied sort of layering ideas. i have got
  • chickeny coop material layered with finished compost
  • chickeny coop material layered with grass clippings
  • chickeny coop material layered with dried leaves
  • chickeny coop material layered with finished pine needles
  • chickeny coop material layered with finished compost & alfalfa hay
i am watching to see which breaks down
  • fastest
  • most completely
at current, they are all moving a bit slowly for want of moisture. the hot we've been having makes it tough on everything and i cannot seem to justify watering the test area for interests sake. so for the time being, it's working in environmental conditions with no assistance from myself. probably as it should be.

and after this? the list is long but here is the short most important - human creature home improvement - list.
  • replace the fence
  • paint the house
  • continue to improve systems for rainwater collection
and may i say - if i can get this above bit complete, then my little farm system might just - dare i say - sustain itself - wouldn't it be lovely

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