In September, my son and I led a chicken coop building workshop put on by Growing Gardens of Portland. Twelve or so people came out to Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply to take part, I’m sure setting some kind of record for the most hands working on a chicken coop at once. We had a great day in the sun and put together an awesome coop. Read on for more details and pictures.
The coop project
So which chicken coop did we build? Why, we chose The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop! It’s an excellent one-person project that worked surprisingly well with a big group too.
I had gathered the materials and done most of the cutting, sanding, staining, and sealing ahead of time. That way, come workshop time, the group could focus on actually putting the chicken coop together.
“Read the plan.”
My kids have this running joke whenever I’m building one of my chicken coop designs and make a mistake (yes, it happens often enough for it to be a running joke). “Read the plan, Dad,” they’ll say.
Well, there were plenty of “read the plan” moments at the workshop too, and it revealed one of the big advantages of having detailed chicken coop building instructions: you always have something accurate to refer to.
All hands on
Hands on means just that. There’s such a variety of steps to putting one of these coops together that everyone got to try their hand at something new.
Another nice thing about this project is how manageable it is. You can go at your own pace and adjust your workspace so that you’re always comfortable.
Measure twice. Cut once. (Then measure again if you forgot what piece you just cut!)
A chicken coop begins to take shape
You get such a feeling of accomplishment when all these parts start coming together. A real chicken coop in three dimensions!
Why should chickens get to have all the fun? No, I don’t keep my son in a coop at home, but he was quite helpful as we stapled the last bit of hardware cloth to the frame. Because he can fit inside the coop, he was able to apply some counter-force to the frame as we hammered from the other side.
Everyone got a copy of The Garden Ark chicken coop plans to keep so they could build their own chicken coop later. To cap it off, one lucky participant got to go home with the (nearly completed) coop itself. Not a bad deal for half a day’s work.
Thanks to Naomi and Neil Montacre for sharing some tools and space at their farm supply store in Sellwood. And a big thanks to Rodney at Growing Gardens for organizing and promoting the event and sharing his photos. If you were there, drop a note in the comments below.