We are in the business of wholesaling laying hens (layers). We have a supplier which raises them up island. We pick-up our batches four times a year and they are often sold out well before the pick-up date. Cliff and Susan own a number of layers at their place and make a decent profit selling their eggs to local restaurants. Locally grown food is the bread and butter of what we do as a farm, and Victoria is big on it's locally grown food.
So Cliff put forth the idea to have laying hens. We decided on a number which was both manageable and profitable and set to work. We needed somewhere to put them though and we needed it fast as the next batch is arriving in May.
We decided that the area of land adjacent to our backyard is the ideal location. We can access it from the back yard and the chickens would have a large run which is heavily wooded. He came out a few weeks back and drew up the plans for a chicken coop. This weekend we started on it.
The plan was to place level footings and post up a level base to build on. When I came out to start with the others on Saturday morning, we had already laid a few footings. The plan for the morning was to lay the rest. I believe we had fourteen in total to lay on varying grades.
|Here is where we started. The first few footings are laid.|
|Using gravel, sand, and dirt, we were able to create a level footing.|
|It looks off but they are still being adjusted.|
Once we were satisfied with the frame, we began cutting and placing the joists. This would provide the strength to the structure, as well as give us a way to secure the plywood to the base frame.
|Our joists went in cleanly with little deviation in length.|
|We came in from both sides to the middle to address a slight bow in the back side.|
|Our nearly completed base.|
I popped down to finish up the joists. Marc joined me and we were able to wrap up that part of the floor. Unfortunately, the mis-measurement from before prevented us from laying the flooring. This would make our floor 3" shy of fully covering the base. So we rounded off our weekend having completed the most crucial part... a solid, square, and level base.
|The base with all joists installed and a few plywood sections laid out to measure.|