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Pasture Shelter Progress

23 Apr 2012
Rainy 11°C / 52°F

Perhaps not surprisingly the shelter building has taken a bit longer than expected. This evening though, I feel that the completion of the pasture shelter is in sight.

On Sunday (photo 2) I managed to get the rest of the collar ties, the stringers and the roosts in place. Yesterday I built the nest box (shown standing on its side on the right hand side of the main photo), the front door, the egg door, and the covering to protect the nest box. The nest box will be installed on the second set of stringers and I’ll be able to collect eggs from the outside. The base of the nest box is 1/4 inch hardware cloth which Ussery recommends for somewhat “self-cleaning” nest boxes.

Today I sanded the whole structure as I’ve decided I’d like to paint all of it for increased longevity and ease of cleaning. I also sanded down the edges on the collar ties and roosts so that they will be more comfortable for roosting. Tomorrow I’ll start priming & painting. Once that is done I’ll install the hardware cloth on the front & back and the poly tarp over the top. I’ll also need to select wheels and purchase the hardware necessary to install them. Ussery uses a bolt & wing nut system so that the wheels can be removed and used on more than one shelter. I would like to do the same.

I’m quite pleased with how it’s working out. I especially like the egg door and I can’t wait to start collecting eggs! I also sanded some of the scrap plywood so that I can paint it and make signs for the shelter.


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Comments

It really looks great. You have done such a good job.

Posted on 24 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)
creme

creme

Folia Helper

United States5

Fun!

Posted on 25 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

agreed – it does look great! I’m hugely impressed.

Posted on 25 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

Coming along nicely. I look forward to seeing images of the finished project.

Posted on 25 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

Looking great! How will you secure the egg door so predators don’t enter? I always wonder this whenever I see an external nest box entry on various shelters. Here, we use a latch with a keyed lock and conveniently locate the key nearby. So far, we have not found a raccoon that knows how to use a lock and key! Unfortunately they are nimble enough to work hooks and eyes and even dog leash type connectors.

Posted on 26 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

Thanks everyone. Painting is taking forever, but I think it will be worth it for the ease of cleaning and improved longevity of the structure. I will try to get some more photos this evening.

@flowerweaver The shelter is going to be inside an electronet enclosure, which is supposed to foil most predators according to Ussery. I was going to include a hook & eye latch that came with the shed kit I purchased in order to keep it shut in wind/rain. One of the plans in the Backyard Chickens book has a rather cleaver zip tie type system that apparently requires quite a bit of dexterity to open. I’ve only seen one raccoon since moving here, and for the most part I’m able to put garbage at the curb overnight in just a trash bag without it getting broken into so I’m hopeful that there aren’t too many around. I saw a documentary about the raccoon population not very long ago and it was fascinating. They’re studying how city raccoons are evolving differently from country raccoons and about how the more we outsmart them, the smarter they get as their brains evolve. You may be able to watch it online I’m not sure if it would let you stream outside Canada.

I’m more concerned about the coyote threat which is for sure why I want the chickens inside the protection of the electronet. I picked up the fence, charger & ground rod yesterday. The folks at the feed store have assured me that people around here are pleased with the results from it in terms of predator protection. Even then the ecosystem seems to be doing pretty well with deer numbers kept in check by hunters, which seems to be keeping coyotes numbers reasonable. I hear the coyotes mostly in the fall, but have fortunately never seen them – the area around the house is quite clear, which I think would make them feel quite vulnerable. I hope that in part, the coyotes will prefer to eat the rabbits, turkeys, and other small creatures in the forested areas on my property than challenge an electric fence for chicken dinner.

Posted on 26 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)
vaericks

vaericks

Folia Helper

United States4a

Looks wonderful!

Btw, I think the documentary you mentioned is Raccoon Nation, and it aired here as an episode of Nature on PBS. You can view it on their website if interested.

Posted on 26 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

@vaericks Yes, it is Raccoon Nation and definitely worth streaming. I had forgotten that Nature & Nova sometimes have CBC content and that The Nature of Things and Doc zone sometimes have PBS content. I think I can stream things that PBS produces itself, but other shows sometimes seem to be blocked to viewers outside the US. (Which is odd, as my local PBS station very clearly serves Burlington, Plattsburgh and Montreal, with local news stories and tickets to arts performances and separate portals for American and Canadian donors.) I’m not sure whether the CBC blocks IP addresses from outside Canada for streaming video, but it might be a similar situation.

Posted on 27 Apr 12 (over 7 years ago)

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