Sunday, 29 March 2015

NOCC - Progression

It's happening!

For all those who have been watching the NOCC (New Old Chicken Coop) come to life, well, from that last attempt which we no longer speak about, to this! It is not yet finished, however it is well on its way. We have hit a few 'unexpected' issues along the way, but it has been so much fun to work through them with my awesome partner in these crazy ventures (Queen Cassowary).

So as a quick recap, we got an old van, and we are making it into a chicken coop, well, more an isolation coop for when we get new birds or a sick bird. We moved the van into place with no 'major' problems, however the first attempt at creating the 'living' area was a fail. We have switched to wood frame (instead of poly pipes) and it is working :) So far so good!!

So this is what it looked like when we started again. Poly pipes down and a lot more wood was brought up from our 'resource pile'. The great thing about collecting things that you might use later, is that when you think of something to make or do, we have 95% of it here already :) Wood, tin, pipes, screws, wires, and more... (including the odd fridge!)

Back to the progress, we redesigned the frame of the coop to be wooden, this was a challenge as the outdoor area is going to be about 3 meters high, and 4 meters wide, so it is not too small. The problem with the poly pipes was that they could not support the weight of the shade sail over that large distance. We did consider only using chicken wire, however when there are no chickens, ducks, geese or guinea fowl in the isolation coop (NOCC) then I will use it to grow something (veggies in a hydroponic bed most likely), so I wanted to have the shade to enable the area to be used for lots of different things. So wood it is. Problem with wood at this size is the weight of the wood. Getting it that high was a task and a half. The only ladder we have is a three step ladder (plus the part on the top) and we don't have the funds to get a bigger one just yet, so we make do.

This is the frame, made mainly from hardwood from an old shed frame. The screws that we used to hold the whole thing together are screws that have been kept from other projects, or saved from things that we have pulled apart over time. One of the most important things that we have found when recycling things, make sure that you sort things out. Put like screws together, put cables together, try to sort of everything you can as you pull things apart (or collect things) and add them to your growing 'resource pile' so that when you need screws, it is just a matter of getting the screw container, inside it you should have lots of little containers, or compartments) and working what fits where. It is nice when it all just happens, however sometimes you just have to buy things :(

From this part, we needed to connect the frame to the van, and to the other end of the fence (the part you are looking at now is the middle of the outdoor area. If you remember from previous posts, where the shade cloth is attached to the van, there is a wooden frame we made around the door, so we chose to use that as the far left point to connect to. That part was relatively easy, however really important to keep the whole 'shape' of the frame and support it later.

This is all we really needed (on both sides) just to ensure the frame would not move to much. Then the other side of the frame needed to come up. That was a new problem, as now the top of the frame was over 3 meters high, and screwing things above that was 'comical', however we did it. At times we joked "you know those 'health and safety on the work place' videos you see and think, yeah, sure, WHO would do that, who would balance on one leg on top of a ladder with a electric drill in one hand and a heavy beam of wood in the other, while looking at the 'view from up here'.." .. yeah.. that was us :) It was a really nice view though!

So this is the other side, the side that is attaching to the fence. It comes down on a slight angle to help water not pool at the top of it, hopefully it works. We do try to think of everything that we might need to take into consideration, however I am sure that we have missed one or two things, but we will catch up :)

Now, shade cloth time, so one end is already attached to the van (from the earlier failed attempt), no need to change that too much, just throw it over, nail it down as we move along.

And it is working! It is ALIVE!!! Under the shade cloth you can feel it cooler already, shaded and calming. Whoever goes in here will be happy :)
So we went along and touched it up, making the shade cloth as tight as we could, however realising as we along that there must be something more to this than just pulling it tight and nailing it on. There are some points where it sags a little, and some parts where it is not too even, but nothing around here is perfect so why should this be! :)

This is a view of one of the corners, just in the case that you are wondering. If you would like more information about whatever else (like how, when, where, etc) then please just ask, I have lots more photos and information, I just don't want to over load you.

We wanted to make a little gate at the end that is NOT the van end, so we supported the top of it (that will be the top of the door frame) and then built a gate underneath it. In the final view of the NOCC I will put up more details about how and why things are the way that they are.

This is Scarlet testing out the gate for me :) It is not finished, I have to put latches on it, and I am thinking about putting a spring on the inside so it automatically closes, fancy eh? :)

So that is the stage we are up to now, we are about to go and keep going. The shade cloth is up, a gate is up, the wire is looking good, nearly done! :)

I hope that you all enjoy the progress of this, I will let you know how it goes, but here are some other photos from the helpers that we have had so far in the project.

Scarlet on a coffee break, it is hard work supervising all the humans!
Robin was around a lot to ensure that the quality of the wood met her high standards!
And Charlie made appearances here and there, just to see if we had anything nice that she could eat, the answer was always no.

I hope that you all have a great day, we are going back out there to get this done! Enjoy your life, and be inspired by the beauty around you.