Building The New Chicken Run: Door frame

Last May we started on the new run, and then in June we built the new coop. It was all going so well and then Andrew had his fall last summer and the new chicken project was put on hold. Yesterday, with another set of hands between us, and D flying a kite somewhere in next door's garden, we decided to crack on with doorframe for the new chicken run. This is how building the new chicken run door frame went. What was quickly apparent as we constructed the door in the family room on a flat surface, also known as a Persian rug, was that the wood had warped a little since it was stored behind the sofa last May. This meant that we had a rather bent looking door. It will bend back and we did mess around with the joints until the bend was largely an annoyance rather than a tourist attraction. We have plans to stain the door frame, though it is tanalised there is nothing to stop this added level of protection. We will also add a second bolt at the bottom of the door to stop it warping again and give an extra level of security that will annoy the foxes who will have to buy a ladder. 

Chicken run

The job was easier than it looks, following the instructions in the manual we quickly attached the door frame to the aluminium cage with metal brackets which loop around the cage frame, though the drill bit snapped at one point in the wood (we like pilot holes) and wouldn't come out of the wood meaning we had to start again it was all swearing free. The great thing about the aluminium brackets attaching to the door frame is that they give you wiggle room on the frame, allowing you to get it straight, which is no mean feat on a hill. We have spirit level to hand. You will need a power drill for this job and patience as you swap drill bits for screw heads, back and forth, back and forth. Once the door and frame were on we swapped our wood drill bit for a 3mm metal one, heart in mouth we drilled into the frame fixing the door frame permanently by using self tapping screws into the frame. This stops the door from shifting in winds. This was always going to be the most fiddly part of the job but it went surprisingly well with three people and two chickens looking on, and a small boy yelling at us and his Grandma that the kite was now in a tree. The door opens inwards to keep back the chickens, ring master's chair is optional, and the stop is placed on the outside to stop it from blowing open.

Chicken run

As the netting is next, we have not attached the bolts but have placed some large pieces of stone by the door to keep it straight. This run replaces the old shed and polytunnel, one fell down and the other one blew away.

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