building a coop with my dad

He’s the guardian of the flock.

Is it a flock of chickens? Probably not. I’ll google that right now. Oh hey, it is a flock. Or a brood of hens (but I think we might have a rooster). Or if they are still considered chicks, it is a clutch of chicks. Whatever they are called, he is their guardian. He recently figured out how to scale up the sycamore. He can now perch up there and keep an eye out for predators.

Speaking of predators, our chickens need to move on outside. Our girls are kind of like dinner on a plate out in our open field. We looked into so many coop options. The tractor versions (coops that move around your yard) perked our interest, but based on our lifestyle and location we are going with a more permanent coop. I’ve been reading a bunch on coop locations, gardens, zone for free ranging and free ranging in general. Our girls are outside a lot right now. They just kind of roam around wherever we are playing. I thought they’d try to fly or run away, but nope they just hang out in a flock with us.

Friday morning the coop just had a concrete stem wall.

My dad and I spent Friday building the main walls and getting the frame up. My dad has let me build alongside him since I was a little girl. He is always introducing me to new tools. My favorite this round was one that used bullets to shoot into the concrete. It was loud, fun and a great stress reliever.

Our stopping point on Friday. I’m not sure why we didn’t take off our safety goggles before taking a picture!

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Saturday, we built the roof trusses. It was my first time to build a truss, but not my last. I’m sure I’ll need to make more one day…for something. Saturday also had soccer games, a birthday hike and a photography workshop so we didn’t do much. Sunday, however, we were back at it.

I really enjoy building. It is a restful for me, which doesn’t make sense to some. It is a break from the normal routine of kids and laundry and picking up a million times a day. Chris got extra time with the kids and I got to build. Win, win. The kids were around watching…these two spent a little time in the shade snuggling.

The coop needed 6 holes for ventilation. My dad cut the first three perfectly. I wanted him to cut all 6 so they’d all be perfect. I am totally comfortable with saws, but not curved lines. I just always seem to struggle to get the curves perfect. Dad made me do it anyway. They were wonky and will drive me crazy. Thankfully they are on the east side where no one will really see them. I do appreciate that my dad makes me do stuff that I know I can’t do perfectly, and be okay with those imperfections. I find myself pushing my oldest all the time to do the same…to try even if he can’t do it perfectly. It is easier to be the parent in this lesson than the kid!

So the weekend ended and dad wanted a picture of me in front of the coop.

I am pretty proud of this project. There is no way I could have built it without my dad, but I am grateful he let me do all the work alongside him. The great thing about building with my dad is that now I feel like I could actually do this on my own. The reality is I need him. It is really empowering not just to build, but to learn from my dad so I can similar things with more confidence. I hope I can parent my kids in ways like my parents still parent me.

We have a lot left to do, but we are getting closer. The coop is huge because we are planning for the future. I’d love to let our hens hatch a few chicks and let the kids see that process. We made a lot of progress and I am looking forward to getting this thing finished and those crazy chickens outside!

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