Chela’s Chicken Coop part 1: construction

My friend Chela loves chickens. She loves them so much that the first few weeks after they arrived (in the mail, if you can believe it) she hosted them in her bedroom. But then the chicks grew so much that a chicken coop had to be built, and fast!

Like a true friend after my own heart, Chela did not go to the local hardware store for virgin lumber.  Instead, she searched her community for reclaimed lumber and other building materials and she built the chicken coop mostly by herself. Last weekend she came up against a more difficult task and solicited my expertise (and free labour, if we’re being honest).  I had the honor of helping Chela put up one half of the coop’s roof.  What’s funny, and what Chela likely didn’t know until reading this, is that I always had the fantasy assisting with a roof installation. I think it was initially evoked from watching a movie where a whole community, Amish most likely, helped erect a timber frame roof and i’ve been dreaming about it ever since.  Don’t judge…

In the picture below you can see how Che’s coop projects evolved.

Among the helpers: Chela’s doughter, her dad, brother, and a few more friends… and of course Tweety (a.k.a. Vanilla Cookie, depending on who you ask), the oldest hen.

1. Che’s daughter, and hen.

2. The tenants.

coop making 3

3. Building materials.

4. Che and her dad, Will, hauling the coop’s base.

coop making 2

5. Hen house in progress.

Notice the cedar shingle roof!

6. Myself hammering a nail.

7. Resting for a moment.

8. Che’s brother, Jonah, installing the other half of the roof.

coop making5

I will keep you posted as the work continues.  The chicken coop will get a coat of paint and some additional details before the tenants move in.

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Yoav Liberman

About Yoav Liberman

Yoav S. Liberman is a woodworker and a teacher. His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav’s articles have appeared in American Woodworker and Woodwork Magazine. He frequently contributes woodworking web content to a number of digital publications   Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York. He lives in Chestnut Ridge NY.