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A history of International Harvester and our farm's tractors.

Welcome to Dunton Family Farms
Since 1909

Chicken Coop
Summer 2007 - Summer 2008 - Summer 2009

Our existing chicken coop was handy when its location was in the old barn yard.  But now that most of our farming activities have moved out into the back fields and our barnyard has been paved to augment the flow of our work, having chickens pooping all over driveways and pathways and tearing up flowerbeds is a nuisance.

So we scouted around, debated, and finally came up with a spot.  It still fits within our gardening activities and is close enough to the farm buildings so as to be convenient for watering, feeding, and egg gathering.  At the same time, we are going to build two "yards" for them.

We will allow them to scratch and run around one area for a period of time and then move them to the other.  We are hoping to alternate by year so that we can plant gardens in the one they are not using.  This will take advantage of the "fertilized" soil.

Like many of the projects here, it was done as time permitted.  Needless to say, it took several years to complete.

July 14, 2007 We have been really slow this year getting started on building and maintenance projects.  I have been stuck in the office nearly full-time and have been relying on John to do the field work.  That requires much of his available time.  But he has started carving out a few hours here and there.

After taking an inventory of materials we have accumulated, we sketched up plans and started in.

Here is the first stages of the project. John scrounged up the last four pallets that our concrete fence was delivered on, prepared the site, built forms, and dug and poured the footings.

This is a close-up of the floor "framing" using recycled pallets.

A wider view of the site.

Here it is from above looking down.

We are also working on completing fences separating the fields from the farm buildings.

This will eventually be a gate to a road to a path to the bottom field and the new chicken coop and yards.

July 26, 2007 - With the last of the footings poured, Dad picked up the concrete pier blocks and John and I were able to get the floor in place and leveled.  As a note to others interested in using pallets, use good, solid ones (hardwood is better), and be prepared to nail on a lot of extra lumber to reinforce and strengthen it.  It is not faster to use them for the floor, but it is definitely a good way to re-use them.

Temporary posts in place and beginning to level.

Another view.

At work.

July 28, 2007 - The captions tell most of the story here.  At the close of this week, we have the hardest part of the chicken coop project completed.  Now it is just a matter of getting the building built and outfitted.

This is our stash of old fire doors that we scrounged.  They were removed from a hospital during a renovation and saved from the landfill to be used here one day.

All leveled, metal plates and bracing completed. This lumber was salvaged from an uncles fence.  He was having a new one built and gave us the lumber to reuse. Still very solid, pressure treated lumber.

Cousins enjoying their time together during a visit to the farm. The girls are both Great-great grand daughters of our farm's founder.  Notice the use of the doors as the floor. This is one solid feeling coop.

August 9, 2007 - With all of the other work, a wedding to put on, and vacations, not much has been happening on the chicken coop project. John got most of the corral fence and gate completed.  I finished a small section of the fence a couple of days ago and Dad bought and installed a wheel so that the big farm gate (it used to be the north entry gate) would not sag.

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