Well, once again I did not mean to be away so long but things have really been busy around here, what with the new chicks and all and trying to get things finished up. Plus, my heart has been raking me over the coals again and I've just been too tired at times to be on the computer much.
So, anyway, back to the remaining program! Once I finished the framing for the walls I installed the sheathing/ siding. It's better if you go ahead and run your sheathing because it adds a huge amount of stability to the structure that you really need before you start trying to frame and deck the roof.
What I'm trying to show here is not the wiring but the bird's mouth cut in the rafter. This is the little divot you cut so that your rafter sits flush on the top plate. I really cut a notch because a true birdsmouth on that low an angle would be seen from the outside and I didn't want that. It's best if your bird's mouth is cut deep enough that the rafter sits all the way down over the top plate. In other words, 1 1/2" deep. This gives you plenty to nail and I toenailed mine from both sides. If you enlarge the photo you might be able to see one nail head.
I ran 2 x 6 rafters; partially because we already had some old ones (as you can see) and partially because you need a 2 x 6 for that span. Well, for this light roof, 2 x 4's might be okay. Anyway, we alternated the old 2 x's with the new, just in case. If you look close you can see one rafter marked 'PAT'. This is not somebody's name! It's best to always make one rafter, verify that it is correct and then mark all your other rafters from that one pattern, thus the 'PAT'. If you mark your rafters from other copies you risk multiplying any mistakes you may have made, and that can really add up. Always stick with your original.
Because we had the material in old stuff, we also ran bridging where each piece of plywood was going to break. The joints I mean. Now, this isn't necessary, you can just use those clips, but since we had plenty of old lumber than needed using up and this is only 1/2" plywood, what the heck! Now, some of you with a sharp eye might notice that one sheet of plywood is running opposite the others. I'm not going to say who did this while I was gone to the store but his initials are Jack. See, the grain of the plywood (roof decking) should always run perpendicular to the rafters. Do not run the grain with the rafters because it's weak when you stand on it. Now, if you run that crap OSB it doesn't matter, because that stuff has no grain but I only talk about real construction on this blog so, there you go.
Now, I wanted my roof to be 12 feet because that is a standard roofing metal length and it would work out with the overhangs I wanted. When I laid out my rafter I saw that wall to wall (the rake) was only something like 8' -1 3/4" because of such a low pitch roof. So, if I had a 12' rafter that would let me have somewhere around 1' overhang in the back and slightly less than 3' in the front. I took one inch off the length of the rafters to let my roof decking overhang just a tad, because I like the way that looks. And I might put up a little fascia board. We also cut the slight curve in the ends using the same pattern I used on my house rafters. I like that look too.
Here is Jack installing the wiring for one overhead light and one plug. To his right you can see the roosts for the chickens. They look close to the wall but they are not. To the left are the nesting boxes but I'll show that later.
Now, I mentioned in the last post how that I realize this is a lot of trouble and stout construction to go through for some chickens but here is my other reason: Where I live we have a surplus of predators that would love to eat my chickens before I could. We have coyotes, hawks, owls, crows, gopher rats, possum, raccoons, snakes, weasels, wild dogs, neighborhood dogs, bobcats and probably something else I've forgotten. I will not go to the expense of getting livestock, feeding it and caring for it only to let some other animal destroy it. I let the wild things be, but they ain't going to take food out of my mouth. I do not at all get into this pseudo hippie bucolic attitude of 'oh, we are going to be one with nature and just let the chickies roam and peck and if they happen to get eaten, well, that's nature. Bullshit. I paid $3 apiece for those f****ing birds, I'll be damned if some coyote, that isn't even native here, gets even a taste. I read the reviews for this book some dipshit wrote about this foray into urban homesteading. He built some little crap coop and it wasn't long before his chickens got ate by the neighbors dog or something and he was like, 'well, that was a learning experience for me and it's okay', blah, blah (I bet the chickens didn't think it was okay) and went on to quote some statistic that showed humans learned best by thinking about their mistakes. Well, no shit Brainiac. I guess we would have all died off by now if nobody could learn from their mistakes. I'll do you one better; I'll learn from that goober's mistake and build something no dog can get into.
It's basically like this; I feel that if I am going to confine an animal and take away it's ability to flee, and that's basically all a chicken has by way of defense, then I damn well better provide it a secure environment where it doesn't have to worry about protecting itself. If you don't you are basically providing the predator a sure fire way to catch and eat his meal and damning the chicken to a horrible death. I lost a few chicks once to a raccoon. It will not happen again.
So, the next post I'll show ya'll the run and a little more of what's been going on. If anybody has any questions about any of this construction framing etc. just let me know.