Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chicken snake in the pigeon coop

 The major predator for our area is the chicken snake. Once they get into the coop they will eat the eggs and the baby's. Sometimes they will try to eat a larger bird and end up suffocating it. This one ate 2 baby birds and was so full  it curled up to sleep. I found it when I was checking on how large the squeakers were so I could band them.
You can see here the big bulge in his stomach. He was not a happy camper, so he bit the handler.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New baby chicks

 The little peepers at three days old, a little bigger than an egg.
 This is a brooder box I set up for the babies so they are well protected from snakes, larger chickens, and drafts. They have everything they need, food, water and shelter with a light bulb lamp.I start off with a 100 watt bulb to keep the temperature at 95 degrees, then each week I decrease the temperature by 5 degrees. So I put in a 75 watt bulb , then a 60 watt. I always give them enough space to get away from the heat if they want to.
 Here they are at about two weeks.
 At around three weeks they were out growing the brooder box. I decided to make a more portable and permanent divider for the babies inside of the chicken coop. I took used realtor signs and attached chickenwire, using the wire it's self to wrap around the edges of the sign.
 It is a modular chicken enclosure. I put a larger container for their food and used the chicken waters from farm tech attached to a gallon jug for their water.The baby chicks caught on really fast to how to get water from this system. This way they are always drinking fresh water.
I made a chicken wire door in one of the realtors sign , to gain access into the enclosure. Here they are about 3 weeks old.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Starting on the carport welding

 We are so glad that we had this carport slab poured before we started welding. Both the shop and the carport are about the same designs. They both have a 2 foot overhang except for the South overhang on the shop is 3 feet to allow for the solar aspects of the building. We are using recycled bar joists that had to be trimmed a few inches in order to fit. While we were waiting on the correct scaffolding to arrive we started on the carport frame.

The pictures in this post were taken in a 2 1/2 week span of time. We were only able to work in the mornings because of the heat. Once the sun hit the slab it was too unbearably hot.

 The roof perlins are being hoisted up into position.
 The carport is 40 feet wide, which includes the 3-12 foot bays and the 2 foot overhang on the east and the west side of the building. We used to the foot long purlins and welded them together with a piece of iron.

 When you have overhangs and a metal building, you have to cantilever the overhang a few feet in from front the outside of the building.this is accomplished by welding 2 C purlins together with the C curled in, this is what gives it strength .
 We found that two people along with many clamps can do the welding just as well as three people.
 When we had the slab poured, the cement truck backed into the form boards and knocked the building out of square. One back corner was 3 inches off. So we had to do some adjustments along the way. The way we remedied the problem was to float the roof structure (true, plumb and square) over the wall structure (which was not square).
 The window frames were welded, the rough opening being 1/2 inch larger than the actual window.
 This last bay will be a storage room. Here we placed a window so it would open from the lower half and on the other side of the room we placed a slider up high. That way the cooler air will enter the room and I convection will exit the slider on the high side of the opposite wall.

Below we are welding purlins in between the rafters to seal up the building at that point.