Friday, November 20, 2009

Straw Bale Coop (Part 4): Pinning

If you're visiting my documentary of building a straw bale chicken coop because you have an interest in poultry or in straw bale construction, then we have something in common! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

(If you stopped by because you are a friend or family member, thanks for the support. I appreciate you so much!)

One of the important aspects of straw bale construction is weaving a wall that is tight and strong. There are many ways to lend strength to a wall, one of which is pinning as you go.

After we finished laying the second course of bales, we drove bamboo stakes down through to lock them into the first course. (I usually use two stakes per corner bale; sometimes you can get away with one stake if the bales are on a short wall.)

This picture was taken from the inside of the coop. I used a level and a soil rake to roughly even out the ground. Next, a layer of small to medium gravel was laid. Finally, I placed a rough floor out of red brick (reused from the chimney in my parents' previous house.) Once the coop is finished we will add a layer of hardwood shavings and start a deep-litter floor for the girls.

Fred and Granddad place the frame for the door:

No matter how confidently the weather forecaster predicts "No rain in sight," it's always a good idea to cover your project. (The day after this photo was taken, we were predicted to have a clear day, yet a small shower took place around 3:00 p.m. It always pays to cover your work.)

In keeping with previous coop posts, I should note that there were no additional expenses in this stage of building. Most materials and supplies were reused from the construction of our straw bale home.

Next post---how we tied the walls into the foundation.

Happy building! Thanks, as always, for stopping by.

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