My husband and I have many failed attempts… Just about everything we do, we seem to have to do twice (or 3 times) till we get it right. That’s one of the reasons for this blog, to help people stumbling through this same process. Or at least get a good laugh. 🙂
The biggest fail was this huge chicken coop/rabbit enclosure. We already had the chickens, and had just received a bunch of rabbits from our daughter and son-in-law. They were raising them to feed to their snake, then the snake passed away. Here we were with a bunch of rabbits that we were totally NOT prepared for, but we tried.
We made them a burrow first, using cinder blocks which was then covered in dirt and hay and looked really nice. They lived with our chickens in a 20 x 30 foot fenced in area. It did not take them long to burrow out, even into the neighbor’s yard.
We tried to keep them in by digging along the fence line and lining it with rock or fencing. Apparently, we hadn’t dug deep enough and they started to get out… the babies were finding their way through cracks in the fence above ground as well… It was a mess.
So I got this bright idea, right… I already mentioned how I couldn’t have a garden because our chickens would eat the small plants before they even stood a chance. So what if we build a huge enclosure and dug a cement foundation 2 feet deep to keep the rabbits in, and cover and wire it to keep the chickens in. I could buy a hooped greenhouse for the task for around $800.
My son-in-law thought he could do it cheaper, so we bought materials and got to work. We bent all the poles by hand, used a trenching tool to dig the foundation, framed it out and set to putting up the hoops.
Looks great right!!! 🙂 Nope.
By the time we got all the homemade hoops up and the cross poles on, it was a structural mess! Too loose, without connectors and too large to be very sound. All the poles were not the same height so trying to get the corrugated sheeting to fit for the shaded side was a nightmare.
On top of that, by the time we got the poles up, all the rabbits had run off. There was no longer a need for a 2 foot cement footing, so construction stopped. We still thought to use it as a chicken coop, (so I could have my garden after all) but when we tried to pull the hoop structure out of the trenches the whole thing fell over twisted and bent. Oh NO!
Eventually, my son got it all torn apart, and here it sits for the next bright idea.
So there you have it. How NOT to build a chicken coop. 🙂