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Barn
Barn Pen Construction - Page 5
Barn
(Roosts) July 13-14, 2000

Roost Template
We started by laying a 4ft x 8ft sheet of plywood on the ground, measuring and positioning the 2"x2" pine lumber on it, then marking the plywood as a template.  We cut all the lumber, preassembled all the roosts and attached the hinges before installing them.  When assembling the 2x2 lumber, make sure the "smooth" corners of the ripped lumber are always UP, to keep from injuring the birds feet. Here Beavis and Butthead are inspecting our work. (Turkeys at top of photo)
Roost - Pilot holes
Drilling two 3/16" pilot holes at each lumber intersection (through TOP 2x2 only) makes for a strong connection and keeps the screws from splitting the lumber. Once Justine drilled the holes, I used #8 x 3" long power drive screws to assemble the roosts. Again, position the "ripped" edge of the 2x2 DOWN to keep from injuring the birds' feet with sharp edges or splinters.
Roost Installed in Pen
Roost dimensions: The three vertical pieces are 5ft long, cut at 45 degrees at the top end (see photo at right).  The three horizontals are 92" long.  We purchased standard 92 inch 2x4 pine studs and ripped them into 2x2's on the table saw.  The two end verticals are 18 inches in from the end of the horizontals, and the center one is in the middle.  The horizontal roosts themselves are 18" apart.
Detail of roost hinge
We used 3 inch "T" hinges at the top of each of the three uprights.  Notice the 45 degree cut to keep the 2x2 from hitting the plywood behind the roosts.  The hinges permit the roosts to be folded up for pen cleaning or litter changing. A hook & eye fastener is then mounted on the center vertical 2x2 of the roost and on the middle 2x4 on the pen wall to hold the roost in the raised position for pen cleaning.
Roost installed in first pen
The first roost is now mounted in the pen.
All roosts built and ready to install
All the roosts are assembled and positioned in front of the pen they will be installed in.
Helpful tip!  - Fellas, make sure your wives understand you absolutely MUST have TWO DeWalt Cordless drills to complete this project!!  You need one with a drill bit mounted in it and one with a #2 phillips screwdriver bit.  We have three DeWalt 12v cordless drills with extra batteries and wouldn't give them up for anything.  By the way, Justine positioned the lumber on the template and drilled the pilot holes and I came along behind her and installed the screws and mounted the hinges.  While I carried the completed roost to it's pen, Justine laid out the lumber for the next one. You also absolutely must have a good table saw equipped with a carbide tipped "rip" blade to rip the lumber!  Tell your wife Pete says you MUST have one!  See our Workshop for photos of our tools.

It took about an hour to rip the 2x4s required for the eight roosts, 2 more hours to assemble them all, and about 30 minutes to install them. 3½ hours total.

The next page deals with construction of our nest boxes for inside the pens. 

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This page last updated 30 May 2004 - Copyright © 2000-2004  Pete Theer - All Rights Reserved