The add a room was our first major construction job. In August 2009, before I started blogging, my Father-In-Law came to live with us. My Mother-In-Law had fallen, broken her hip, not enough bone density to walk again, diabetes, dementia... She was accepted into a nursing home, he wasn't. The nursing home would take all of her money, leaving him unable to pay his rent.
Our house is much too small for permanent house guests- 3 bedrooms, 3 closets, 6 people. We set up a bed in the livingroom for him. It was cramped to say the least.
However, the summer before we had helped Mom and Dad build an add a room on their trailer on the corner of our property.
We had some building experience, and we had room, so we decided to build FIL an add a room as well. The first step was to get the trailer in place, and set up logs around it for the foundation. The logs had to be BIG and solid. Then levelled off. We enclosed our trailer inside the structure to add insulation. Windows and doors were framed in. We built around the propane tanks, keeping them and the trailer hitch on the outside of the building.
We did all of this while Husband was still driving long haul, the Bigs weren't very big yet, trying to run a farm, looking after FIL, bringing MIL home on the weekends... And less than a year later FIL went to live with one of Husband's brothers. Six months later, another brother. He's in an old age residence now. MIL passed on February 7, 2013.
At first it just sat there. What were we going to use it for? A guest house maybe? We don't have that many guests. We thought about tearing it down. That's too much work. Eventually it became the playroom-
And then I got an incubator for my birthday. And now I hatch eggs. And I have big plans for more eggs next spring! And now it's a construction zone again.
We removed the chimney and patched the roof with a sheet of tin.
We took out the wood stove, heat pipe and fan, and ceiling fan. We started building pens!
We thought about removing the trailer, but it would be a lot of work. The plumbing froze and split when FIL was with us, four windows are cracked, the floor is rotting, and the roof leaks. Where are we ever going camping in that? For now it will remain in place as storage.
The back section (in the pic above Mouser) will be divided into two
pens. Then there will be a small pen on the wall side in front of the
window, and a larger pen from there to the door. The trailer side will
have one large pen in the corner for turkeys. There will be a walkway
down the centre and to the trailer door.
Nesting boxes will go on the walls, with brooder boxes above. The brooder boxes will hold each batch of chicks when they come out of the incubator.
The geese and ducks will spend the winter in the old chicken coop, with the cement floor. Geese and ducks are very messy.
The four pens in the new coop will each have 1 rooster and 4-8 hens. One will be a meat rooster with meat hens. One will be a meat rooster with new hens- my incubated chicks. One will be an incubated rooster with meat hens. The last will be current rooster with mixed meat and laying hens.
Most of the old laying hens will be going to the stew pot. I'll take one out at a time and put them in the new pens to figure out which ones are actually laying eggs. They'll be the keepers.
The turkey pen may not be used for turkeys this year. I can't tell yet whether they're toms or hens. I only have seven of them, and for this to work, I'd like to have two toms and five hens. If they end up not being a suitable mix for breeding, I'll use the pen for another batch of chickens.