Months ago we started the project of building a chicken coop. When we first arrived we scouted out the various options of places where to put the coop. Once we had decided where we staked out the site and drew up the design for the coop. We looked into the building materials available here and the prices and landed on using the local-made bricks for the outer walls, set on top of a foundation of rocks and cement. Wood, the local Mahogany, would be more expensive and the local bamboo wasn’t as long-lasting as we wanted. So we landed on bricks.
Before we could lay the bricks though we needed a foundation. That meant digging it out, laying large rocks in the ditch, pouring cement over those and then repeating that process until the foundation was level, as marked out by some stakes and string. After the foundation you had to poor the cement slab and allow that to cure. Then, after all of that you could start laying bricks.
When laying bricks you always start with the corners, build those up, allow them to set and then build the middle. It’s for durability and strength. Here, the bricks are made out of clay dug from the ground about 2-3′ down and then baked. You can purchase them from a local place and load them up on a trailer to bring back.
All cement is mixed by hand here including the concrete for the foundation, the cement slab and the mortar. The mortar is fine sand and cement mixed together. You use a trowel to place the mortar in between the bricks. After all of the bricks have been laid you then have to create a frame and poor the lentil around the entire thing to strengthen and bind it together. The concrete for that is also hand mixed and then poured into the frame.
Here is how the chicken coop has progressed over the last couple of months until today.
So here we are at last with the foundation, floor, walls, roof and door jams done! It has been a lot of work to finally get to this point after several months. It took many hours of work on the weekends, in the evenings after flying and even in thunderstorms to finally get here. There is still work to be done on the inside of the house and we need to complete the run but getting the roof on is certainly a milestone to celebrate. We should be ready to order chicks from Uganda by the end of the month! Such excitement around that, and I’ll explain why we are ordering them from Uganda in a future post soon.