We were finally able to get the starplates to build a 1V geodesic dome for the new chicken coop. Super excited — and we’re going to have a lot of construction going on this year. A greenhouse tunnel for extending the growing season, a chicken coop, a duck coop, a pig shelter, and hopefully a sheep shelter too.
It strikes me, every time I talk to someone from the auditor’s office or the building department, that county officials must talk to a lot of people after-the-fact … like they built a shed, someone noticed it, and now they’re going through the permitting process for that shed. Because they always seem surprised that I’m in the planning stages of a project and am ringing them up to make sure I’m doing all the right things in the right order.
My note-to-self for the day — while the Medina County Building Department does permit fences over 6′, they do not require anything for agricultural buildings and fences. If you’ve got an agricultural exemption from the Township for a building, they’ll happily agree that the fence around / next to that building is for agricultural use as well. (For non-agricultural fences, you fill out the residential building form and specify the perimeter of the fence for the sq ft area and not the square footage enclosed by the fence).
Thus, I’ve concluded that the steps to build a bigger chicken coop and a pasture are:
- Submit the agricultural exemption form to the township
- Once it is approved, e-mail a copy to the Medina County Building Department for their records (so when someone rings them up about some construction that doesn’t look like it should be there, the don’t have to waste a day driving out to look at a chicken coop)
- Build it
Our coop and greenhouse shouldn’t need a permit from the county because the size is under 200 sq ft.
Scott started putting together a mobile chicken tractor. The metal tube is repurposed from one of those canvas covered pavilion things that came with the house. Massive wind storm, years ago, took it out. It’s been a hop arbor and now a chicken tractor. Since it articulates a little bit, it fits the contours of the ground. We still need to mount some fencing … well, sand it down a bit and repaint it too! But it’s a large, portable space for the chickens to roam when we’re not hanging out in the yard keeping an eye on them.
Scott built axles and wheels to move the chicken coop across the yard. We jacked a side up, slid the axle underneath, and lowered the coop. Repeated the process on the other side and, voila, a mobile coop. We pushed it because we needed to adjust the angle of the axles to make a few turns. But it moved surprisingly well.
Success! We removed the plywood around the playhouse base and tried pulling the playhouse down. Nothing. It’s an odd combination of flimsy and sturdy, but sturdy won out. Scott wrapped a chain around the front 4×4’s and cut through them. For safety, he tacked in two non-cut 4x4s to act as braces while he cut the structure. Pulled again and nothing — those two braces held the entire building.
Then the took other dimensional lumbar and threw it like a javelin at the two braces. A single brace still held the whole building, but after the second brace was removed … we finally have success. It came down in one piece — there are a few dings and the front porch was damaged. But we’ve got a little building at ground level. Now to flip it, clean it up, and get the chickens moved in.