Last we left off, you were putting the plywood on the frame to form the shelter areas.
Here is how you make the shelter doors.
Use 1x2s to frame the door, just like you did with the wire doors. We used the 3″ screws to hold the 1x2s together. Screw the plywood onto the frame and voila! A door! Of course, you’ll want to put hinges on it, and a bar lock.
At this point, you’ll want to paint it.
Use an outdoor paint so your hutch will withstand the elements. If you’re feeling really cheap, check the oops rack at your local hardware store. Sometimes they’ll have a can or two of paint there that isn’t a horrible color. Otherwise, just grab the cheapest type of paint. That’s what I did.
P.S. I swear it’s a light terracotta, NOT pink!
Once you’re finished painting and have all doors and shelter walls affixed, it’s time to put the roof on.
LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE: Extend the roofing out at least a good 6″ on either side. Ours extends 2-3″ on either side, and it does not protect from the rain the way I would like.
Secure the roofing to the beams using the 1 5/8″ screws.
The roofing felt goes on top of this. We used staples to secure it. Roofing felt is fairly easy to cut with scissors or with a utility knife, so don’t worry if it hangs over the edge. Cut it when you’re done stapling it.
For the shingles, we used leftover shed shingles.
Overlap the shingles and cut them at the edges. These can be cut with a utility knife or heavy-duty scissors.
You’re almost done! Now it’s time for the hardware cloth.
Use the coated hardware cloth for the floor. This stuff feels great. Run your hand over this and then run your hand over the uncoated wire. The coated hardware cloth is very nice, very soft on the quails’ feet.
If you have another person helping you, have them pull on the hardware cloth while you staple it down. Pull it tight so it’s not going all over the place when the quails step on it. Staple the hardware cloth on the outside of the framing. Then cut the excess with wire cutters.
When you cut the hardware cloth, cut it as close as possible, to avoid scratching or cutting yourself later on the pointy excess.
Feel free to use uncoated wire on the rest of the hutch – it’s cheaper!
For poop trays, you can build your own from plywood, or you could do what I did and buy plastic bin lids from IKEA (they sell them separately from the bins woohoo! $2.50 each). I like the plastic for how light it is and how easy it will be to clean. We’ll be moving the quails in this weekend if not earlier, so I’ll show you how that looks then.
TIME INVESTMENT: Approximately 24 hours. If you know what you’re doing, it will probably take less time. We spent a lot of time waffling, arguing, fixing mistakes, and running back and forth to the hardware store =)