Space Chicken Spaceship Chicken Coop

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Introduction: Space Chicken Spaceship Chicken Coop

About: A jack of all trades and a master of many; After 60 years on this planet I can truly say 'been there, done that', but I can also admit I can never stop learning something new. An eternal optimist, I keep hopin…

(Opening song; Rocky Horror Picture Show, first stanza) (open this link in another tab and sing along!)

1Michael Rennie was ill the day the earth stood still

But he told us where we stand

And Flash Gordon was there in silver underwear

Claude Rains was the invisible man

Then something went wrong for Faye Wray and King Kong

They got caught in a celluloid jam

Then at a deadly pace they came from outer space

And this is how the story began:


Space Chickens in Space! 2


In the beginning three chickens accidently enroll in a diplomacy school where they had to face unthinkable challenges of technology, school and sibling relationships in outer space. All goes well for 26 episodes, and then things go from bad to worse when our intrepid Space Chickens pick up an intergalactic hitchhiker! Without considering the improper weight-and-balance distribution that their newest cast member would cause to their spaceship, they are forced to crash-land on planet Earth (in my backyard) and were subsequently dropped from syndication! But their problems didn’t end there.

Once they were exposed to our sun they did not become super beings (with strange and awesome powers), nor did they keep their intelligence; instead they reverted back to normal chickens [albeit extremely friendly ones at that]!

This is where I come in; I needed to get them back into thinking (and acting) like the Space Chickens they are, so I built them a new chicken coop to remind them of where they come from. But being the poor chicken farmer I am, I had to build it entirely broken, discarded, obsolete or used material. (I also needed to build a new chicken coop because the one that they are currently roosting in was built in a hurry and designed to be temporary at best.)

Disclaimer: I am a packrat for all defunct gadgets, broken appliances, knobs, covers, antenna and removable paraphernalia [from all things my wife wants me to pitch]. For me, this project was a no-brainer.

The following is a pictorial chronology of my efforts to return these wayward space travelers back from whence they came (or at least make them feel at home).


1. Science Fiction – Double Feature by Richard O’Brien

2. Animated television series created by José C. García de Letona and Rita Street

Supplies

I didn't need to buy any of the components for this spaceship; I had most of this stuff stashed away in one bin or another. Some of them are just cool packaging trays, some are just extra stuff from things I bought, some I fished out of friend's garbage and others are actual defective/discarded hardware that I made in my previous professional life. I did have to buy a few things however...

Bill of new material used:

3 Piano hinges

3 Strap hinges

1 Box of screws; 100 count

2 Cans of grey spray paint

Step 1: Find the Right Fuselage.

I knew that I couldn’t build a standard coop and hope to fool the chickens (unless of course I fashioned a TARDIS) so I started looking for a suitable spaceship vestibule. A fellow farmer had a busted 3,000 liter water tank. (The foot had a nasty crack and would no longer hold water). It was a little bigger than I wanted (or needed) but beggars can’t be choosers so I took it off his hands. Besides, he was only too happy to see me cart it away!

I used a cordless circular saw and cut it half along the seem. It was too big to bring home in one piece so I had to bring it home one half at a time.

Step 2: Construct the Interior.

I had about a ½ dozen rough-cut 8’ 1x6’s left over from pouring concrete to make the interior framework from (since I had used them as forms they weren’t good for much else). Using about 3 of them I built a support frame [that nested in the bottom half of the tank] and another 4 of them to fashion a removable tray. I used a couple spare feet of chicken wire to line the bottom of the tray. Then I used a couple of metal framing brackets as temporary tabs to line up the top and bottom.

Step 3: Reassembly.

After I got the top back on the base I used a piano hinge to line up, and secure the top to the base. I then relocated the metal tabs from the inside to the outside. This would make it a rigid structure and easier to move around. I designed this coop so that it can be cleaned out on a daily basis from the side hatches but [if need be] a few time a year the metal straps can be removed, the fuselage can be tilted open and the tray can be taken completely out for a good cleaning.

Step 4: Access Hatches.

After I marked the outline of the access hatches [with a Sharpie] I cut the top line of the primary hatch with a cordless circular saw then secured it in place with a piano hinge. I then used the same saw to cut out the remaining outline. The cut out section becomes the new hatch. I used an old hand-towel rack as the hand hold/handle.

On the opposite side I wanted something with a little ventilation. For the Plasma Vent Covers [hatch] I found a perfect fit for two plastic side panels from a composting bin I dismantled earlier this year.

Step 5: Guidance Fins.

No spaceship is complete without proper fins, so I cut down some of the 1x6s, made a few frames from them and secured them to the fuselage. At first I thought about using some particle board for the fins but knew that they would disintegrate over time, so I grabbed a leftover sheet of polypropylene poster board (they kind used in high-school projects and campaign signs), fashioned a pattern for the aft end out of cardboard and cut up the three fins. I used a staple gun to fix them to the frames and then covered the staples with white duct tape.

Step 6: Main Entrance Hatch.

Every ship must have at least once entry hatch, and this one is no exception. And, since every bird that ever existed started from the ass-end of some other type of bird, my ‘bird’ would not be an exception. (Besides, you may have noticed the tray I designed in Step 2. had a loading ramp on one side, the back side.)

For the main entry/exit hatch I used the metal lid off an old [metal] water tank. I then used another piece of 1x6 for the ramp. For traction ridges on the ramp I stapled down some unused bamboo BBQ skewers.

(I’ll admit that I had to buy some new hinges; I had a few old ones lying around but they were not the right size or type).

To secure the hatch Open and Closed I used some rare-earth magnets I have in my tool boxes [to secure tools on the inside lid]. I used one magnet on the base of the vertical stabilizer to hold it open and another just below the access hole to secure it closed. I screwed an old metal backing plate [from a lock box] on the ramp in order to secure it to a different magnet on the base of the vertical stabilizer.

Step 7: Interior Climate Control.

I used an old light bulb receptacle (and threaded post) to hang a heat lamp on the inside. I set it up so that they occupants can get away from the lamp if need be. I hid the exterior wire in some electrical conduit (so it would look like a lifting eye), routed it back inside, then ran the wire along the inside and had the plug coming out the rear, under the loading ramp.

Step 8: Cockpit.

I cut an access panel through the plastic lid of the tank (to provide access for the pilot) and secured an old, plastic salad bowl to the top as its canopy. I then drilled a hole just behind it and stuck a stiff wire in it to act as an antenna.

Step 9: Windows Into the Bridge.

I took the large, rectangular piece of fuselage I removed for the Plasma Vent Covers, printed out four spaceship interiors and put a picture of the crewmembers in each window. The windows are covered in a piece of clear PVC I had used to make my solar oven covers from (see previous Instructable).

Step 10: Forward Antenna Array, Flight Instruments and Ion Cannon.

I needed to fill in some of the top side holes so I used a variety of used, extra and discarded plumbing components to assemble the Forward Antenna Array, flight instruments and Ion Cannon.

This concludes the necessary and important transformation of the used, broken water tank into a flight-worthy spaceship. I took the remaining components that I had stashed away to properly accessorize the spaceship. They are all identified on the photos included in this Instructable.

Bonus: look closely for the 2 actual pieces of space flight hardware (that I saved from my days as an aerospace composite engineer).

I am still lacking two primary 'components'; a good name for the ship and the pilot. While I have a friend supplying me a pilot, I have not however found a local source for lettering yet. As soon as get the pilot in I'll update the Instructable, and as soon as I get the lettering ion I'll name her. Until that time I am accepting any and all name suggestions, so if you happen to have a good name for her let me know it and tell me why it's the right name!

Thanks for reading another kick-ass Instructable from Disc Dog!

Step 11: Pilot!

I found a pilot! (I say 'found', but actually it was donated). Before I put him in, I fashioned a pair of goggles out of some large, rubber washers with clear PVC lenses glued on them.

I'm still waiting for a good name suggestion... :-)

Just got one in and made a logo/patch for it!

Step 12: Launch and Landing!

The crew took no time at all to jump in and look around once she landed in their run! However, I had to remove the old nesting coop before they spent the night in the new one, and even then they only gave me one egg the first night in the new coop. (They usually give me 3-4 eggs a day.) The next night I got 2 eggs, but this morning I came out to 4 eggs. All is well for the seasoned crew of the USS Cluck Bucket.

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    30 Comments

    0
    LilyCat13
    LilyCat13

    3 days ago

    Extra 10 points for creativity and entertainment factor, no, make that 25 points! Thanks for sharing

    0
    Disc Dog
    Disc Dog

    Reply 2 days ago

    It's all about the points man...all about the points!

    0
    LilyCat13
    LilyCat13

    Reply 2 days ago

    You rock, dude (or dudette)!

    0
    Disc Dog
    Disc Dog

    Reply 8 hours ago

    And to think I originally planned to build and use Mortimer as the ship's pilot...

    FZZB95ZKY4EURFI.jpeg
    0
    charlessenf-gm
    charlessenf-gm

    7 weeks ago

    Have to agree re: ventilation/poop control.

    That screening will become a solid sheet of chicken crap with as few as five birds n residence. If you can, redesign that 'floor' area to slide out so you can dump the poo, rinse it off and re-install. Since what does not get piled up on the screen floor will collect on whatever's below, better think of a way to clean that area out as well.

    Do you have nest box(es) in mind - or are you raising birds for meat instead of eggs?

    Do you have a roost in there someplace for them to, you know, like roost?

    Intersting recycling project to say the very least!

    0
    Disc Dog
    Disc Dog

    Reply 6 days ago

    Here is where I am at with this design;
    I keep the entire screened surface covered in a layer or two of straw. I have a few plastic vegetable crates in there (with straw as well) off to the sides for nesting. I also put the roosting bar [from the first coop] back in but they didn't touch it.
    At first they laid eggs all over the place, but they didn't slow down one bit. 4 chickens in, and 4 eggs out everyday. Now they lay all of the eggs in just one of the crates, but they don't poop in it [like the first coop], so it stays clean. They avoid the other crates. They tend to huddle up at night in the middle of the ship.
    Every morning I collect the eggs, prop open the Plasma Gas Vent hatch [when it's not pouring rain] and let the ship 'air' out. I go around and open the main hatch, grab the straw underneath any poop and shake off the poop off it a few feet away from the coop. Most of the straw is returned to the coop. This makes keeping the coop clean a breeze.
    Since the screen is 3 feet off the floor of the ship, any rain (or small poop) that get through the screen lands on the floor, and the floor has small openings at each end [to drain moisture].
    All in all the design worked out better than planned! And I won the Grand Prize! :-)

    0
    Yonatan24
    Yonatan24

    Reply 26 days ago

    Great idea

    0
    Disc Dog
    Disc Dog

    Reply 15 days ago

    Thanks!

    0
    jheizer3
    jheizer3

    4 weeks ago on Step 12

    Too bad your place isn't in a better setting. Lol seriously what a gorgeous location? What state are you in if you don't mind saying? (No need for specifics due to the abnormal abundance of thoroughly unhinged individuals presently launching aimless and random attacks on strangers here in the states) The citrus orchard suggests here in Cali somewhere or Florida? Anyway, just beautiful. Looks like it was as fun to build as it was to read your refreshingly creative instructable. As opposed to so many that are written like technical manuals for building the internal components of real spacecraft and similarly requiring a fully state of the art cabinet shop, metal fab shop & XXL 3d-print capable fabrication shop, seemingly $10k worth of clamps, 20 sq. yards of available tabletop workspace complete with miles of T-track and related accessories, and last but certainly not least, an unlimited line of credit at the hardware store/ Amazon/ lumber yard to secure materials. did i mention the necessary graduate degree in coding, engineering, CAD, and utter mastery of the full AutoDesk suite? (Woops! no offense to our current host as i truly love and highly value this site/community) Anyways, my envy aside, I greatly appreciate the clever post and your use of upcycled waste in your project doing your part to limit the volume of usable material going into the ground. So thanks again!

    0
    Disc Dog
    Disc Dog

    Reply 23 days ago

    Thanks for the kind and informative comment! It was a fun project and a golden opportunity to clean out my pack-rat bins. You asked where the USS Cluck Bucket landed...here's her landing pad coordinates: 37°57'11.6"N 13°39'38.2"E (just paste these in Google Maps)

    0
    phoe
    phoe

    4 weeks ago

    That looks awesome, well done, very creative :-)
    I thought the plastic dome might have had a solar panel LED lamp in it, but it would have been just as funny if you had a larger hole so the real chickens could have a platform below it to look out from.

    0
    gecko1549
    gecko1549

    7 weeks ago

    Nicely done! You should call it…

    A-Pollo 13

    :)

    0
    Randomona
    Randomona

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Hahahaha

    0
    Disc Dog
    Disc Dog

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Thanks for the name suggestion! It's on the short list.

    0
    B1u1d1d1y1
    B1u1d1d1y1

    Question 7 weeks ago on Step 10

    How about. Cluck Bucket?

    0
    Disc Dog
    Disc Dog

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    I think we have a winner!

    Ship Logo.jpg
    0
    ArthurJ5
    ArthurJ5

    7 weeks ago

    Great Instructable! Names: Eggsplorer, Eggscaliber, USS Eggerprise, USS Galliforme, Shuttle Craft Wattle, Ovulator, Wing 1, Squab, Cacciatore, Le Cordon Blu, Ova, Yardbird, Road Crosser.

    0
    Disc Dog
    Disc Dog

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Thanks for the suggestions! I particularly like USS Eggerprise.

    0
    John Conti
    John Conti

    7 weeks ago

    Some possible names.
    Eggselsior
    Hendurance
    Winging It
    Eggsistential Riddle
    Pushing the Henvelope
    CluckCluCluck (Chicken for "Eggseptional Rocket")
    EGGS-15 (Pronounced, of course, "ecks-fifteen".)
    Faith 7 (Astronaut Gorden Cooper's first ride into space.)