Do you know… a group of peafowl is called an ostentation? In fact, a group of peafowl of any age or sex can also be called a muster or a bevy.
I share my Bedford, New York farm with an ostentation of two peacocks and three peahens. And soon, they will be roosting in a brand new coop. Recently, I decided it was time to expand their peafowl residence, so I asked my carpenter to oversee its construction. It looks beautiful. Here are photos of the rest of the building process and the finished peafowl palace! Enjoy.
And, if you click on any individual image, you can see the photo in a larger view or choose to click through the photo gallery. An “x” in the upper right corner of each photo returns you to where you left off in the scroll.
The next phase of our peafowl coop project was to build the frame for the walls. Two by six-inch studs were put up every 16-inches to create a strong, solid structure. Studs were also put up to support the roof pitch.
Proper spacing for doors and windows was measured and marked. Everything has to be measured many times during any building process.
The rafters are installed and trimmed.
A two-foot overhang is left to prevent rain water from hitting the sides of the coop, and also to provide a little shade above the doors and windows.
Here, much of the framework for the walls is complete including the framing for the door and window openings.
One by eight-inch red cedar boards were used for the walls. Red cedar is more expensive, but it is also a leading material for wood paneling and siding. It is durable, beautiful and won’t swell or buckle with changes in humidity.
John and Oscar set-up a work station with a jigsaw nearby for any necessary cutting and trimming.
Double top plates and other supports are installed to strengthen the top of the wall and the roof.
The first side of the roof sheathing is installed on the rafters. It is important to make sure the first piece of plywood is nailed in perfectly – it will be the foundation for all the other pieces that are installed.
Here, the roof is nearly complete.
This is a view from inside the coop. The ceilings are built pretty high – 12-feet to the top of the ridge.
Wire mesh is placed along the lower perimeter of the structure to keep out small uninvited creatures.
This is one of two Indian Blue peahens. My peahens are not shy at all. Because they have grown up here at the farm, they are very accustomed to the crew and to the construction noise.
In fact, they are very curious and love to watch all the activity.
Here is my Black Shoulder Pied peacock. He is growing back his tail feathers, which fall out every year after mating season.
I also have one Black Shoulder Pied peahen who lives with my Black Shoulder Silver Pied peacock. This pair currently resides in my old corn crib.
The wooden boards are all painted Bedford gray to match the other structures at the farm.
The first board is the most important because it makes the wall square and locks the wall in place. It is always exciting to see the first pieces go up.
My grounds crew foreman, Chhiring, assesses the progress and helps Oscar put up the walls.
John and Oscar are nearly done with this side of the coop.
Meanwhile, the windows are also installed on the front – a set of windows on each side of the doorway. These are old windows I had saved. They needed to be resized a bit to fit the space appropriately, and some of the glass panes had to be replaced, but wherever we could, we used old materials I already had.
Many of the windows, such as this triangle window on one side of the coop, are also quite old – at least 80 or 90-years old.
An old French cedar door I had was cut to size and made to fit the opening. I wanted the doors and screens to slide separately, so tracks were installed to accommodate them.
Here is one of the doors already installed on the sliding track.
We installed white cedar shingles on the roof – 18-bundles or 468-square feet of cedar shingles. Any old cedar shingles I already had were used on the back side of the roof – nothing is ever wasted.
John and Oscar nail the cedar shingles to the roof. The black layer is roof felt. It is designed to temporarily waterproof the roof surface and is an essential element of roof installation.
On the front of the roof, at the bottom, we also used 44-slate stone shingles. I already had these left over from another project.
Once the roof was complete, the screens were installed for the doors. We used old doors I already had and affixed wire mesh for the screens.
The glass-paned doors and the screen doors are all installed and tested multiple times to ensure the sliding tracks work perfectly.
Siding is complete on both short sides of the coop.
On this short side, there is no glass window, but John installed two small windows for cross ventilation.
And inside, old felled trees with branches are secured to the floor, so the peacocks have a place to perch.
There is also a ladder on each side of the coop. While peafowl are ground feeders and ground nesters, they still enjoy roosting at higher levels. In the wild, this keeps them safe from predators at night. The ladders were made out of branches from the woodland.
Another tree is placed on the other side of the coop – I love how natural elements can be used inside the structure.
Strong wire mesh is secured on the center wall to create two separate sides of the coop. The peacocks will be separated from each other along with their peahens.
The wire mesh goes all the way to the top of the coop.
Here is John – thanks for such a beautiful home for my peafowl! And, it only took three-weeks to complete.
This is the finished structure – I can’t wait to introduce it to our ostentation.
A new peafowl palace – it’s a wonderful addition to Cantitoe Corners.