Hyperadobe Earthbag Chicken Garden Build - Part 2

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Updated January 18, 2023
Hyperadobe Earthbag Chicken Garden

Welcome to Part 2 of our Hyperadobe Earthbag Chicken Garden project! After 100 consecutive days of work, we had to split out these recaps as the Part 1 article got too long.

Here's a quick overview of the project:

This unique structure includes a 42' circular diameter outer wall, a 21' circular inner wall, and an intersecting 10'x8' rectangle. 

It will be about 5' high to keep predators out, but not too high so we still have plenty of sunshine coming into the garden.

The coop will have a pitched roof that collects rain water and pumps it back through for irrigating the garden.

And we have lots of plans for openings, bottle brick windows, and so much more. The very first video is a great place to start:

Missing the first 100 days? You can see them all right here in Part 1 of the Hyperadobe Earthbag Chicken Garden. Otherwise, Days 101 and beyond are below.

Day 101 - Adding Earthbag PLANTER Beds!

Well hello there, friends! We're back at it, and focusing on a fun small project. Adding earthbag planter beds to the front of the chicken garden! This is purely for decoration and beauty, and we can't wait to fill it with cactus and wildflowers.

Day 102 - Finally, a Place to RELAX! Earthbag Benches in our Chicken Garden

Continuing our fun small projects in the chicken garden we add some small benches in the garden area purely for rest, relaxation, and let's be honest - just a place to freaking sit down. Whoo!!

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Day 103 - Can We Finish This Dang Top Layer?

With a fresh new roll of hyperadobe earthbags, we finally continue that last top layer of the outer circle on the chicken garden. Will we get it finished?

Day 104 - Plaster PARTY! Friends Help Cover Earthbags

Our local natural building group volunteered to stop by and help us on the chicken garden today! So we took advantage of the extra hands and started plastering our earthbags as well as laying some extra bags on the North wall.

Book Club: Green Eggs & Ham

Green Eggs & Ham on Netflix

Day 105 - It's Gotta Be THIS BIG - Raising the Back Wall to Roof Height

With our final layer of the outer wall complete, we start building up the back side to the proper roof height. Almost finished with earthbags on this one!

Day 106 - Is This the FINAL Earthbag for the Chicken Garden?

Can you believe it? The final course for the back garden wall is going up today! We also get our lumber delivery for the roof, answer some frequently asked questions AND do a walk and talk. Whew!

Day 107 - PRESERVING our Wooden Beams & Rafters

After measuring our existing walls and realizing we don't have to lay anymore earthbags (whaaaa?!?!?), we turn our attention to Shou Sugi Banning the lumber for our upcoming roof build.

Tiny Shiny Tuesday: REDMOND Re-Lyte Electrolyte Drink Mix

Day 108 - It's Kind of a Big Deal! - Roof Beams Going up on the Chicken Garden

Can you believe it's time to start building the roof? With the Shou Sugi Ban process behind us, the lumber is ready for assembly! Today we start with the 4x6 15' main beams.

Day 109 - Did the 1:12 Roof Pitch Math Work?

Most of today was spent adjusting our newly built roof beams to make sure they were square, parallel, level, plumb, and set to the right height to match our 1:12 pitch before locking them into place. While Ashley and I worked on this, and attempted to not ruin our marriage, the kids and a volunteer kept plastering the walls on the inside of the chicken run.

Book Club Thursday: Nowhere for Very Long

Day 110 - We've Got RAFTERS on the Hyperadobe Earthbag Chicken Coop!

Rafter production begins! Now that the beams are in place and the 1:12 pitch is good to go, we finally start cutting and installing our rafters. Whooooo!!

Day 111 - Rafters finished & SECURED!

Today we complete all our rafters and install hurricane ties to secure them permanently to the beams in preparation for purlins and metal roofing.

Day 112 - Roof Build COMPLETE! Purlin & Facia Board Install

It's a big day! We install our purlins and facia boards on the hyperadobe earthbag chicken garden roof which means we are done with this phase until our metal paneling gets delivered. Exciting!

Day 113 - Prepping for the NEXT PHASE of the Chicken Garden

It's a big day, friends! We ratchet down our hurricane straps to make the roof lumber and earthbags a single monolithic structure. Then it's finally time to clean up this joint and get ready for the next phase of the project!

Day 114 - We Need to Plaster These FIRST

Just when we thought the roof was done, turns out there's a few small bits to finish up. We burn and seal the cut ends of boards, turn a few hurricane ties so they're not visible, and start plastering hurricane straps to protect them from the sun. Oh, and we milk our goats for the first time after starting the weaning process for their kids.

Book Club Thursday: Greek Heroes

Day 115 - Does the Chicken Coop Need Venting?

Today we spend some time adding hardware cloth in strategic locations on the chicken coop roof for venting, and continue to work on the exterior earthen cement plaster.

Day 116 - She Found a Way to Make it Happen!

Today Ashley figures out how to frame those screened window openings without buying extra wood, we plaster a good chunk of the chicken run, and try to keep Ashley positive.

Day 117 - How Do We FINISH the Nesting Box Area?

It's too windy to plaster, so today we tackle the @Best Nest Box shelf area and talk about grubs!

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Day 118 - Metal Roofing as a FAMILY?

Things are coming full circle, guys! Not only have we built this roof ourselves, but now we're putting on the metal panels, too. How did we even get here? Who are we? A family who roofs, apparently!

Day 119 - Metal Roofing COMPLETE on the Earthbag Chicken Garden

It's been a long road, but we finally put the final trim pieces on the metal roof of the chicken garden. Can you believe it!?

Book Club: The Hidden Oracle

Day 120 - Does Ada Start a WATER FIGHT or Do We Plaster the Coop?

With the roof completed, it's time to turn our attention back to plastering. If we can get the sprayer out of Ada's hands :) So we take advantage of the shade to start with the inside of the chicken coop. Let's get this thing done!

Day 121 - Do We Have a Productive Day? Fingers Crossed!

Today we take some time to finish venting the sides and back of the chicken coop near the newly installed roof, and then continue plastering the inside of the coop.

Day 122 - Boiling our Chickens? Is it TOO HOT in the Coop?

Hey there, friends! Super productive plastering day today. The weather was perfect - slightly cloudy and breezy. We got so much done! Also we start testing our Ecoflow solar generator.


Day 123 - She's the FASTER PLASTER MASTER!

We're talking about our soil/cement mix ratio, becoming plaster masters, and planning for a new family member in the future!

Day 124 - The Plaster is Even FASTER with Friends!

Today a few friends stop by to help us plaster, we answer your burning questions, and Nine Nine the Wonderdog does a magic trick.

Day 125 - Hey Look, We Plastered our Butt(resses)!

Another day, another chunk of plaster finished! We hope you all have an amazing weekend, and we'll see you soon!

Day 126 - How Do We Plaster the Headers? Trowel to the Rescue!

Guess what, more plastering today! We tackle covering the headers (lintels) by using hardware cloth and a trowel to get in those hard to reach areas.

Day 127 - He's the BBQ Sauce to Her Fry

Ashley and the kids make huge plastering project on the inside of the outer wall today, Nine Nine chases the wind, and we talk about SanTan Solar.

Tiny Shiny Tuesday: SanTan Solar

Day 128 - Plaster Happens!

Today Ashley and the kids finish plastering the spot we didn't finish on Day 127, we fix our broken sifter, and more.

Day 129 - She's Plastering Without Him! But the Kids Help 😁

Somebody's in town all day running errands, so it's up to Ashley and the kids to do some plastering. Don't worry, Nine Nine the Wonderdog will keep us entertained while Jonathan's gone. Wait, he's the main entertainment anyway, right?

Book Club Thursday: Twilight

Day 130 - PLASTER PARTY! Our First Workday on the Tiny Shiny Homestead

OMG, it's our very first Tiny Shiny Workday! 15 folks drove and flew into Cochise County to hang out and learn plastering on our little homestead. We had so much fun, and can't wait to do it again.

Get on the list for the next workday.

Day 131 - She Plastered HOW MUCH in One Day? 

Whoah, we totally hit our groove today and plastered a massive portion of the outer wall of the chicken garden. Big thanks to our neighbor Sam for helping sift and kicking us into high gear.

Get Some Stickers!

Day 132 - We Love the Smell of Dirt in the Morning!

Finally, an early morning plastering session! Today we get started early to finish the inside West wall of the chicken run.

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Day 133 - It's so Complicated! Plastering Flower Beds & Buttresses

We're nearing the end of the scratch plaster coating we can do in the afternoon, so we today we focus on the very complicated buttress and flowerbed section at the front.

Day 134 -  Did We Add Too Many Bottle Bricks?

We're back at it with another early morning plastering session, and asking ourselves why in the world we put so many bottle bricks in this building! Plastering around the detailed bottle mountains is taking forever, but we finally get the last side covered.

Book Club Thursday: Spy School

Gorilla Cart Garden Cart

Day 135 - Plaster, Plaster Plaster - Is it the Weekend Yet?

Early morning plastering sessions make us a little bit loopy 🤪. But we still made good progress today, Ashley got to help our neighbors with their cob house, and Jax shares the only two countries that use purple for their flag.

Day 136 - Are We Slowing Down?

Some days you just gotta slow down a little bit. Or at least say you're going to, and then crank out a bunch of plaster :) Either way, we'll call this day a win!

Day 137 - We have to do this first!

We take advantage of a windless morning, shou sugi ban our screened opening trim, and then spend the afternoon installing it. We think it looks way better!

Get TSH Stickers!

Day 138 - It's HUMP DAY! Check Out our New Arched Tops!

A surprise for Jonathan foiled without Ashley even knowing it. We had grand plans to plaster around our frames, but the day had other plans for us... Happy hump day!

Day 139 - TO DO LIST for the Chicken Garden - Let's Talk About What's Left

Today we're getting a lot done early, but we come back to talk about all the things we have left to do. Spoiler alert : It's a LOT!

Day 140 - Can We REUSE Our Sifted Rock Pieces?

Today we continue to work on covering the lintels and headers as well as adding a thin plaster layer on the top of the outer circle and layering with rocks left over from sifting to prepare for the arch we'll build on the wall.

Day 141 - Hyperadobe Red Bags COVERED!

It's a big day, friends! Our hyperadobe red earthbags are officially no more. The scratch plaster coat is COMPLETE! Whooo!!

Day 142 - It's Time to MOUND IT UP!

Time to cover those rocks on the exposed tops of the earthbag walls! We take what we learned from our test mounds back Day 138 and start building up them up.

Day 143 - Message in a Bottle: Leaving a Family Note for the Future

Mounding more of the outside wall, running out of cement, and hiding a keepsake for the future.

Day 144 - Monsoon Season is Coming! - Our First Summer Rain

What started as a nice cloudy day turned out to be a preview of Monsoon season! We got a little sidetracked by a pop up storm, but enjoyed the beautiful sunset and rainbow.

Day 145 - My lovely plaster humps!

Ashley finishes the back wall humps on our hyperadobe earthbag chicken garden. One step closer.

Day 146 - Humping Up the Chicken Garden? Plus a Quick Goat Shelter

Today we start "humping up" the inner wall of the chicken run, but get sidetracked building a goat shelter after separating them for weaning. We also laugh a whole lot at our dumb jokes :)

Day 147 - There's still MORE HUMPING To Do!

Today we install the jamb extenders on the inside of the outer west wall and finish humping up the inner circle east side wall. Shew...anyone else out there tired of all this humping?

Day 148 - Shhhh...It's a QUIET Family Work Day - ASMR Earthen Plastering

Today's a little different. We very quietly finish some touch up spots under the roof and build tiny bird baths on each front buttress.

Day 149 - Earthen Plaster MIX TEST

Today we start our final plaster test. One mix 8 parts our finely sifted soil, 1 part portland cement. One mix 6 parts our finely sifted soil, 1 part portland cement, 1 part hydrated lime. We'll apply this and come back tomorrow to see how they did. Also, daily videos may get a little less daily depending on the upcoming monsoon weather.

Day 150 - The RAINS are Coming!

Yep, our days are already getting unpredictable! Not satisfied with our two plaster tests yesterday we add a 3rd option: 8 parts native soil, 1 part cement, 1 part hydrated lime. But after only a few batches, rain comes in early and shuts us down. This summer things are going to get tricky!

Day 151 - WHAT'S NEXT? New Projects + Waterproofing Plaster

Today we're in a weird in-between stage. We can't put more final plaster on until we've water tested the mixes. And we can't test until we've applied the waterproofing agent and let it dry. So we spend time adding the coat and then talk about our next two big projects coming up.

Day 152 - PRESSURE TEST! Which Earthen Plaster Holds up Best?

The waterproof sealer is finally dry! Let's blast it with some pressurized water and see which one holds up better. After seeing the results, we start the final plaster coat!

Day 153 - RAINWATER TANK Surface Preparation

Today is all over the place! We install more eyebrow frames over the screened openings, prepare a level gravel surface for our rainwater catchment tank being delivered soon, and cut and burn even more wood for the eyebrow frames.

Day 154 - FINALLY! Screened Opening Scratch Plaster Complete

Though we pretty much wrapped up the plaster scratch coat a while back, we had a few lingering areas that needed to be finished before fully focusing our attention on the final plaster coat. This involved installing the last of the additional 2x2 eyebrows over the screened openings and filling the space around them.

Day 155 - RAINWATER Tanks Delivered! First Rain Catchment Installed

Huge day on the homestead, friends! Our first rainwater catchment tanks are delivered, and we somehow manage to install our first gutters and connect it before the next monsoon. Fingers crossed it'll rain soon!

Day 156 - FINAL PLASTER FAIL - Will We Ever Find the Right Mix?

Oh friends, we are having all the troubles with this final plaster mix. Today our addition of horse manure and straw do not work at all :(

Day 157 - IS THIS THE RIGHT MIX? Maybe Possibly Hopefully Final Plaster

Today we carry on with more experimentation for our final plaster coat. We're getting so close - did we figure it out?

Little Donkey Andy
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Day 158 - LESS SIFTING? Trying Variations of our Final Plaster Mix

With guarded optimism, we add some more of our last final plaster mix, but try sifting it less to see if we can save time.

Day 159 - TAKE IT SLOW - Observing & Extending Plaster Dry Time

We're closing in on the final plaster mix, and still running a few tests. But we're realizing we need to observe and slow dry for much longer periods of time.

Day 160 - RUNNING WATER LINES - Preparing the Chicken Garden for Pressurized Water

While we observe our latest final plaster coat, we take a detour to start a new mini project for the Chicken Garden. Our plan has always been to use the water in the rainwater catchment tank to irrigate the plants in the garden and water the chickens. We planted the seed for this back at the beginning of the wall building by running pipes underneath. Today we dig those back out, run our PEX lines, and create water spigots.

Day 161 - We're Here to PUMP YOU UP! Solar Pump House Foundation

The red hyperadobe bags are back! It's time to start planning and building our solar pump house. This time, though, we're doing it with earthbags. Today we lay the first two layers and pour a simple concrete pad inside.

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Day 162 - HYPERADOBE WALLS on the Solar Pump House

Don't mind us! Just laying a few more courses on our hyperadobe earthbag solar water pump house and trying to beat the heat. Oh, and handmade tortellini. Because handmade tortellini!


Day 163 - THERE WON'T BE A DOOR? Accessing Pump House Components

Another day, another hyperadobe course layer. Or two. Plus conduit piping for various inlets and outlets - and some amazing new sifters made by a viewer :)

Day 164 - Laying the LAST BAGS on the Pump House!

Today we finish laying the last of the bags on the pump house while Nine and Tuc keep us entertained.

Day 165 - MAKING THE ROOF UP AS WE GO? Solar Pump House Saga Continues

After lots of planning and several sleepless nights, we start building the roof for our pump house. It's a little weird, but I think we can make it work. Also, the next cooking segment in our Lehman's pasta series - spaghetti and meatballs!


Day 166 - A LITTLE BIT HIGHER - Installing Next Level of Pump House Roof

Time for phase 2 of the pump house - the fixed overlapping roof. Still making things up as we go, so not a lot of explanation today. But we get it done :)

Kantha Bae

Day 167 - Pump House BOOZE EDITION?

Ok, more like bottle edition :) Yes we decide the quickest way to make less cob to fill in the space around our roof is to fill with some of the many bottles we have laying around. Worked like a charm!

Day 168 - NEW SIFTER TEST! Pump House Base Coat

After filling in the space around the roof on the pump house, it's time to start chinking and putting the base plaster coat on.

Day 169 - How Did This Get So COMPLICATED? Metal Roofing on the Pump House

We finally have our metal roofing panels so we go about devising a way to overlap the removable panels and scribe the back panels. How did this get so complicated?

Day 170 - Will Rain Let us FINISH? Clean Up Work on the Pump House

Desperately trying to finish up the pump house over here. Handles, insulation, sealing, and more. But the rain keeps ruining our plans!

Day 171 - MINI SOLAR SYSTEM! - Building Power for the Pump House

Today we build our custom Victron Energy based mini 12V solar system and install our SanTan Solar solar panel on for the chicken garden pump house. Until we run out of parts, of course :)

Day 172 - That took WAY TOO LONG. Running Lights in the Chicken Garden

Today we finish running wires from our solar panel to the battery box and hook up our lights for the chicken coop.

Day 173 - SOLAR WATER PUMP Installation 

Finally - with the power in place we set our minds to plumbing the flexible tubing, PVC, and hose barbs to all the water lines.

Day 174 - THE LAST ONE ALWAYS LEAKS 🙈 Pressure Tests, Pump House Clean Up

Today we power up our water pump only to find the last fitting has a leak! And of couse it's too late in the day to get a new fitting. The next morning we work on it some more, get it figured out, and then do some additional cleanup work like edging on the roof, foam inserts, electrical wire covers, and more. Let's call this pump house COMPLETE!

Day 175 - HOW ABOUT STUCCO? Final Plaster Testing

We're back for another round of "find my plaster that won't crack!" That's right, we're still researching and experimenting with different mixes and ideas. Today we attempt a homemade stucco.

Day 176 - WELCOME TO THE STUCCO GUN SHOW - We're Back at the Chicken Garden

Can you believe it? We're finally back at the Chicken Garden doing our final stucco tests before ramping into production. Let's see how the new mortar sprayer, compressor, and generator work!

Day 177 - SAFETY THIRD! Stucco Production Ramps Up + Lem's Shoes!

Stucco, Stucco, and more stucco. Oh, and today we finally talk about our favorite barefoot work boots and barefoot shoes!

Day 178 - Stucco & Homemade Tortillas?

Today we're adding more stucco to the chicken garden and making homemade tortillas!


Want to know what's next? We're creating videos of this project Monday - Friday so make sure you're subscribed on YouTube so you don't miss a thing!


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Jonathan Longnecker

About the Author

Jonathan Longnecker is the strongly opinionated tattooed and bearded half of Tiny Shiny Home. He loves making music, figuring out nerdy solutions, exploring the outdoors, and living off-grid.

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Posted April 01, 2022

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