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Zane Middle School animal visitation center

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We, Bryna Frace, Marco Gonzalez, Elizabeth Jurkoic, Delfina Navarro, from Humboldt State University Engineering 215 have worked with Zane Middle School to create an animal visitation center for the middle school's classrooms. Two animal enclosures were created to contain goats and chickens. Both designs are made to create a unique learning environment for students to interact safely with goats and chickens inside the classrooms.


Zane Middle School is located in the heart of Eureka, California. Their focuses are in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Their mission statement is to ensure that their students gain knowledge and skills in an environment that nurtures them based on the needs of middle-level students.

A representative, Joan Crandell, of Zane Middle School implements educational and interactive values in the classroom by bringing chickens and baby goats. The existing structure was insufficient and dangerous which consisted of one fenced in area that was used for both chickens and goats. This design made it possible to bring in only one type of animal at a time. Also, the holes in the fencing were too large. The large holes made a way for the baby chicks to escape and the goats to get their legs stuck. This was a potentially harmful situation.

Team Chickengies successfully made a chicken coop that would fit on the countertop and a separate goat enclosure that was able to be folded and put away when not in use. Both enclosures are lightweight, portable and easy to use.

Problem statement and criteria[edit]

The criteria and constraints that were implemented in the designs of the Chicken Keeper and The Totes Ma Goat Box.

Criteria Description Weight
Safety Needs to be safe 8
Portability Needs to be portable 8
Environmental Justice 25% of the materials will be upcycled 7
Educational Value Animals are visible in enclosures 7
Aesthetics A professional look that appeals to children 7
Ease of Cleaning Takes no more than 20 minutes to clean 5
Ease of Use Takes no more than 10 minutes to set up and take down 6
Durability Withstands wear and tear caused by animals and children 4

Description of final project[edit]

Two separate animal visitation centers were made to contain chickens and goats. The Chicken Keeper is the animal visitation center for the chickens. It is has the dimension of 3' X 2'X 7' and fits on a 2' X 7' countertop space in Joan Crandell's classroom. There are two parts to the Chicken Keeper, a chicken coop and and a detachable pen. The chicken coop and pen's frames are constructed out of redwood. The coop's paneling is made with upcylced vinyl records and the pen's paneling is made with chicken wire. The coop resembles a school house with a traditional chicken hole for chicken access, and the pen is rectangular shape with a roof of chicken wire. The Totes Ma Goats Box is the animal visitation center for the goats. It is a 3'X9' rectangular pen that consists of 8 separate panels. Each panel is connected to another panel with hinges. The panels frame is constructed with redwood and galvanized hardware cloth is then attached to the frame. The enclosure when not in use can be folded down for storage and portability.

Fig 1: Totes Ma Goats Box  
Fig 2: Closed Totes Ma Goats Box ready for storage  
Fig 3: Chicken Keeper (Nesting box w/ attached roaming area)  
Fig 4: Chicken Coop w/ backdoor open  
Fig 5: Chicken Keeper w/ roaming area detached  
Fig 6: Chicken Keeper w/ floor removed  


Quantity Material Source Cost($)/item or ft Cost ($) Spent ($)
60 Records Scraps 0.27 16.24 16.24
8 Records Scraps 1.50 12.18 12.18
200 Flat Screws Pierson 0.04 8.78 8.78
56 Corner Brace Pierson 0.49 27.44 27.44
21 ft Chicken Wire Pierson 0.49 10.29 10.29
2 Hinges Scraps 2.50 5.00 5.00
1 Street Sign - 2' x 2' Scraps 0.41 0.41 00.41
32 Screws Pierson 3.79 121.28 00.00
32 Corner Brace Pierson 0.59 18.88 00.00
3 3” Galvanized Barrel Bolt Pierson 5.99 17.97 00.00
3 Sand Paper 80D Pierson 0.89 2.67 00.00
3 Sand Paper 50D Pierson 0.95 2.85 00.00
27 ft Hardware Cloth Pierson 3.29 88.83 00.00
1 Phil Screws Pierson 4.39 4.39 00.00
1 Hole Saw 3/4 Pierson 3.99 3.99 00.00
7 Broad Hinges 2” Pierson 4.79 33.53 00.00
5 Draw Catch Pierson 4.99 24.95 00.00
Total Cost $399.68 $80.34

Testing Results[edit]

Testing has been analyzed for the sturdiness of the paneling and the strength of the frame. Both the Chicken Keeper and the Goat Enclosure were found to be of the utmost quality. The testing included kicking the hardware cloth, dropping the frame 6" and shaking and twisting the frame and panels. All testing held up to our teams standards. Further testing will be applied upon completion.

Steps to Making an Animal Visitation Center[edit]

  • Step 1: Purchase approximately 200 ft. of lightweight and durable wood (like redwood or pine) between the dimensions of 1’’ x 1’’ to 1’’ x 3’’. (No bigger or smaller)
  • Step 2: according to specific project dimensions, cut wood into appropriate lengths.
Fig 1: Cutting wood for frame

  • Step 3: Align wood to create squares for the frame. Drill screws into wood using corner braces.
  • Step 4: attach all panels together to construct frames for both the Totes Ma Goats box and the Chicken Keeper.
  • Step 5: Sand all sides of the frame until desired smoothness, then stain wood to be weatherproof.
  • Step 6: for the Totes Ma Goats box, hammer galvanized hardware cloth into frame using U nails. The same goes for the Chicken Keeper except substitute galvanized hardware clothe with chicken wire.
  • Step 7: Attach hook screws onto Totes Ma Goats box.
  • Step 8: Drill records onto the frame of the Chicken Keeper.
  • Step 9: The design for the Totes Ma Goats Box and the Chicken Keeper should look like this at the end
Fig 1: Final design for the Totes Ma Goats Box  
Fig 1: Final Design for the Chicken keeper


Discussion and next steps[edit]

The Chicken Keeper and Goat Enclosure fulfilled all the criteria and needs of the client representative. It is sturdy, lightweight and aesthetically pleasing. A few improvements for the next prototype would be to use a table saw to ensure precise angles and lengths, use two holed L-braces instead of one holed and to use a second coat of varnish.


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