Monday, March 19, 2012

The Coop, Part 2

With the basement beginning to develop a faint odor of a poultry pen, it was time to do something about that elephant in the room coop, which, though solidly and heavily built, was poorly placed on the property.  Pooh.

There were tears, some yelling, some retching in the woods wringing of hands, and apology heaped upon apology, some rationalizations and justifications....but for the most part Andy just patiently ignored me and got right down to the business.

Ok, so the first plan was to take those three [differently size and tapered] found telephone poles you see sticking out on the right there and give the coop a ride, Fred Flintstone-style, stopping to switch poles out and pegging them into the ground with crowbars and stakes after each shove.

I think this method only works in cartoons.  Not only was this method potentially deadly, as the coop teetered and tottered on the mismatched poles, it was SLOW and HOT.

And I did a lot of screaming and hollering as I was convinced the coop was either going to fall backwards and flatten Andy into the hard ground or topple the other way and leave me dangling up in the air with a crushed pickup bed:  Andy said that only happened in cartoons, which was not very reassuring as it just made me think that he had gotten that whole pole-rolling idea therefrom....but I pointed out that this was just the kind of thing to get us on the funny video show, except I was not laughing (and we weren't filming).

It is relevant for me to pause here and note something that might at first seem to be off topic:  
I am going to share with you one of my "grammar pet peeves," and you will see why it is indeed relevant in this situation, and if you don't believe me, just ask Andy.  

I [we try not to say 'hate' in front of the girls, so let me just say ~] very strongly dislike it
when someone uses the word, "literally" if they do not mean it as did Webster.
As in:
THEY: "I literally died..."
ME:  "Really?  Then how can you be hereliterally making my ears hurt with your incorrect grammar??"

So, now you can know that when I say I literally had a conniption fit, you can picture -accurately- that I was alternately hysterical and panic-stricken.  See that blue rope?  It was tied around the base of the coop and to the ball hitch on the Dodge pickup, and I was in charge of moving the behemoth up the hill at a rate of 6-8 inches at a time, all the while watching it rock precariously on its unstable locomoticants.

We moved the coop a 'footprint'-length IN TWO HOURS.

Andy finally had enough of my hysterics, so he very generously consented to a switch in strategy:  skids swiped from the sweet Little's yet-to-be-reassembled swingset.

We've come a long way, baby!  Look where we are NOW compared to THEN! worked.  Rockin, but not rollin' ~

See that strong man?  He is lifting the coop into its final resting place with some sort of long iron pokey-rod.  Look at that nice flat land.  And it only took us about an hour because, with skids, we moved 6 feet at a time.

And, isn't that MUCH better?
Picture it stained the color of the house and with different-colored morning glories going up the side....
Looking like a home.  The tree in the foreground is a cherry ~ think pink blossoms and rich green leaves come summer.

And there they are.  The girls, safe inside their new home in its new location.  They're under a shelf that will (in theory, anyways) be where we'll store square hay bales, shavings and 5-gallon buckets of feed.  Above will be the nesting boxes (we're still months away from eggs) or buckets.  Andy designed the shelf to be able to hold either 5-gallon buckets we'll repurpose into nests (with 1/3 of the lid across the bottom to keep egg, straw and hen in).  It all depends which is easier to scavenge:  buckets or 2x4's....this project is decidedly not cost-efficient.

And, poof, its done.  Well, almost.  There's some caulking to block some drafts, and I want to landscape and stain the outside.  But now, the elephant has been moved and we can get to the business of raising chickens.

These girls have a lot of work to do, so I hope they are happy.  We will LITERALLY have to sell these their eggs for a dollar each order to, er, break even.

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