Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a chicken coop!
All in the course of one three day weekend! Go team! All of our three day weekend was spent building a coop or, ‘Coopin” as I called it in my head. Instead of ‘Chillin” (which is how I imagined most people spent their weekend) Maple and myself were ‘Coopin” in a feverish effort to get the peepers out of the house.
All in all, the chicks spent 10 days in our tiny home (which is about 8 days longer than I think most people were thinking we would last). Were there moments of weakness? Yes. Were there moments of filth? Yes. Were there moments of thinking that there was no way that a home would ever be clean again? Yes. Were there times of tenseness directly brought on by the chicks being encased in an 8 ft. box in the middle of our kitchen? Yes. Were there moments of turning a blind eye because you were unable to cope with the fact that you had just discovered chicken poop in a place that chicken poop should never be found (like your only sink!?!?) Yes.
Was it worth it to have chickens? Absolutely.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, our incredibly generous friends Dan and Kristen gave us an old chicken coop that we’re using as our current chicken coop until we build the bigger, insulated winter coop for the layers. The current set-up will function as a summer coop only for the meat birds next summer but currently all the peepers are in there.
Last year Maple and I built a huge raised bed with the thought of growing a ton of potatoes down there. Maple is the one who had the bright idea of putting the chicken area down the hill in the large raised bed and utilizing the large area that we had cleared to give proper sunlight to the area. This allows us to put the garden all in one large space up the hill (and behind the eventual Homehome).
So we went out and started working on moving the coop which was housed about 30 miles out of town. First we had to cut out a bunch of chicken wire and netting. The mosquitoes were so bad that we barely took any photos. These two are the only ones that exist (of me in my slammin’ wire cuttin’ mosquito hidin’ outfit).
A few days later (Saturday) we went out and actually picked up the coop, wire and some other accessories. The coop itself is need of some repair (the roof was falling in, the back needed a door etc.) but is still an absolute steal. However, since it weighed roughly 250 pounds Maple and I were unable to lift it alone. Luckily, Maple had the idea of rolling the coop on logs (it’s all the prehistoric living DVDs he’s been watching…) and that worked amazingly well!
Though in actuality it took both of us pushing to roll the coop, we took a couple photos so our faithful readers could have a visual of what the process might have looked like.
Once we pushed the coop to the truck we got ready to load the coop, which was surprisingly easy thanks to the wonderful laws of physics. As much as I hated geometry, physics and assorted math classes in high school, now that I have a wee bit more perspective, I’m constantly thankful to such laws as, “An object in motion stays in motion.” Getting the coop into the truck was cinch thanks to angles and leverage. Thank you science.
There are many times every week that Maple and I are so grateful that we were financially able to buy this truck. This coop would have just flat out not fit into the white truck and we would have had to do something ridiculous like cut the coop in half to make it fit. We are very fortunate to have this beautiful truck that makes many more projects possible.
Once home we realized that the coop still needed to go down the hill which is, to put it lightly, precipitously steep, especially for an incredibly heavy wood coop. Once again, science came to the rescue. We figured out the the best way to lower the coop would be to brace it on something heavy – like a tow hitch. We tied a rope around the coop, set up runners, and used the hitch on the white truck for leverage. Despite the fact that Maple is holding the rope in these photos I was actually the one holding the rope and lowering the coop, while Maple braced/pushed/pulled below.
There are sometimes moments in my scrapper, DIY lifestyle with Maple where we’ll set something up as best as we’re able but then you just have to flip the coin. The odds were pretty much 50/50 that either everything was going to go spectacularly well or that everything was going to disastrously fail. And we were ready for either.
But the coin landed on the right side and the coop made it down without a single hitch, wobble or injury.
It took just a few minutes of maneuvering (using logs to roll and lever; thank you science!) to position the coop into the bed. By this point we’d been going for about 13 hours and the mosquitoes were wretched.
Due to the fact that the front door was still missing the chicks spent one last night in the house with us.
This ends the scintillating first part of Coopin’, a two-part special of Maple and Me. Tomorrow’s regularly featured Fashion Friday will be replaced by Coopin’ Pt. II. Tune in Saturday for our semi-regular (when the TS is kind) ‘TS Highlights o’ the Week!’
Cheers and Love,
Maple and Me