Saturday, April 3, 2010

We must be nuts

Gene and I are replacing the chicken coop he built 2 years ago for our first brood.  The link takes you to the site I created on at the time.

A lot has changed since then.  Most important are that our neighbor fixed the leaning retaining wall and the flock increased to 9 hens. 

One of Gene's coworkers got chicks a few weeks ago and was debating the design of his coop.  Our  girls had long out-grown the coop built for 4-5 hens and we've been talking about a different design.  Last week Gene sold the old coop to his coworker.  We're now on a deadline to finish the new coop.

The logistical challenges are thus:
  1. we have to remove the old coop before we can start construction of the new one
  2. in order to move the old one, we have to cut down the fence
  3. once the fence is down and the old coop is out, we must complete the new coop by nightfall so that the hens are safe from night-time predators and weather
  4. because the chickens love the front yard, we'll have to figure out how to confine them to the safe back yard
Since things aren't complicated enough, we're headed to Easter with family tomorrow at 3 and I still have to figure out what to make for a side dish.

And with that, here is coop #2 as of this morning:

The new coop will be a simple shed, 8' deep by 6' wide and large enough to store all things related to the chickens.  It will give the hens sufficient space to get away from one another.  I'm hoping that the bullying that has been a problem lately will subside.

I spent this afternoon digging up plants that were in the footprint of the new coop, leveling the ground, moving soil, and trying not to injure the curious chickens with the various garden tools I was using.  All this was done is uber craptacular weather: highs in the 40s and rainy.

Gene built the coop floor from pressure-treated wood and plywood, and is at this very second covering it with a vinyl flooring remnant. 

Despite dinner, a hot shower, and being wrapped up in my robe, I'm still cold.  I just put on some hot water to make cocoa and plan to liberally spike it with Patron Citronge.  You can bet that I'll be asleep within 30 minutes.

Wish us luck for a speedy completion of the coop tomorrow.  I'm worried.

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