Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011

Belated Happy Father's Day to all those dad's out there. Makes me feel glad this post will contain picks of both my dad and one of my kids.  Couldn't ask for a happier coincidence.  Before I start though, I should say that the reason for my silence of late is because Father's Day was celebrated at my house, meaning all the junk my kids left around needed to be picked up and the house scrubbed from floor to ceiling.  Oh yeah, I also had to make up the best burgers in town, but that's another post all-together.

When we left the caped crusaders, the chicken coop was on it's side and all seemed hopeless.  But thanks to community, all is right in the world.  Of course family jumped into action, but with aging parents we needed more muscle.  My brother's best friend has done more for my family than I could ever do in return, but he drove from Monroe for this.  All my good friends were otherwise preoccupied Saturday morning, so I did what any desperate man would do. I begged.  Yep, I went door-to-door trading future eggs for muscle.  Not really, I simply went across the street to the family of my kids' buddy and asked for help.  He was home and told me to come on over when we were ready. 

I had no idea how hard this would be. I could barely wiggle it despite building it as light as possible. My brother could lift an end but who knows if he could move it with his bad knees.  Sorry I don't have any pictures from the righting or moving project. I didn't feel like I should beg help and then stand around and take pictures all morning.

Anyway, we had the two fathers, my brother, his friend, a neighbor and myself to do this.  As there was really only two places to lift (the top corner of the wall by the roof on both sides), my brother and his equally strong friend lifted the coop enough to place a block under the roof line so we could get our hands under it.  Then it was simply all hands on the roof.  My father was on the back to make sure it didn't tip over the other way. In the end, it took an hour to figure out the best way to do it and exactly one minute to right it.  It really was light after all, just awkward and top heavy.  That said, I never want that to happen again. 

Stood up, you could see the damage the fall caused.  Thankfully it was only the fascia board that was mangled by hitting the ground and having the weight of the coop resting on it. I'm not sure if I'll fix it or not.

Once it was up, I let my neighbor go back to his Saturday morning routine, but my brother's friend (who helped install my furnace and new duct work throughout my house a few years ago) stayed to move the beast.  Again theories were thrown around, but in the end, the simplest plan worked best.  They simply threw the wheels on the front of the coop (the bottom of the side wall) facing out, not down.  Then 2x4s were attached to the floor joists on the other side, creating a large wheelbarrow.  Then my brother and his friend each took a handle and I and my father-in-law were in the front to help steer.  It took ten minutes to maneuver the coop into position, and despite very uneven ground, I never felt the coop was going to tip.  In the end the whole process was very easy with all that muscle around.  I am very grateful to the folks that helped. There are eggs in it for them when the girls start producing.  Whew, what a relief.

So, here is the coop in it's final resting place.  I positioned it 2 feet from the neighbor's fence so in case the chickens get back there I can chase them.  It'll also allow for the installation of the hardware cloth in the back, which still needs to be done.

You can see the ruts in the grass where the skids dug in during the move, but who cares, the coop's in place and the grass will grow back.  You can also see how the trees are perfectly trimmed around the coop.  They used to be hanging down so bad I had to duck under them constantly when working with the compost piles. We cut them down to allow for maneuvering the coop into place. I like it much better now that I can move around in there without ducking. 

Speaking of trimming the trees, I forgot to post some pictures of my youngest helping me get the site ready for landing the coop last week.  He's off from school already so it's fun to do daddy and son things without my eldest.  He got that kind of treatment when he was younger, so it's only fair.  Here he is helping to fill the yard waste bin after cutting back the trees and bushes.  I don't compost branches like that because my chipper is on the fritz. Let Cedar Grove compost it. They're better equipped than I to handle those things.

And here he is having a blast jumping down in the 96 gallon bin smashing everything down so we could add more.

His helping made it such a pleasurable experience.  We had a blast!

I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  Time to stop writing and get the chicken coop finished!  But that my friends, is another post.

1 comment:

  1. The village of family and friends to the rescue! All ended well and the coop looks great in the new location. I would just touch up the paint and leave that faschia board just as it is. It gives it character! I bet the hens are going to love their new home.