Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chicken Coop

My chicks have been ordered. Somehow, I think there should be a pregnant pause following that statement so the effect can be fully realized. The chicks have been ordered..... that means they will come! Then I will have twenty five fluffy little balls that will expect me to not eat them. And I feel a bit like a hypocrite trying so hard to keep them alive at the outset just to make them dead later, I imagine I will still wrestle with that problem until it is time to put them in the pan. When I ordered the chicks I had absolutely no faith in my ability to be prepared. I am still not prepared. It was almost a shock this last week when I realized that I had given no thought to waterers... or feeders.... or grit pans... or lights..... or bedding. Yikes!! I have given a lot of thought to ... foxes.... weasels... dogs.... coyotes.... large cats.... hawks.... you get the idea. I have spent a great deal of time studying different styles of chicken tractors. I've read warnings about which will withstand attacks from the neighborhood dogs. The whole thing has left me so worried about doing the wrong thing, that I have done nothing. Damn fear of failure!! Then I remembered that I had promised myself to not quit. To not cave in to that old pattern of getting so far and stopping. I was sitting on the rock in the front yard thinking about how to "not stop" and I looked up and there was an old pallet. It wasn't like the other pallets around the place. It had a kind of long narrow shape instead of the usual 4 ft.x 4 ft. My brains clicked. I went and got my measuring tape. The pallet was not too big.. not too small.... it was just right. I had some other pallets behind the house, so off I went with my handy measuring tape. I had a second pallet in no time. I started to take the three thin cross pieces off the back. It was taking too much time, so I went off in search of the sawzall. I don't like the sawzall reciprocating saw because it darn near shakes my eyeballs out of my head. I managed to saw through the nails barely able to keep my eyeballs in place and then got the jigsaw, a tool I really like, and cut the thin boards down the center. This made two narrower boards that I could use on the fronts of the pallets to cover the gaps. The pallet front now had the look of a board and batten barn. That was side no. 1 completed. I began the next pallet. This one had some broken boards on it, but they were all broken on the same side. So, I decided that this should be the side that I fit in the nesting boxes. I would have to cut away the boards for the boxes anyway. This gave me a head start. Once again the back boards were taken off and split as needed and put on the front as battens. Reinforcing 2x4 pieces were screwed into the pallet backs close to the edges. This will give me something to nail to when putting the sides together. The second side was completed except for figuring out exactly how I need to do the nesting boxes. Currently, I have no clue, but I know that at some point in the day it will just come to me.... because that is how my mind works. Usually, my day starts with a bit of anxiety. I wonder how long I can deal with heavy work. I wonder if my back will hold up. Then worry turns into procrastination. Then it gets a little crazy, then I'm dealing with crisis management. But today... well today I am so jazzed!!!! I cannot wait to get out there and see just how this thing is going to turn out. God knows I'm not following a plan. I'm kind of just holding stuff up and saying, "Yup, that ought to work." It will be a bit trickier today as I have to deal with roof pitch and that stuff, but you never know, holding a board up and seeing if it will fit just might work again. This is going to be so much fun!!! Louie

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