Livestock

Our chicken coop has arrived!

About two weeks ago, Cody’s buddy Blaine casually mentioned he had an extra chicken coop lying around, and asked if I wanted it. His family has quite a few chickens, around 30, and had moved on to a bigger coop. The old one was sitting behind their house, collecting snakes and wasps and being of no use to anyone.

I was ecstatic.

A free coop?! Even if we have to fix it up and knock down some frozen wasp nests.. a free coop?? Blaine said it needed lots of TLC, but the boys agreed they’d fix it up for me as long as they were encouraged with a case of Budweiser (or two).

Unfortunately for the last few weeks, the weather has been less than ideal. Temperatures far below zero, icy roads, and a few significant snowfalls made getting the chicken coop the last thing on everyone’s priority list. Add on to that heifers starting to calve, and we have all been pretty busy with other things.

Fast forward to last Saturday. Cody loads up the flatbed and heads over to pick up my new coop. He comes back an hour or two later, with the most pathetic chicken coop I’ve ever seen holding onto the flatbed for dear life.

I still couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

I don’t even know how they got the thing home. It appeared to have rotted to pieces, with each supporting wall barely clinging to the other, and the roof appearing to not be nailed down but held there by an overwhelming sense of apathy.

I couldn’t wait to fix it up.

They hooked the chains to the tractor and began to lift it off the flatbed. More boards fall to the ground. Some of the tin siding gave up halfway through and crumpled. The only thing that hadn’t disintegrated was the tin roof, and I’m sure it was starting to consider the possibility.

Blaine gave me a shrug and said “I told you it was in bad shape” Understatement of the year. I laughed and thanked him, saying a free coop is still a free coop. I promptly collected the nails and hammers, and was still determined to follow through. Blaine asks me if I don’t just want to add it to the burn pile.

First of all, how dare he. This coop was already my baby and I would cherish it, no matter how unhappy it looked.

The boys got to work pulling off the broken boards, and stripping the tin that was still clinging to the ‘walls’. I quickly designated myself as supervisor and picture-taker.

before
Blaine and his younger cousin, who was less than thrilled and kept suggesting we burn it

I’m not kidding guys, this thing was sad.

Nevertheless, we got to work.

I use the term ‘we’ loosely, as I was definitely the slacker of the bunch. Got some good pictures though, you have to document this kind of stuff!

We decided to place it up against the already existing tin wall of the calf corral. This way we only had to fence off one side, as it would be facing the barn on the opposite side of the coop.

working
Cody (left) and Blaine (right) salvaging what they could

Two hours later, it looked significantly less pathetic. Not great by any means, but you could breathe in it’s general direction without the whole structure shaking. I even threw my whole body against the door wall and nothing moved! No creaking, no complaining, it had a new life.

after
Blaine and TJ amazed by the progress 🙂

The boys were all shocked at the difference. I think they were ‘working on it’ to please me, and fully expected to scrap the whole thing once my excitement wore off.

Now all that’s left is to put in the floor and hammer up some new tin along the long walls. I hardly wait to finish it up, but I can wait til the temperature doesn’t have a negative sign in front of it.

Do any of you have any tips for flooring or insulation? Any other similar chicken coop transformations out there?

Hope everyone is staying warm and praying for spring!

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