The 25 chicks Sara is raising for a 4-H project finally got too big to live in a trough in the basement, so it was time to move them outside this week. Putting them in the chicken barn with 19 adult chickens seemed like a bad idea, so Chareva told me we’d put them in the portable coop she built last year.
Well, that sounds easy enough …
“Oh, and I want to move that portable coop out back near my new garden.”
Gulp. The portable chicken coop has been parked next to the chicken yard in the front pasture:
We raised our second flock of chickens in that coop and slowly moved them down the steep hill in the side field so they could eat plenty of bugs on their way to living in the Big House. Moving the coop to the back of the property near the new garden would mean pulling it up the driveway you see below, then all the way up the same big hill. I’m no physicist, but I was pretty sure pulling it uphill would be more difficult than pulling it downhill.
But Chareva wanted to toss the used straw and chicken poop into her new garden, so we got to work. We attached chains to the coop and the back of my car, then I drove it veeerrry slooowwwly up the driveway. Worked like a charm. Truck? Who needs a truck?
I need a truck. The ground is soft because of recent rains and the grass is long in the side field, so as soon as we reached the steep rise in the hill, my tires started spinning. The boards didn’t help. Having Chareva drive while I pushed the coop didn’t help. Nothing helped.
Okay then, time for some exercise. My feet aren’t quite as big as tires, but they don’t spin in wet ground. I pulled and the ladies pushed. (Chareva didn’t make the girls do all the pushing. She stepped aside for a moment to snap a picture.)
My legs definitely got a workout. My thighs were burning by the time I dragged that sucker all the way to the garden. The coop was Chareva’s first construction project, but I’m impressed. It held up under rather a lot of stress while being dragged across the rocky, bumpy ground of a Tennessee hill. Now it’s parked near the garden, ready to provide the all-important chicken poop to the squash and eggplants. Never in my pre-farm life did I suspect I’d someday be looking for a good source of poop.
Sara’s chicks are now happy inhabitants of the portable coop.
Meanwhile, Chareva moved Alana’s four surviving chicks to the Big House, but they’re in a cage. Apparently the idea is to let the adult chickens get used to their presence until they’re big enough to defend themselves.
Soon we’ll have 49 adult chickens. Sara has to auction five of them at 4-H, but that’s still going to mean a lot of eggs. Good thing I love eggs. Good thing our friends and neighbors love eggs, too.