So after a while of fall setting in, and not having much outside to do besides worry about the new grass seed and our poor well surviving a drought, my husband resigned himself to the undertaking of getting me a home for some chickens. He brought home a chicken coop book from the library, listened to me detailing the size and function I wanted, only groaned once when I told him of the insulation needed, and looked at my sketches and budget estimates with only a modicum of dread. He was on board. It was finally time to spend a season and a small fortune on creating the perfect habitat for a very respectable backyard flock to be raised from chicks in the spring.
Then last week happened. I had been popping prednisone to fight some mysterious bullshit that was plaguing my sanity. And of course that shocking thing occurred in the wee hours of 11/9 that left me feeling like a woman without a country. And finally, I had a sad little birthday party for my mother who passed away a year and a half ago. The week was pretty much crap and so this weekened I was going to just sit on the couch with a blanket and itch cream and read books.
So yesterday as I began studying “Reinventing the Chicken Coop” with my coffee, my husband suddenly piped up, “Here’s one! It’s smaller than you want but it would fit in my trailer and it’s not too far away.” He sent me the craigslist link. It was pretty cute. 8×4 and totally contained. Looked sturdy. It could comfortably house three large girls, even if free-ranging doesn’t work out. So we took a drive, met a nice lady, pet a chicken, paid $130 and got coop! (…That was full of poop; lady seemed pretty proud that she only cleaned the coop once in a year.)
This cold and rainy morning was spent placing and cleaning the coop. After sweeping out piles of turd-filled shavings, I was greeted by an impossibly thick layer of caked-on ass mud. After a couple of hours of scraping and spraying and scrubbing, the place looked pretty clean. Not disgusting at all actually. Afterwards I was sore and covered with infinity chicken poop germs, but I felt pretty good. Cold and wet, but good. It let me know that I need to be outside working, doing something I can understand and affect. Not sitting and fretting and coming up with no answer or relief anyway.
This afternoon we went to Tractor Supply and got some bedding and feed. Amazon is shipping me a waterer and a couple of feeders and some hardware cloth to protect the edges from predators who want to dig. We should be all ready for girls by next weekend. I’m happy. The boys are excited. This is a good birthday present. I’ll be 40 this month and I am glad to be seeing a dream come to fruition. I know it’s just a small coop with a few birds, but it’s meaningful to me. It’s a huge piece of the picture I’ve been painting in my mind for a long time.