"So throw away those Lamentations,
We both know them all too well.
If there's a Book of Jubilations,
We'll have to write it for ourselves.."

-Josh Ritter

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Whatcha doin', Eric?

Oh, nuthin'... Just building Nora Lee a chicken coop! Day 1: Eric and Suma have demo'd and graded the site. I swung a sledge hammer and wrecked things. It rocked.

Day 2: Eric and Carl have obtained, through a variety of means, a large quantity of lumber. They are placing the last of the stringers. Thanks, Carl!

Day 3: The day dawned bright and beautiful on the platform for our chickens. Unfortunately, Day 3 consisted largely of more materials acquisition, Nora doing the Chicken Dance on the platform and some colorful swearing. I did not get pictures of any of these events. At the end of Day 3, we have a framed south wall! Due to swim lessons, it was not photographed. Sorry.

Wondering about the seemingly excessive size of the coop? I just bet you are. In Duluth, we are allowed to have five (5) hens for laying purposes. One does not strictly need a coop this large for five (5) hens. However, it turns out that it gets a touch chilly here for a couple months of the year. We have to leave room for better insulation than existed in my first 3 apartments.

Also, in a coop that would be perfectly adequate in 90% of America, those five (5) hens are going to get really, really fatalistically bored during that time. Sure, they'll be warm, but they won't be happy. And they have a tendency to take it out on each other in random acts of flock-related violence. But chickens dislike cold feet. I'm not kidding. They won't walk on snow even to prevent poultricide.

So our solution is as follows. The warm, snuggly, "The Shining"-like rage-inducing coop will take up less than a quarter of the volume of the structure. The rest of it is a winter room. It is enclosed, but not insulated. The floor will be covered in sand. It is purely recreational, but very important. (Random aside: Nora's daycare has this indoor playground called a "muscle room." It exists for similar reasons. -30 temperatures aren't good for children and other living things. Who knew?)

So that's it. How I spent my week's vacation. Good times!