Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chicken Coop Move

This was originally posted on the farm blog on April 27, 2011:

We're in Vermont officially! Aaaannnddd ... our urban chickens are loving their new acreage! Our job (I use the word "our" loosely - I was inside the dry house while Josh, my dad, and my brothers were outside) was to move the chicken coop (with hens inside) from point A to the point B (the moving truck). Point B happened to be 5 ft above ground level.

You can imagine, right? Lots of heaving, and a little tiny slippage and ... 6 hens snug in their house for the ride to Vermont. I imagined the process too because I refused to watch it in real life. Too nerve wracking. (Note: no pictures of the moving-into-the-moving-truck-process) So coop arrives safely with its occupants to the driveway of our new house ... and a need to be carried from the driveway to the opposite corner of the yard.

We wrangled two uncles to help Josh and Pierre. One attempt at lifting the coop and hernias and hospital visits were mentioned and it was deemed a tractor was necessary.

Step 1: Decide you need the tractor

Step 2: help guide long pipes under chicken coop

North West Vermont Family Farm

Step 3: Watch as coop is lifted slightly off the floor of the moving truck

North West Vermont Family Farm

Step 4: Drive moving truck forward slightly in order to get enough room to lift coop over rock wall. If you think of it ... jump in the truck and take picture.

North West Vermont Family Farm

Step 5: Lift coop high above the driveway, but just a tiny bit above the lawn (this will help in Step 6)

North West Vermont Family Farm

Step 6: Scrape up part of the lawn with the leg of the coop. This is useful in two ways: it tests the durability of the coop's leg and also provides a swath of mud for the chickens to dust bathe in later.

North West Vermont Family Farm

Step 7: Back the tractor up slowly, multi-point turns will be necessary to make sure the hens are good and scared. At this point feel free to become involved in a compelling conversation with all of the helpers involved about which way the coop should positioned over the overwhelming roar of the tractor. This step is particularly important if you are the primary farmer who has hearing difficulties not at all related to years of using above mentioned tractor.

North West Vermont Family Farm

Step 8: This is the ideal time for the photographer to get so caught up in the drama that she forgets to take any further pictures, thus leaving blog readers unfullfilled as they can not see the final chicken coop destination.

Step 9: Let chickens out of coop, where they will immediately take to the hills, foraging in their flock.

North West Vermont Family Farm

Step 10: Retrieve two eggs later in the day and take these as a token from chickens who were not traumatized by their adventurous move from RI to VT.

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