Well, the coop is done. Or mostly, at least. There are a few small details: a hasp and a handle to be attached, a coat of paint to be slapped on. It’s done enough, however, to be moved off the front porch, across the front yard*, around the side of the house, and into the backyard. Easy peasy? Right? Yeah, right.

But wait! Did you say the coop is on the front porch? Yes, I said that. We don’t have a garage, and the weekend that the great coop project began, it was raining.  So our covered front porch was the logical choice of building location.  And had the coop been finished before the husband left, all would’ve been well.   Or would it have been?

It would have, until the husband tried to wheel the chicken coop (actually a chicken tractor, since it’s on wheels and designed to be moved) through the gate into the side yard.  It wouldn’t have fit.  How do I know this?

Because yesterday, a friend of mine came over and watched my rugrats while I enclosed the run (which really should’ve been done before the coop portion was built atop it) and then between the two of us, we managed to get the fifty gazillion pound coop/tractor down the three stairs and onto the walkway.  She went back into the kids, and I spent a few minutes trying (and slowly succeeding) at moving the coop through the overgrown grass, which is so overgrown that it transformed my moveable coop into a non-movable coop.   Not exactly a walk in the park, unless you consider body checking a chicken coop through grass a walk in the park.

The kids calmed down, my lovely friend helped me get the coop through the grass and around to the gate…where we discovered the awful truth:  the coop is several inches wider than the gate.  Even taking the gate off its hinges would’ve left us a couple inches too short on clearance.  Discouraged, sore, and above all, tired, we left the coop in the sideyard for the night.  She gathered up her kids and went home, and we went about the business of finishing the day.

I got my kids fed, washed, and ready for bed, all the while with the phrase “I’m going to have to push it down the street, around the corner, into the alley, and into the back gate” beating it’s awful rhythm into my head. . . go ahead and laugh.  It’s a pretty funny picture, I admit.  Just wasn’t looking forward to that.

The next morning, though, inspiration struck!  And now the coop is in the backyard, waiting for its chickens.  How did I do that?

No scene ala The Monkeys, no chicken coops taking to the roads.  I ripped the roof off of it, turned the bottom sideways, and dragged it through the gate.  I had to do some more work on it, (ie, I pretty much had to rebuild the roof) but over the course of building this benighted coop, I’ve gotten really good at ripping things apart and putting them back together.

So it’s been an interesting couple of weeks, to say the least.  And while I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on how to build chicken coops now, I would say that I’m definitely an expert in how not to build a chicken coop.  That’s got to count for something; right?

*aka the wildland meadow. It’s been raining a lot, the husband has been gone so hasn’t mowed it lately, and the grass/clover mix is between six and nine inches tall.

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