Changing gears (2010) by Mary

There were three projects that needed to be done before winter: The old chicken house finished for the animals, a new chicken house built, and a fireplace insert installed. Thankfully winter held off far beyond usual, and things fell in place.  

A huge order of materials came out by truck from Menards and the old chicken house, renamed the 'sheep shed', got a new steel roof.   

The chickens were growing fast!

Todd and Erin cut and notched forty 20-foot 2x6 rafters, hoisted them into place, and Larry screwed them together. Todd and Nancy glued and screwed 35 sheets of plywood to the joists, stapled on the tar paper, and Todd screwed down the steel roof.   All built by amateurs.

Then it became evident that it was more important to be building a chicken house as the chickens would soon need a  warm and larger place. In the meantime, Erin built a moveable temporary chicken coop.

Todd tore down the old brooder house and used the foundation for the new chicken house. It is not quite completed in the above picture, but it turned out nicely with nesting boxes, roosts, and a completely fenced in area. Nancy and Erin wired the sides, and wove the long strips of chicken wire together to form a roof to keep the chickens safe. They all caulked and primed the building just in time before winter, and it would wait until spring to get painted. The new chicken house also has a steel roof, and there is a matching supply waiting for the barn.

As winter approached, the 'sheep shed' didn't seem to be the answer for the animals, so after some fast cleaning and fixing up, the horse and three sheep went to the best end of the dilapidated barn. Everything finally fell in place and just in the nick of time. 

Now the old chicken house was renamed once again and it has stuck. It is called "The shop."  The men have big fantasy dreams about it holding all kinds of power saws and equipment, and a wood burning stove to keep them warm in the winter while they crank out wondrous things.  We'll see.

One project left.

Below: Larry and I don't want to forget the 'before' of the new chicken house. It  was previously a brooder house, where you raise baby chickens. The view is from the back of our house, and the small dead tree was the first one Larry took down. Shrubbery had grown around the brooder house until it was difficult to enter. Its last life was a play house and still held children's play furniture. After clearing the shrubbery and trimming the trees, there was endless junk, rocks, and broken glass. Another example of choosing a place and using it as a dump for things unwanted.   

                                                                                                                    Fireplace insert

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