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The Chicken Palace
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Cleaning & Improvements
Submitted By edith on 09/05/21
Inner Beauty, edith, Documents, On the Farm, chickens, cleaning, fixing 
This Document originally posted in the "Day by Day" Group

This spring, when the snow started melting, water started coming up through the chicken coop floor, which is rotten in some places...ok, many places:)  Because it got really wet and soggy in there, all of the chickens contracted the chicken equivalent of colds.  They were sneezing.  Yes, the chickens were actually sneezing.  They had very cute little sneezes:)  Unfortunately, they also all stopped laying because they were sick:(  I was getting 5 eggs a day, which was pretty good considering the time of year.   They're just now getting over it... 
To prevent that from happening again next spring, or next time we have heavy rains, I had three options...
  1. We could tear down the existing chicken coop, and build a new one.
  2. We could rip up the floor, and install a new one.
  3. I could put in a new floor over the old one.
Number 3 was by far the better solution for several reasons..
  1. It would be easier than ripping the whole floor out.
  2. The rest of the chicken coop (the walls, interior, etc.) were still in usable condition (well, except for the roof, but that's another project...).
  3. I could do it by myself.
That pretty much decided it.  After deciding how to solve the problem, I had to figure out how I was going to go about laying a new floor over the existing one.
I opted for nailing pieces of wood (2x4s) along the inside walls, and some down the middle, and then nailing plywood over that to make a new floor.
However, before I could start, I had to clean the chicken coop out...
Nice.  Chickens are sooo messy, and very disgusting.
I had to take pretty much everything out of the chicken coop before I cleaned it.
It looked rather like a bomb had exploded, scattering debris everywhere, with a few survivors picking through the rubbish for valuables:)
I will not show you any pictures of the chicken coop before I got all of the old straw out...mainly, because I didn't take any:)
Here are some picture of it after I removed all of the straw...
While I was cleaning it out, I was suddenly reminded that there was something else I really wanted to change about the chicken coop...
It's this head high board.   Emphasis on head.
I have bashed my head against that wretched board on more occasions than I care to recall, including several times today.  I have no idea what possessed the previous owners of our property to put that board there, but I was tired of hitting my head on it!  It wasn't serving a purpose (other than giving Tasha an opportunity to hit her head), so it had to go.  Now.
So, after I finished sweeping out the chicken coop, I showed off my superior wire cutting, and nail pulling skills to the the few chickens who cared to watch.  I felt like doing a little dance when I finally got that board out.  Yippee!  No more hitting my head on that board!!!
I had to add a bit more wire to that part of the chicken coop, and I put that board to good use, showing off my superior hammer skills in the process.  Well, I went through the motions of hammering...it was all the nails fault!  They just kept bending...:p
Anyway, I am very glad to have that taken care of.  I still duck my head there out of habit though...:) 
Here's some pictures of the clean chicken coop, or as clean as a chicken coop can be without scrubbing it with bleach water, which I wasn't about to do.
When I pulled up a board in part of the coop, I found these interesting tunnels...
Either we have really BIG earthworms (I wouldn't be surprised if there was a sci-fi film about that:), or that's were the mice who were stealing the chicken's grain this winter were hiding out.  No wonder the cats couldn't get them!
Here's where the floor is most rotted out.  The big blue arrow is point to a spot were it has rotted away to the ground.  The small blue arrow is pointing to a spot where I tried to get leverage with my hammer to pull a nail out.  It went right through the floor:)
Tomorrow, I'm going to nail the 2x4s and the plywood down.  Oh goody!  That means I'll get to show off my superior sawing skills, which are even worse than my hammering...=)
Happy Trails!

Threaded Hybrid Flat 2 Comments
Re: The Chicken Palace
5 days - 9,041v
Posted 2009/05/24 - 18:00 GMT
Oooh, nice. You definitely have superior construction skills :) I probably would have begged Ivan to help me.

Thanks for sharing your adventures. Your writing made me wish I was there laughing and talking with you!!!! :(
Re: The Chicken Palace
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/05/24 - 18:40 GMT
Alex's help would have been greatly appreciated.   It was one of those times though, where I knew that if I didn't do it myself, it would never get done:)  I haven't done the sawing yet, so I'm hoping I can get some help from him with that...
Oh, I wish you had been there laughing and talking with me too! :(  It's always more fun to work on a project when you have someone to talk to:)  Especially when you keep whacking your head on a board=) The chickens weren't all that sympathetic...
We'll get you out here for a visit someday (soon, I hope!), and when you do come, we'll clean out the chicken coop, alright?  Maybe even hammer a few nails, just for kicks;)

Threaded Hybrid Flat 2 Comments

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