Operation Move Coop: Complete. Operation According to Plan: Not so much.
First of all, I need to say a huge thank you to our friends Rob and Erik and Pjaye for all their help. There is simply no way we could have done it without all of you. Second of all, I need to say a huge apology to the three of you for all the crap you put up with, only some of which was literal. And third I need to apologize to everybody and myself for forgetting my camera at home so there was no documentation of the whole debacle.
Okay, now that that is out of the way, this is what went down. I got to the house, let out the chickens and started digging out the trench around the coop so we could possibly lift it up and into the trailer. Easy, right? Except for the fact that this thing was way overbuilt (we’re talking exceeding standards for homes in hurricane country here) which, of course, added to the weight of the whole thing. However, after the trench was dug and it was physically possible, however somewhat improbable, to lift it up and out of the trench, we screwed on a couple pieces of the deck (may as well get some more use out of it, right?) onto the sides of the coop to use as lifting bars. Easier said than done. Oh, the bars went up without a hitch, it was simply a matter of trying to figure out the right height for lifting that made this task ever so exciting. However, once a height was finally decided up after moving and screwing it into place each time, we started the moving process. At which point, of course, we ran into another kink. Dirt.
While everyone was trying to figure out how to lift it up and over the dirt mound the coop was catching on, I grabbed a shovel and started scooping out the extra to level out the ground. I should have done this to begin with but I didn’t think it would be that much of an obstacle. I was wrong. After that we were able to move it rather well to the edge of the wall and into the trailer… at first.
Of course there was another obstacle to overcome, because that’s how we roll. This time it was the trailer, which measured on the inside is six feet two inches wide. However, what they failed to mention is that it has these inch and a half eyelets for the chains that hold the backdoor of the trailer. Figures. Needless to say the coop wasn’t going to go in without some alterations. We ripped off the wire mesh around the front which kept catching, but that wasn’t enough. So my husband went over to the neighbors house, grabbed a saw and our friend Erik started notching out everywhere the coop would run into the eyelets. Success! Shoved in the coop, locked up the backdoor, and our friend Rob tried over and over to get the trailer out of the backyard through the gate, but kept getting stuck in the mud. After some ingenuity on his part involving old firewood for traction, he finally got it out and we were ready to get it onto the road and to the new house.
Now, during most of this we had the boys, as their mom had a class to go to, so PJaye spent most of the time with them. Thankfully they weren’t too bad. However, trying to focus on the coop with three of the nine chickens on the loose and two kids asking, “Daddy Cory, are you done yet? Daddy Cory, can I pet the chickens? Daddy Cory, what are you doing? Daddy Cory Daddy Cory Daddy Cory!!!” was an adventure all in itself.
On the road we only had one minor incident involving the plastic roof, some of which caught wind and snapped off, but fortunately only a small part. The ride was fairly smooth after that, but we were going slightly under the speed limit to prevent another roof incident. Once we got to the house, everyone helped with backing it into place while I got the boys all situated in their room. It was practically off the trailer by the time I got out to help them set it into place, but not quite. Two more notches needed to be put in, the ones in the front of the coop that were already inside before we realized there would be a problem. After that we pushed it out and pretty much decided wherever it landed would be where it’ll stay.
In our haste, we forgot the chickens at the old house. Okay, so really we knew we’d end up having to go back anyway, so we left them in the dog kennel where they were all sleeping. In the meantime I had to staple the mesh back onto the part we ripped it off from and screw the door back on and the boys’s mom picked them up so we finally went back to the old house around 9:30pm, loaded up the girls and all their stuff, headed back to our house, plopped them onto the roosts, locked the doors, and went inside to strip off all our nasty, muddy, stinky clothes and went to bed. If only this was the end. We’ve still got to coyote proof the coop now, but that can wait until tomorrow.