Thursday, August 01, 2013

The Race

I have a needlework project I have been working on for *ahem* months (hint: it's more than 12.  Sorry, Alayna!).

Mr. Marvelous finally figured out that he could tap into my competitive spirit, get me motivated to finish it, and not have to listen to me gripe about being so slow with one little sentence.  Isn't he brilliant?!

That sentence was this.

"Bet I can finish the new chicken tractor before you finish the blanket"

Oh yeah, Big Boy??  Last Monday the race was on!

Here's what Mr. Marvelous did last week.

Pretty impressive, yes?

Lots of re-purposing going on with this.  The PVC pipe used to be his irrigation system for the garden.  Back when we needed water in the garden.  We don't this year.

The blue tarp was the cover for my luxury swimming pool.  We broke down and bought (gasp!) the brown one.

It's a "tractor", which means that it is moveable, allowing the chickens to till and fertilize areas for us.  That means it has to have wheels.

Meet Wheels.  From my first (now broken) power wheel-chair.  Talk about re-purposing!

A while back we purchased some wonderful food-grade buckets from Fire House Subs.  Sadly we couldn't ever get rid of the pickle odor.  So they have now become nesting boxes. 

We added straw to discover later that we really shouldn't have bothered.

Remember the hoped-for corn patch?

When something doesn't work out you should think outside the box.  Or maybe inside the pen.

  Our chickens LOVE corn!  And this way we don't have to buy it for them.

Introducing these girls to their new digs was eventful.  Remember their old home?

Please notice how low the ceiling is.  That's a regular-sized hoe propped up there.  Over on the far left edge of the picture are the nesting boxes.  There is a small drop-down door there that allowed one to reach in for eggs.  Kinda hard to crawl in that way.  The other option is to prop up the left hand side of the top and climb up, over, and hunker down in.  Yeah, it was quite a sight!  No, no pictures were made of that part.  To your regret and our relief.  One of us had to get in the pen with the girls and play catch while the other of us reached over and took the caught hen and carried her over to her new home.  One of us prefers to carry in the arms, petting as we go and calming the hen down.  The other grabs two or three and holds one or two in each hand upside down by the feet and carries them over and lays them upside down on their backs in their new pen.  Guess who does which?!  No pictures of that either.  To your regret and the hens relief.  It took them a while to get over the embarrassment of that experience.  The ones who were cradled and lovingly calmed while being carried aren't going to let them forget it, either.

Welcome to your new home, girls!

Notice all the vertical room?  So did they that night and they like it!

I know this is really hard to see, but can you make out the white shapes?  Two of them are crouched above the door, hanging on for dear life.  Please notice the "moderate" one further down at the bottom.  She is crouched on the board that was intended to stick out to hold the waterer.  After she spent a little time there, we decided to move the waterer out of the danger zone.  If you know what I mean.  As my Dad says, "She was guilty of a hygienic indiscretion".

We were a little concerned about what they might do to the boards, the door, etc.  So Mr. Marvelous, being Marvelous, added a board across the back for a roost.

So here we are.  In less than one week, the girls have pretty much cleaned out the area of all things green.  Pictures of the mud to follow.

Up next, Mama's part of the race.

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