Well, as I mentioned ages ago, Jeremy and I are planning on getting chickens this spring. We had planned on building the coop last summer but two things stopped us.
One: the root cellar which took forever to build.
Two: we couldn't pin down a site for the coop. Well, Jeremy and I had our ideas, but the family (who owns the house and whom we rent from) kind of like their back yard and decided maybe they weren't so keen on chickens.
We finally worked things out and got a site to build on. Better late than never, I suppose, even though now the ground is frozen solid and covered in a couple feet of snow.
But Jeremy is determined. After all, we've been picking up chicken paraphernalia for a couple months and Jeremy recently built a brooder in the basement to keep the baby chicks warm until they are ready to face the cold outdoors.
(heater for the water, a window for the coop, wire for the coop, feeders, lamps, etc)
(the brooder, not quite finished yet)
Jeremy has also been designing the coop for months now. I think this is going to be the best built, most fortified, best looking, most well thought-out chicken coop of all time. (Jeremy is an architect after all!)
We've been collecting supplies and planning, planning and biding our time. We had a week there of severely freezing whether (double digit negatives) and then this last week we had several days that were in the 20s and 30s.
Jeremy wanted to dig down in the dirt and place some piers that the coop will sit on. How to dig through the frozen ground though? I remembered our neighbor has a fire pit (a big metal half circle thing) that they used to thaw the ground when they needed to dig a hole last year. Jeremy went to borrow it - and discovered that it was frozen to the ground. He thought about starting a fire just to thaw the thing so we could get it out of the ground, but we decided on a different course of action in the end: boiling water.
Pouring boiling water over the frozen ground actually worked quite well and within three days Jeremy was able to dig, hack, and pick out six holes for the piers.
(The location: to the right of the garage, in the back half of the garden space.)
(thinking about digging...)
There is a lot more to do, but only the brooder has to be done before the chicks arrive. They hang out there for a month or so, so we still have time to get the coop done. But we really want to get that done soon because gardening season is approaching!
To be continued...