Saturday, October 27, 2007

Big Red and the Incredible Hulk

Winter is on the way. Time to get a few things tucked in before the snow flies. As usual, a long series of steps are necessary to cross even a single task off the to-do list...
Objective: Get the chickens into a coop.
Two weeks ago the chickens were advertised for a ridiculous price in the local paper. My own boys and my young nephew were quite excited about spending the potential monetary gain until they realized they would have to say "good-bye" to the chickens. Oh, the tears. A nice young girl called about the chickens. I told her, reluctantly, they were no longer available.
I surrendered the cute little renovated playhouse to the "Save the Chickens" cause. It is the perfect size for a small flock of poultry. My small flock of sheep have outgrown it.
Challenge: Position the coop near the house.
The soon-to-be coop is sitting out in the middle of the sheep pasture. No security, no electricity, no chance I'm walking clear across the farm every freezing winter morning to feed chickens. Built on skids, the tiny building was designed to be portable. It does, however, require a bobcat or a tractor to pull it.
Facts: The bobcat is unavailable this weekend. I do not know how to drive the tractor myself. A hulking pickup truck is marooned in the only acceptable location for the coop.
Solution: Clancy.
Although my husband has plenty of more important things to do, I have reached the end of my patience with the whole chicken situation. I announced Thursday that the chickens would get moved this weekend. I am relatively sure Clancy agreed to my ultimatum because he intended to move some dirt with the tractor for a neighbor on Sunday anyway.
This evening, Clancy pulled the battery out of the old Massey and installed it in the old green Ford he uses perhaps once a year. (It was supposed to be the snowplow truck but the plow broke. So now we use it as our "in and out" vehicle during spring when the road is impassible with mud and we park our daily drivers two miles away at Mom and Dad's place.) Being the primitive beast that it is, the Ford roared to life with a ferocious spew of blue smoke. Temporarily engulfed, it chugged away from it's heavy cloud of fumes to it's new resting spot beside the shed that used to be a chicken coop. Then my dear husband lugged the battery out of the truck and back to the rarely used tractor. Being the primitive beast that it is, the tractor roared to life with a ferocious spew of blue smoke...
Clancy took a run up and down the driveway with the back blade since he had the thing running. Tomorrow he'll crawl the tractor two miles an hour toward the neighbor's house which is three miles away. When he returns, from what he estimates will be a four hour job, he will pull the new chicken coop into position and I will cease to nag him about it. I seriously wonder if he has factored travel time into his schedule. We shall see...


Nancy K. said...


I need a chicken coop!!

Becky Utecht said...

Sabrina, you are a born writer! I hope you are keeping a journal or some type of record besides this blog. You could compile all these wonderful stories into a book. Seriously.
I know your boys must be happy to keep the chickens and I hope you get that coop moved one of these days. Wow, that Clancy is quite a worker. It's kind of funny how all these jobs get delegated to the husband.
We sold all our chickens this morning and now I'm wondering what to do with all that space they had in the little red barn. And I'm happy not to have to worry about them or feed them this winter. But it's so quiet without them. It's the first time in 10 years we've been without poultry.

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Nancy, I'm embarrassed to ask, but I don't know what ROFL means. I have, however, noticed your pretty, new chickens on your blog. Congratulations! I hope you find the perfect spot for them.

Becky, Wow, I can't imagine you without chickens. Will you buy eggs to do your pysanky? As hard as it will be to not have the little birdies about for a while, I bet you won't miss the chores this winter. :)

Yes, Clancy certainly is a long-suffering husband. And he DID get the coop moved! All by himself, in the dark, with the tractor, while I was in town picking up the boys from a friend's house. I couldn't believe it when I got home. I don't think he wanted me announcing to the world that I was right about the dirt work taking longer than he planned. :) When I left the house at 6pm I was thinking it would be another week before it got done. :)

And thank you, Becky, for the writing compliment. I don't have any other record than this blog-no time, I guess. But I'm glad folks enjoy my stories so much. :)