Thursday, September 28, 2006

Coop d'état

Chickens lived here by the thousands. The hill was flattened by tractors to build these two coops—each about 160 feet long. The cages had sloped bottoms and two troughs ran the length of the cages, one for food, and one to catch the eggs that rolled down.

There was another chicken ranch up the road. When they got electric lights in the coops, they began turning them on in the middle of the night in a competition to see who could get more eggs out of the chickens.

We don't have anything against chickens—we like chickens. But if we were to have chickens, it wouldn't be this many, and they would have a more free range lifestyle. Not that we're planning to have chickens, because we're not.

Originally we estimated it would take 2-3 weeks to tear down the coops, but that was way off. It ended up taking more like 2-3 years (not every day of course...there've been a few other duties interspersed). We recycled the materials as much as possible, which made it take longer. The first step was removing the doors to the cages. This was done ritualistically to free the chicken spirits. The cages themselves were hard to take apart. They were stapled into the wood at each piece of wire, and Popsey insisted that one of the builders must have been left-handed and stapled at an odd angle, which made it really challenging to remove his staples. Revenge of the southpaws. Bwa ha ha.

Most of the wood was clear heart redwood, the kind you just can't get anymore according to the wood aficionados I hang out with. It was reused everywhere for fixing other buildings. A big pile of tin roofing remains. Many drags and loads to the dump later, this is the same view:

Each coop was on a concrete pad that a neighbor with a tractor kindly tore up:

At one time there were depressing heaps of tons of broken concrete piled in the meadow. Taking it to the dump would have destroyed our truck and been really expensive (well, we did already blow up the truck once, but it would have happened sooner). Luckily, a neighbor, who happened to live about 2 minutes downhill from us, wanted it ALL. She landscaped with it, making walls and paths and patios. It was a win/win—that being a coop de grace,

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe you would tear down the chicken coop and deny your brother the pleasure of fresh egg salad!