I know it's silly, but I feel the need to explain how shoveling out the chicken coop can create the highest summit in the northeast U.S.  In other words, I'm proud and don't want you to think this was the first time I've shoveled the coop in the last 6 years.  Plus, I'm excited about something that you couldn't care less about!!!

Let's back up a bit.  Our chicken coop will probably collapse in a few years.  The sides are bowing in, the roof is sagging, and the weight of who-knows-how-many pounds of toxic, dusty excrement in the upstairs will make a collapse inevitable.  When we first moved in, it took me over two days to shovel out this small portion of the bottom coop, and I've been chipping away at the rest over the last six years.  

It's slow work because the old leavings from larger animals who lived there before we moved in have been there for a Very Long Time, and the mixture of compacted hay, manure, and other stuff had hardened into something strong enough to build the pyramids.  The only way to clear the coop is to peel away heavy layer after layer of the stuff and cart it out.  In some sections, the old mess was over a foot thick of dense, pyramid-building cement, and nearly impossible to separate.

Last week, I went out to change the hay in the nesting boxes and told Millie to set the timer for 20 minutes.  I planned to work in the coop for just that long and then ignore it all until spring.  I made progress, though, and that progress encouraged me, and then I got a little carried away, and five hours later....


There is a visible stone floor-- a floor!-- on 95% of the coop now.  I really never thought I'd finish before the the coop collapsed.  (I mean, there's still that last 5% to go, so perhaps I won't).

The children gushed over it so winningly you'd have thought it was pure marble.  So now we have a stone-floor coop AND a manure mountain to play on.  That's a win-win, for sure.


sarah said...

Hooray! And I don't understand why there is excrement upstairs.

Abigail said...

I don't know. I think it's mostly decades-old chicken poo, but there were also rabbit hutches up there when we moved in, so maybe rabbits, too? All I know is that the few times I tried to shovel some out the window (before giving up), I was choked by a poo-dust tornado. When I die from lung disease as a non-smoker, you'll know why. Poo-dust tornadoes are not to be trifled with.

Abigail said...

I know Master Charlie wasn't allowing you the beauty rest you wanted, but it's been fun to read all your comments! (Thanks, Charlie. Anytime you want to again...)

Rebecca said...



Having dealt with our own horrible, decades of neglect coops in the past, I know just the amount of stench, struggle and TRIUMPH a feat like this involves.


(worthy of all exclamation! points!!!!)