Chicken Coop

Beware of that “Buy Now” Button (Chicken Tales Pt1)


It’s been a long while since I’ve written for my blog and truthfully I’ve missed it.  I have been writing in my journal regularly, but that kind of private writing is very different from writing to share and so I’m glad to be back at it.  Writing to share makes you think harder, research the unknowns and organize your thoughts in a coherent way.  It makes you a better speller and a little smarter.  Well… that’s the hope anyway.  So… just to get caught up I’m going to go backward for a while and then forward so you know who I am, where I am and where I hope to go.

My life  in a nutshell:  I’m a 60ish woman who feels 18 inside.  I’m an artist, mother of grown sons, woman of faith and I have finally made peace with me (mostly).  I live in the county, work in the city, tend my chickens and cats and teach watercolor painting to willing students from time-to-time.  I’m happy to say that I’ve become more fearless as I’ve aged and it feels good.

That creative part of me feeds my spirit in a profound and life enriching way.  That creative expression takes many forms and so it was last May when I visited the Murray McMurray Hatchery website and clicked the “Buy Now” button.  With a minimum purchase of 15 birds required, in my online cart I put five Black Australorp hens, nine Buff Orpington hens, one Buff Orp rooster and when offered a “free bird” by Murray McMurray I said, “sure,” with that naive chicken rookie enthusiasm.

I never anticipated how that impulsive online purchase would change my life.  I would, of course, need to build a chicken coop and I had a great idea that I would put it inside one of my garage bays thinking that with two walls already up I’d be ready for my chicks in no time.  What utter foolishness that thought would turn out to be but I plunged forward with my circular saw and power drill and set to building my coop.   I’d figured that a month and a half would be plenty of time to make ready but the days flew buy and as the chick ship date of June 22nd quickly approached I would end up spending nearly every night for a month out in my “soon to be chicken coop” sawing and drilling with some tears and swears thrown in every so often for good measure..

I hadn’t a clue really what I was doing.  I’d watched other people build things so I thought… “no problem, I can do that.”  But what looks so easy on the DIY channel is not so easy in real life.  I’d heard that a carpenter’s motto is to “measure twice and cut once” and while I tried like the dickens to build my coop using that motto I would inevitably end up measuring twice  and cutting twice.  So in essence I actually built two coops while netting only one in the end.

Oh how overwhelming it all felt as the days ticked toward June 23rd when my hens would arrive at our local post office!