There is nothing like having a good mate…other than having a good mate with a bloody big tractor! Johnny turned up at our place around lunchtime and, for the price of a couple of filled rolls and a cup of tea, he helped us get the Palais de Poulet from the driveway into its intended position in the home paddock.
Having stropped and chained the shed onto the forks for stability and safety, Johnny negotiated the gateway with barely a millimetre between the tractor tyres and the posts either side.
Johnny then drove around the tree and shelter in the centre of the paddock to get in line with where our original chicken coop had sat in the lee of the shelter belt planting.
One of the joys of doing a job with Johnny is the banter and the laughs we have as we’re working. Our first attempt to site the shed square and level on the sloping paddock didn’t work out. As we stood back to reassess our approach, Johnny smirked and said ‘That the thing about working with me…you need patience as it takes at least two goes for me to get something done!’
As it turned out, third time’s a charm and, after employing some Kiwi ingenuity and a bit of trial and error, we had the shed sitting level and stable, just where it needed to be.
After another well-earned cup of tea and a few chocolate biscuits, Johnny trundled off to swap his tractor for his digger to help out an old joker he knows down the road.
I enlisted Maisie in helping me repair and generally tidying up the shed. After that, we relocated the base I made for the original chicken coop she and I built a few months back and added a new floor to keep out the rats that we suspect are responsible for eating some eggs recently. With that done, all that remained was for us to relocate the waratah and chicken wire fence to enclose the smaller of the coops.
In the next few days, I will hopefully be able to fit out the new coop with the nesting boxes and perches required to turn it into a Palais de Poulet fit for our free-ranging mature hens and rooster. This will leave the smaller fenced coop free for our ‘teenager’ hens to start spreading the wings and preparing fro free-range life, in turn making room in our nursery coop/run for our three week old chicks.
All in all, it was a great day, working and spending time together with family and friends on jobs that enrich the farm and our lives at the same time.