We’re looking forward to moving our chickens into their new coop.

GCPL Director Ed Worso has been blogging about the library, his move from Lake County to Geauga County and farm life. This week’s blog post is about his chicken coop and the transfer of his flock to the new farm.

Moving chickens into their new coop

The last piece of the puzzle for the completion of our move from Pierpont to Thompson was the acquisition of a suitable chicken coop for our flock of birds. We had at the height of our numbers 57 chickens but our flock had downsized at last count to 37 hens and 6 roosters (still too many roosters as anyone who keeps chickens knows—one rooster for every 10 to 15 hens). We had a fantastic Amish-built coop on our farm in Pierpont but it was too tall to reasonably transport as it would hit power lines. So our choices were to buy from one of the local shed purveyors or have a new one built.

We found a young Amish gentleman just down the street from our old house selling a nice structure from his driveway, still too big for our needs. My wife asked him if we could hire him to build one for us and he was on the job. He built it solo in two days on site. It is built from hemlock milled by a neighboring Amish mill in Ashtabula County. We are told as it is up off the ground and away from too much moisture, it should season to a nice dark wood over time.

Now that it’s done, we have to go under cover of night when the chickens have all returned to the old coop and gather them all for the transfer. I don’t know if any of you readers have ever experienced the rodeo of capturing chickens, but it’s a combination of extreme chaos, noise and hilarity. It starts off quiet enough as we get on a ladder and start by grabbing chickens roosting in the rafters from underneath. Eventually after just two chickens and their alarm calls, there is a fantastic cacophony of shrieking with feathers everywhere and birds running and flying about. With the help of a gigantic net and many old feed bags, we will get them all in the truck and home to their new digs. In the morning, we’ll open the doors and they’ll run out into the sun shining on 53 acres full of bugs, grass and weeds. They won’t know the difference.

Hilary contemplates storytime for the chickens, but decides to head to the library instead.

Then it will be time to get the one-eyed duck.