When we built our chicken coop last year, we meant to make it "moveable." Up until now, it seemed that was only true in a technical sense–i.e., almost anything is moveable if you have the right equipment. Bad boy’s heavy!
Previous instances of relocation involved 1) a huge tear in the rather nice jeans worn by our friend who was helping carry it by hand, 2) the addition of barely-adequate bicycle wheels, and 3) potential back injuries. This time, Mr. Green Scene got smart and moved the coop on rollers. These were made from a very long piece of PVC pipe that came with our house and has always hung around near our compost piles, awaiting its purpose in life.
With this energy-saving scheme, the coop easily rolled across the yard and landed in its new spot under a big walnut tree. The hens themselves also moved more easily: After the fence was set up, they just walked over and let themselves in like they knew exactly what was going on.
So, with our coop now in its third location since we began keeping chickens 10 months ago, we have a chance to size up our operation. Spot number one is soon to become our asparagus patch (which, as many of you know, is a perennial crop). Spot number two is our main garden area. We’re very excited to see the difference this year now that the hens have done their work on the beds: fertilizing, aerating, eating weed seeds and grubs, and even (it seems) kicking all the small stones to the perimeter! Thanks, girls!
As for spot number three, it’s part of our yard we don’t usually mow, and it’s quite unruly in the summer. We’re thinking the hens will stay there for about six months, and then we’ll plant something new: native wildflowers and grasses, or a cover crop, or (if we get a wild hair) a grain crop like wheat. The possibilities are endless. And so far, the hens seem thrilled.