Ranch 101 Barn Razing and Raising

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Day One

On Saturday, October 22, 2005, a bunch of wonderful people came to help dismantle our old, rusty, leaky chicken shed and build a new wooden house for some very lucky chickens. We worked from about 10:30 until dusk at 6:30. Thank you so much! We couldn't have done it without you. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Thanks also to those who couldn't make it but thought good thoughts for us.

Be sure to check out Liz's Barn Razing and Raising Photos too.

My Barn Razing and Razing Photos

* The "Before" picture. * My wonderful group of babysitters supervise the girls in the barnyard. * Liz finds out what the chicken shed smells like.

* Karen, Liz and Sandy haul the old perches out. * Sandy evicts Maggie the hen - again. * Liz and Randy discover that the screws are all rusted tight.

* Saif does the unpleasant but necessary shoveling of the bedding and poop. * Jon, Liz, Daniel, Tane', Nadya, Sam, Julia and Katie check out progress. * Randy dismembers the shed with his sawzall.

* Progress! Randy continues to slice up the barn. * Karen stomps the panels flat and stacks them neatly for recycling. * Randy & Saif work on the main beams.

* Almost all razed. * Here comes the new shed (piece by piece) carried by Liz, Mike, Evan, Sandy & Bela. * Maneuvering around obstacles.

* Discussing the layout: which wall goes where and pointing in which orientation. Karen, Mike, Sandy, Maggie, Jon, Bela & Liz. * Almost ready. Randy and Daniel remove the last screws from the old shed to clear the way for the new one. * Back at the pad, Sam, Katie, Arthur, Julia and Sandy measure and cut plywood siding. Saif takes a well deserved break. Evan, Ben and John work on the doors for the lay boxes.

*The first walls are up! * Little John supervises his first construction project with mom, Irene. * The One-Armed Bandit mugs for the camera. Jon did all kinds of things in spite of having his arm in a sling.

* Another wall arrives on Liz, Sandy, Evan, Mike and Saif. We really should have organized people by height. Evan, being so tall and in the center, wound up taking most of the weight of the wall when we lifted it over the gates. * Lifting it over the gates. Notice how many hands are not able to reach. * Going past more obstacles to put the wall into position.

* Lifting the wall over layboxes and tools, and trying not to hit either the goose pen or the new shed. * Setting it into place on the floor: Jon, Mike, Sandy & Evan. * Saif & Bela hold walls in place while Randy attaches them.

* Bela, Randy & Karen work on the shed. Three walls up now! * Jon takes a well deserved rest. Thunder and Lightning (the sheep) watch the construction from their pen. * Saif holds the walls aligned while Randy screws them together.

* Karen attaches screening for the vents while Liz starts attaching plywood. * Liz watches the geese play. * Four sides up and the layboxes attached - it's looking real!

* Dusk is falling and the chickens are sleepy. We decide not to try to put up a roof in the dark. Liz attaches the doors while Sandy and Karen watch. * The chickens mill around where the door used to be. I moved it from the south side to the east side for better light. Liz screws on the plywood. * One of the chickens mistakes Liz for a perch.

* Julia and Nadya. * Sam reads to Katie. Arthur reads in background. * Nadya, Liz and Katie have a snack.


Day Two

Sunday we added most of a roof. Evan and Ben were able to help us with the roofing.

* Sandy returns from putting up the joists. * The joists really improve the look of the barn. * The hens investigate today's hubbub.

* The view from the peak was spectacular. Did I mention I'm petrified of heights? Why didn't I make a nice short shed... * Nadya, Ben & Katie practice carpentry. * Ben was concentrating very hard, and did a fine job of driving the nail.

* Evan and Bela bring over the plywood for the roof. * Bela nails the edges. * There was still a 4'x4' piece missing from the roof when we quit for the night.

* Another view of the new roof. * The old shed makes a rather small pile of recycle.


Day Three

Monday, Bela had to go to work and my mother's helper was sick so Irene took the girls for the day, and I finished nailing the roof panels on. They're not going anywhere without the barn anymore. I cut and attached the missing roof panel. Then I pieced together enough scrap plywood to finish the missing wall. There's still plenty to do (shingle the roof, screen the eaves, caulk, paint, etc) but the hens are now basically safe from both weather and preditors. Hooray!

Plywood is all installed on the walls and roof. I'm not sure I like the triangle vents I left. It looks rather unfinished instead of intentional. I may change them.

The chickens have accepted the new communal layboxes. I really like being able to collect eggs from the outside. The perches made from old pallets will be replaced with nice removable built-in perches.


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