Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chicken FAIL.

I spent the whole day cleaning out our chicken coop today.  Why?  That crazy awesome rainstorm we had last night flooded the whole thing to the point that there was an inch of standing water in it.  Luckily, it was night time and the ladies were up sleeping on their roost.  They did, however, act very surprised when we barged in on them and turned the light on to find the disaster. 

This is why it happened.  Well, first some background info: For those of you who haven't been to our house, or "the fun house," as my gramma likes to call it, we have a pretty sweet party shack in the back yard.  It's a very well constructed extra building that was clearly built for the sole purpose of partying.  Now I don't know why since the last owners of our house were super duper old, but hey, maybe they were that cool.  Old man Al really spared no expense on this thing: there's an uber rad retro bar with sparkly counters, a wood stove, propane rotisserie, speakers rigged up on all corners, and to top it all off a wagon wheel hanging from the ceiling.  Rock me mama like a wagon wheel, rock me mama any way you feel...

Behind the party shack is an extra shelter that looks like it was built for storage... of party supplies, I assume.  That is what we turned into the coop.  We tore off the fiberglass roofing and added a real roof, with shingles we found under our house, cut a small door so the ladies can access their run that we built onto the outside of the shelter, and added a big door to keep them safe.  It's really more square footage than they need, but hey, even chickens can appreciate living in a mansion, right?  It's got concrete floors, so there is no chance of anything digging up into the coop to eat them and it saved us from having to build a coop from scratch.  All in all, a pretty sweet setup, they have everything they need.  This is when they were babies... awwww.

Here's why it flooded.  You can't see in the picture, but the gutter for the party shack runs through the top edge of their coop.  Usually this is not a problem.  It was a little leaky at first, but duck tape fixed that problem months ago.  There is, however, a very poorly constructed connection in the gutter in the middle of it where there's another downspout.  And when it rained like it was the apocalypse last night, it was just too much water for the gutter to handle at once, and it spilled over into the coop like a waterfall.  FAIL.

So today, since I had no school, I got to pull everything out of the coop, scoop all of the wet, angry straw and wood shavings out and use their heat lamp to dry the whole thing out.  Whatever, it's done, I'm over it.  I'm just glad it didn't rain today, and I guess it was something that we were gonna have to do sooner or later anyway.  I even cleaned the gutter out thinking maybe there were leaves and stuff impeding water flow, but no, there was just that much water.  Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to prevent this from happening again, (if it rains as hard as it did last night... please, no) other than plugging up the downspout, which might cause the whole roof to fill up with water and... I don't want to explain it, I just know that that would cause bigger problems.  All I can hope for is no more 3 minute angry rainstorms.

On a much more exciting note, Abby has been showing signs of her maturity lately.  Her comb and wattles are fully developed and a bright red, and she's been hanging out in her nesting box too.  However, she is also looking for a striking young lad, and seems to think that Shawn and I are what she's looking for.  Every time we approach her, she squats down and opens her wings a bit.  At first we thought she just learned to accept when we pick her up, but I think she thinks she's gonna get... um... fertilized.  I'm hoping that this also means eggs soon, I hope they lay a few before the winter makes them stop.  We kinda feel like expectant parents.  (Actually, we know A LOT of people poppin' out kids these days, and we just want to feel like part of the club.)

BUT, I'm not ready for them to be grown up yet, so here's a picture of them when they were still awkward looking.

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