Oh…..Hi Internet, no, Art cannot come out to play.

If there is one phrase that is NEVER uttered in this household it’s “I’m bored”. There is an endless list of things that need doin’, an endless supply of projects and chores. If one task bores you, I can offer up an easy half dozen more that may interest you. A couple dozen if given a moment to actually think about it.

So it should come as no surprise that Art the Husband is under a constant barrage of ‘to do’ lists that threaten his close relationship with the internets; planned projects, brilliant ideas and staggering over-expectations, all generously and continually supplied by yours truely, The Wife-person (although I prefer Personal Time Management Specialist). Armed with detailed plans including specific dimensions and a timeline, I presented the most recent Stine Ranch Improvement requests around the end of April. There were 2 for Art to choose from (I believe in offering choices, it helps him feel like I’m not 100% bossing his ass around, or so I tell myself); Split Rail Fencing for the acquisition of a new flock of sheep OR New Chicken Hutch and Run to house the 24 chickens I just ordered. They’ll be here in June.

He chose the Hutch project. Good choice. Thus begins the fun.
Me: “Have you figured out how much lumber we’ll need?”
AtH:”Ummm, I need to do the math”
Me: (sighing internally) “Okay, lets do some math then”
AtH: “I need to figure out where I’m going to get the lumber”
Me: (how hard can this be) “Okay, lets do that then”
AtH: “I don’t know when this lumber store is open”
Me: (oh for the love of gawd) “Well, we could call them and find out….”

This is how it always goes in the beginning, kind of a stutter start, but then, once it’s started? Well, it does get slightly better. Add a lot of pestering and one Paul Fraley, and the project is underway full force May 1st. If only the weather would cooperate. It was all kinds of cold and rainy the entire month of May, and into this first week of June. Plehhhh.

The original hutch and run, literally
falling apart. The door to the run was falling off the hinges and the hutch itself was rotting away in parts.


On the first day, Art worked on destroying the hutch while I worked on disassembling the run. Andretti guarded the flock, and Darby guarded the compost.

The chickens are non-plussed with Andretti's antics. He doesn't chase the
chickens so much as he zips around like a fool tearing up their
carefully spread compost.


There is no end for this dog's love of horse poo.


Art got A.D.D. and started mowing, and while his lack of focus annoyed me it didn’t really bother Darby in the slightest. Nothing can sway his focus on soaking up horse poo and whatever sunshine is available.

We're supposed to be tearing down the old hutch. AtH....is mowing weeds.
Darby? Protecting his compost pile.

Guess who got a mega-bath???

Work did get done that first day, though. The hutch was torn down, most of the run was destroyed while part of it was left standing as temporary housing. The brilliant idea to wrap it in tarps and fill it with shavings created what I called District 9 chicken housing, except instead of aliens our tent city houses chickens.

The second section of run was spared for now. I had an idea for temporary
housing that included several tarps, a buttload of zip-ties and some baling twine. Ever
see District 9? That's where I was going with this. Replace aliens with
chickens and that's the basic idea.


Low Income Temporary Chicken Housing. Welcome to Tent City, girls!
Please don't hold back on the egg production for lack of indoor plumbing or
solid walls, okay?


The inside of the District 9 chicken housing. It's actually pretty comfy in there.

Art the Husband focuses his OCD on two main things around here: mowing and vacuuming. Since I hate doing both, I'm not really going to complain too much. Although, Art, we ARE knocking this thing down, remember?


Art of Destruction


My tool of choice? Sawzall. 100%. Word of the day? Safety glasses.


Hutch Deconstruction surprise #43; the original weather bearing wall had
started to rot out for water damage so the previous owners slapped up
another layer of
siding over it...problem solved! Effing morons.


Part 2 of Phase 1; putting the winch to good use. Art was
moderately disappointed that the deconstruction of the hutch didn't include more sledge
hammering and overall mayhem. The previous owners used a ton of screws
to construct this thing, so the easiest way
to deconstruct it was with a cordless drill/screwdriver.
Oh well. Less chance for injury I suppose.

Day 2 was all about getting Fraley up here so he and Art could lay the base for the new hutch. While Art was out picking up his bff, I got to work destroying the old flooring. Not a job for the weak limbed or dirt shy.

The old flooring, rotting, bug infested. Gross. My job to destroy. Oy.


It took about an hour and a lot of muscle with a sledge hammer, but it all came apart. The chickens were thrilled; bugs everywhere! Everything was cleaned up and ready to rototill, rake, level, screen and cover with pea gravel by the time the boys got home.

This took an entire day; rototilling, leveling, graveling,
leveling, bickering, shoveling, back breaking, leveling, shoveling
and graveling. The good news is that it's level.


Once the sweat work was done, the real hen cackling started. These guys are a riot to watch, until it gets annoying, then I go work on some other project. At this point most of what I did was take photos and ask questions, get annoyed and go do something else. Which was fine by them, they like their alone time.

The Girl Power these two have is....disturbing.

The blame game....tag, Art the Husband's it.

Universal Art sign for "Aaarrrrgggg". Usually in response to a severe
Type A personality invading his Type B reservoir of calm. It
should be noted that I elicit the same reaction on a fairly
regular basis.

The start of something awesome. If you're a chicken, that is.


Thus concludes the first weekend of Project HutchDestruct.

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