This is another installment in my erratic-sporadic account of acquiring the means to remain sane – and healthy – as weaponized hypochondria does its awful work. I have, as readers already know, no intention of ever wearing the disgusting device styled a “mask” – which I style a Face Diaper, to convey the truth of its purpose – nor will I ever roll up my sleeve to be injected, as I am healthy and intend to remain so. And more than that, I intend to defend my right to own my own damned body.
But people like me – people like you, if you are reading me – face the possibility of being forced to rely upon our own resources as we may be forbidden to engage in normal commerce if we do not “mask” or submit to the Jab.
It is a possibility I have been fortifying myself against, as by raising chickens and ducksd (Muscovy ducks) on my own property – where I assume I will be left in peace (but if not, then another story). The chickens and ducks provide renewable protein in the form of eggs and meat. They also provide something of barter value, in the form of eggs and meat – which can provide other things I may need.
But my existing coop is dilapidated after years of not raising chickens and general neglect. In addition, it was built of wood, upon wood – and for that reason is rotting and must be replaced with a new coop. And that is the subject of this little essay.
The new coop is conceived upon lessons learned from the old, chief among these being to not build it upon wood, which sits on the earth and becomes wet – and (inevitably) will rot. Thus, the foundation for the new coop is of concrete; four inches deep and poured on a bed of gravel – for drainage and stability.
But not a slab – which is cold and hard and so not particularly good for the birds, as well as harder to clean when encrusted with the leavings of birds, which have nowhere to degrade and return to the earth, becoming a part of the cycle of life.
Instead, concrete footers – upon which I will build the frame of the coop using pressure treated 4x4s at all four corners. The digging is always the hardest part of this, especially if you have to deal with roots – my constant burden and hopefully not yours, if you ever decide to follow in my footsteps. It was inevitable, I suppose, that I would encounter one really big root after I had already laid out where the new coop would be built and after I had begun digging the trenches for the footers. This root was ancient and deep. Vertically deep. Not the usual branches, extending in a generally horizontal plane under the earth. This one went straight down into the bowels of the earth, the other end perhaps extending through the ceiling of Satan’s dwelling place.
It took the last measure of devotion – of my chainsaw’s bar and and chain – to get through enough of that root so as to be able to knock out a chunk of it with a sledgehammer (luckily, my shoulder is operational again, courtesy of random desktop re-location).
That done, I was able to set the forms in place and get them square and level, preparatory to the pour – which will commence this weekend, weather-permitting. The concrete will be four inches wide, around the perimeter – and upon the Roman stone will the sides be framed.
It all ought to go up easily enough once the main 4x4s are in place. Then the siding. Then a pair of barn-type/swing-out doors for the opening. Then a smaller opening for the birds to come and go as they like – into a secure/fenced run. Then a roof – probably metal over 1×6 framing boards but – maybe – a translucent material I’ve seen that would allow natural light (but I’m not sure about this because of our often hard winters here and the ability of this material to hold up under such conditions).
I’m trying to git ‘er done as quickly as feasible because one of our ducks – a female of the species is a duck; the males are drakes – is dramatically sitting on a clutch of at least six eggs and has been for about three weeks now. That means possibly six new birds, who will need a better home than the one they’ll likely be born in.
Hopefully, it’ll be open for business before their arrival!
. . .
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