Reduce. Reuse. Re'coop'

Back in early May 2009 Crystal and my daddy and I wrapped up work on our first chicken coop. I had been wanting to raise chickens for some time and it seemed like the time was right.

Now folks with a minimalist mindset are familiar enough with reduction. We reduce. We recycle. We repurpose. We refine. And so when it came time to build that first coop I knew I wanted to spend less time at the box store hardware and more time finding materials with as much character as the chickens they would soon house. So I put an ad in the local newspaper asking for reclaimed  wood and other building materials. Within a day or two I was contacted by a gentleman who had recently taken down an old hog house. It had been standing for nearly 102 years as best he knew. Coupled with some 2″x6″ lumber picked up at a local jobsite (the woods first life was as batter board for a concrete project), some corrugated metal from a chicken coop buried on the back of the farm, some hardware from a gate that had long since fallen, and some fencing that has been laying around as long as I can remember, we built the “Coop de Ville” – a subtle play on words indicative of a chicken coop located in BarneVILLE, Georgia.

In the course of two years we watched our flock grow to 9 with a production on average of 6 brown eggs a day. I kept it clean oftentimes scraping and spraying it out once a week. We kept them warm in the winter and the shade of the metal, cool in the summer. I couldn’t help but to look at that coop and be proud of it. And so now that we are moving to North Carolina it seemed only right to take the coop (and a later built brooding box) with us.

As Saturday morning came we had strategized how we were going to lower the coop four feet onto a NASCAR style trailer, secure it, and get it to North Carolina. Our same team of Crystal, Daddy, and me gathered – this time with my Uncle along with us – to recycle this house yet again. With the use of a hydraulic jack, some 2″x4″ poles and a lot of gumption we finished the job in about an hour. Looking at the day now I may be more proud of the fact that we are now using 104 year old wood than I am of anything else. It is what sustainability is about. It is what homesteading is about. It is what stewardship is about. We are taking what we have, doing the best we can with it, and never leaving behind what still has a life ahead!

What about you? Do you have anything on your homestead or farm that it reclaimed or recycled wood that you are proud of? Have you ever moved something a good distance just because you couldn’t imagine leaving it behind? Tell me a bit about it. And if you like this post be sure to share it on Facebook or Tweet the link out to your followers!

  • Published on Jan 26, 2011
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