chickens · farmhouse renovation · Garden Project

Moving a house and planting bear scat

As I walk around my property, every tree stump, dark shadow on the edge of the woods, is a disguised bear waiting to jump out and grab me and drag me away to their hidden den.

I’ll never be seen again.

These are the crazy thoughts that have been swirling inside my brain this week.  All because some stupid bear has decided to terrorize me, and my fowl family.  He came lurking in the night and took aim at the peafowl house the first night.  He ripped a large hole in the side of the fencing got to the trash can that holds the feed inside the run and knocked it over and pulled out a 50 lb. bag of sunflower seed, spreading it throughout the yard.  Thankfully the peas were all unharmed.

The next night the bear returned and tore apart the fence on the small chicken coop again trying to get at the feed can inside the run.   The chickens and Stanley were unharmed.

This entire week has been about repairing, building and moving fowl houses.

This weekend, Mr. Cottage and I moved our smaller chicken coop over to the addition that Mr. Cottage built last week.  We wanted to get all the chickens in one location, to make it easier on us.

Once upon a time, we had just a few chickens.  Mr. Cottage built coop #1.

Then we got a few more and needed more space so we purchased one of those small premade coops and put it inside and existing dog fence frame, we added a roof and lots of secure fencing.

Then came a couple of peacocks.  You guessed it, we built a house for them.  They live in that house until a few months ago.  That is the house that is pictured below.  In recent months it had become clear that the peafowl needed more space, so we moved them to coop #1 which is much larger.  Then we moved the older 3 hens and Stanley roo to their house.  Have I lost you yet?  In between all that last year, we added twenty-some new chicks, built a new run onto an old building on the property.  Enlarged it a second time a few months later.  Now, the third addition has been completed as of this week.

This is the coop to be moved.

This is where we are moving the coop.

See that pile of lumber on the saw horses.  It has been there for almost 2 years.  Our plan was to use that old barn wood on the exterior of the peafowl house.  We never got around to doing that, and now most of it is in such bad shape it can’t be used.  We had to move all of that and re-stack it so that we could move the coop.  The whole time we were moving it, I was thinking we should just be putting a match to it.

So begins the slow process of moving the coop which is a 10×16 building.

Mr. Cottage first dug a little away from the bottom of the coop, then he took a 4×4 and a large block of wood to use as leverage.

He pried on that until he got enough lift that I could roll the PVC pipe under each end.

Once we got the pipes under each end and were able to turn it a bit, we started pushing.

This was a slow, very difficult process for these two middle-aged out of shape folks.

We had to repeat each step every few feet.  Lift up on the house, relocate the PVC pipe, push turn, push turn.

A few hours later…

Just before we got it lined up with the new addition,  Mr. Cottage removed the old door.

Then we proceeded with the last few feet to get it all lined up with the new section.

Cutting a new opening to relocate the door.

Relocated the door to the new front.  This old section is open to the new section but has a divider in place temporarily.  It is not, however, open at this time to the big run and hen-house.

Outside the new run.

Sunday we moved the 19 chicks that were born in March, which have been living on our back porch to their new run and roost.  Daisy and her 8 chicks are still on the porch for the time being later they will be moved in with the others.

Little Johnny Rooster Mellencamp with one of the Delawares.

The girls and Johnny were so unhappy last night.  They were scared of their new home and wanted to go back to the porch in the worst way.  We had to keep putting them up on their roosting bars.  They cried and cried to be let out to their porch.  Finally, this morning all was well with them.  I’m going to keep them inside for a few days so that they learn that this is their new home.

Yes, they have beaded bamboo blinds in their run for no reason other than it made me feel good to decorate.

Planting Bear Scat

I read an article about how in the Rocky Mountain National Park, they are germinating seeds from bear scat – they have managed to get seedlings, some of which are endangered trees, to grow from the scat that they are now planting throughout the forest.  I thought it a fascinating idea and thought hey I can do that too.  I have three large piles of fresh scat.  I mixed it with potting soil and now I’ll wait and see what grows.  I suspect I’ll get lots of sunflowers, which of course is okay with me.

See that – bear scat – nothing like a picture of poop.

Oh, but don’t you just know it will grow some lovely surprises.

I don’t want to leave you on a shitty note, I’ll leave you with a peaceful morning sitting on the garden bench with my girls and the sweet sound of birdsong.

Thank you for being here today,

xo Kim

of

Red Dirt Farm

Coral Cottage is now

Red Dirt Cottage

11 thoughts on “Moving a house and planting bear scat

  1. This series of events reads like a story : ) SO happy it has a happy ending (after much hard work!!!) When I was writing The Fantastic Tails, the chapter about the wolf and the coop was not easy to write, but as a fictional story, I knew I could make the good ending happen. But, of course, this is not something we have control over in real life. I am just so happy they were not harmed, and it looks like their new home will be safe and secure. Your and your husband are amazing… and loved the peaceful, beautiful video… wishing it ever so at the Red Dirt Cottage…

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    1. Debbie – I so enjoy when you visit the blog and leave comments – they really make my day. I haven’t finished reading your book – I’m saving it for a treat for myself. Seems lately I haven’t found the right peace of mind for quiet reading, the kind I like to do, where I read all night until the book is finished. So far it has been entertaining and I look forward to enjoying the rest of it. Thanks for visiting. xo kim

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  2. How frightening to have a viist from a bear thank goodness all your animals were not hurt. You have had a busy week sorting out their homes. It feels so calm and peaceful watching your video such a contrast! Sarah x

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  3. Didn’t mind the bear scat photo at all. I wouldn’t have known what it looked like otherwise. Looking forward to seeing what it grows. Am wondering if you could nail a vertical board every foot to make it too difficult for the bear to rip into the chicken coop? Loved the bird and chicken sounds in the video.

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    1. Linda – If anyone could appreciate the bear scat experiment it is you! Running out of money for lumber, but I what I didn’t show are photos that look like the hillbillies got after our coop. We have scrap lumber nailed haphazardly across one section – we didn’t have enough lumber on hand we used what we had – rather comical – but hey if it works… xo kim

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      1. I suppose I am the most oddball of your followers but that makes me memorable, eh? I’ve been thinking. If the bear is gonna be a problem, you might need to get cattle or hog panels to nail up instead of chicken wire. It’s more expensive, of course, but you don’t want to lose half your family overnight. And, seriously, I do not want to see a photo of the bear in the living room!

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