It was toward the end of April, last year.  I received an email from my-now-boss; the email contained an offer for the  position I now have at the Minnesota Population Center.  It was one of the first things that hit me – our flock of twelve chickens would have to go.

Within twelve hours of posting to local chicken forum, our flock took up residence on forty acres outside of Carlton.  The flock leaving was just a series of anticlimactic events that took place prior to our move south.

I was somewhat disheartened that we had taken the time to research chicken coop designs, taken the time to source materials for the structure (we purchased used palettes from Loll Designs in Duluth), built the coop (pictured above), only to move and the leave the thing behind.

Now, in the Saint Paul, we have settled in to our new [to us] place.  We fenced in about two-thirds of an acre last fall – for the hounds; we have a nice vegetable garden in the backyard; we have also planted nearly a dozen different fruit trees – this is in addition to the existing apple and pear trees.

The chickens – day old chicks actually – arrived in late April.  They are now sassy adolescent chickens that have been living in a make-shift brooder in the basement.  But, later this week, they will be moving out to their own place albeit still on our property.  It will likely be similar to the episode of Growing Pains when Mike Seaver moves out of the house only to live above the garage. The chickens will be out of the house, but close enough to feel like they are family.

What did we do?  We leveraged an existing structure on our property – it appears to have been a dog kennel in a former life – and we jazzed it up a bit.  Jacked it up, put a course of blocks to get the lumber off the concrete; redid the windows and added more support to the structure in general.  Check here to see the transformation from just an eyesore to something more palatable.