Hurricane Irene's visit to Upstate NY and New England has been in the news this week, so some of our dear readers may wonder how we faired under the onslaught. We lucked out in that we're far enough west that the major force of the storm spent itself crossing other parts. This is not to say we didn't sweat it out waiting for a terrible wind gust or torrential downpour, but neither of those potentialities struck us. We did have a day of high wind and 5+ inches of rain, so we didn't get off scott free, but all in all it could have been a lot worse. Even in the southern and eastern ends of our county the picture of down trees, powerlines, and outages is very different.
Our one mini-disaster befell our egg mobile. There are a couple of pictures of our old mobile hen house, built on an ancient set of hay wagon running gear, floating around this blog somewhere. We had it parked halfway up our big hill, on a moderate incline, when Irene rolled in. At some point in the afternoon Alanna looked out the window and let out a cry of dismay. The "vehicle" was on its roof, wheels to the sky like some huge, dead, sheet metal and rotten rubber beast. It had a shed roof, and the incline was such that it sat pretty well upright while lying 180 degrees to its proper orientation. We hadn't let the chickens out that morning because the storm was raging and they wouldn't have left the shelter of the mobile given the opportunity. None of the birds were hurt in the revolution and they hunkered down in the wreckage while the storm blew itself away.
The next day I took the tractor up the hill and tried to right it, but it collapsed instead. So I took that as a sign it was time for a new egg mobile. I used the rafters of the old Bennett house (another previous post on this blog) and built a tidy little barn on the same running gear, as that part of the vehicle was undamaged by the inversion.
The new get-up is taller than the previous one, which is good for our backs but will require that we be more attentive to hill inclination and wind-speed if we intend to avoid another flip. As you can see from the photos I went with a gambrel roof as it spoke to my inner muse more than shed roofs do. It also allows for more roosts which will accommodate more chickens when we increase our laying flock.
I'm pleased with the outcome, well everything except how long it took me to build it. Assuming it lasts for more than a decade it will be time well spent.