Pre-Winter Preparations

Ready for Winter.JPG

In the midst of an irksome election season, there is joy to be found in the regular seasonal tasks that need to be done on a farm….. at least on our farm.  The past days have been perfect for catching up and getting the pre-winter things done.

My husband and I have planted raspberry bushes (thanks to a friend who was getting rid of her bushes). We have cut and stacked more fire wood to use for the woodstove this winter. The   garage door installation has been finished! (Yay for us!!). And today was spent in putting away gravity flow wagons and harvest equipment and cleaning my chicken coop.

Putting away the equipment sounds like a small matter of just parking the wagons in the shed and good to go…….not so.  My husband has a very particular way he parks his equipment in the machine shed.  The space is limited so it is like putting a gigantic puzzle together, using a tractor to put the pieces in place.

Wagons are parked with only inches to spare between them. The planter is placed “just so”….that way the baler can fit in the space between the planter tongue and the gravity flows. I love jigsaw puzzles, but this is like a puzzle on steroids!

When we finally had the equipment parked to the proper specifications, it was time to move on to one of my seasonal tasks…….chicken coop cleaning!  It is an incredibly dusty job; but I love how the finished product looks and smells. The eggs look so nice nestled in the clean pine shavings that get put in the nesting boxes.


To clean the coop one of the first things that we need to do is remove the chicken roost. My husband made an amazing roost for the girls a few years ago.  It is the perfect size and easy for us to remove for cleaning.

Once the roost is out, my job is to scoop the old bedding and chicken manure onto my wheelbarrow.  This is where the dusty part comes in. The old bedding is dry and the dust fluffs up everywhere as you scoop it up. My husband then spreads it on the garden as fertilizer.  This is a definite win-win for the girls and the garden.

The fun part is putting in the bags of new bedding.  Once it is all spread over the floor; the pine shavings look so fluffy and clean and smell even better.  It doesn’t even smell like chickens!

The girls are never very impressed when we do this cleaning job. I am never sure if they think we are throwing out something valuable or if they just do not like change. I can understand their fear of change.

Change can be hard. Sometimes it is easier to stay exactly where and how we are….even if it is like my girl’s dirty chicken coop. Even when life is less than perfect, there is a comfort in the old familiar places. They are places we know and are our “normal”.

If you are like me, you tend to drag your feet when God has something different planned for you. You know, that to make that change; it might involve a lot of heavy lifting, dust and scooping out of the old “stuff”. You also know that His is a much better plan than you can imagine and that in the long run you will be grateful for what He has done.

I am reminded of this fact when I clean the coop.  When I see how great it looks and smells when we are done; I am reminded that when God makes changes in my life….it is good and I am blessed.  I wonder why this is a lesson I seem to have to relearn over and over again….and then learn again…..


Don’t worry about anything; instead,
pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT)




39 thoughts on “Pre-Winter Preparations

  1. Shattered in Him says:

    Oh, wow! My husband and I went for a drive in the country and in an area with a lot of Amish homesteads. We marveled at all of the work, the animals, and the equipment. Then, we decided we wanted to figure out how to get our dream home in the country with animals, work, and equipment! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. marijo1245 says:

    No poop and a clean heart! I love it!

    I remember all to well the cleaning. We had breeding pairs or trios (as we were breeding for blood lines), at the max maybe 20 or so brood pens. I remember the joys of raking straw and all the dust. The best part was tossing the rooster and his hens back in and watching their excitement over fresh straw. I swear the roosters always crowed louder after that! Never thought I’d miss that…you took me back to my happy chicken place, thank you. All from cleaning the hen house!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thecobweboriumemporium says:

    Love this post, Chicken.
    It’s so ‘you’, and I was there with you as I read through you post.
    Of course, I was wearing my cloak of invisibility, so you didn’t see me there, but I was there!

    I saw you plant your Raspberry Bushes. I was with you as you chopped and stacked wood for over the winter.
    I stood to the side, watching the packing away of the machinery in the shed, totally fascinated by this ‘game’ of real life Tetris. A place for everything, and everything in its place.

    Was THRILLED to bits to read that you’d managed to complete the task of the Garage door! (well done those wonderful chicken people who I love!)

    And … watched, smiling from ear to ear, as you cleaned the Chicken Coop. Bit’s of flying, floating ‘stuff’, rising to the air, and ticklingly touching your face as it passed, experiencing the joy of being set free, and being spread over the garden as feed for the ground.
    (I love that circle of ‘life’ – you feed them, it pops out of the other end, you gather ‘it’ all up, then you give it to the earth so that. . . the earth then grows stuff which feeds you, and some of it might go back to the Hen House to feed them, and then it pops out of the other end – in a different form – and … well, the circle continues)

    Thank you Chicken G. – not just for the beautiful, wonderful fly on the wall look into yours and Chicken Grandads life, but also for the Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT) at the end. A life enriching read from start to end.
    Thank you, my remarkable friend. xxx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      You took me way back….Tetris! I loved that game. When our boys got their Gameboys I was slightly addicted to that particular game.
      The circle of life is so evident on our farm. And yep, the girls get to enjoy the produce of the garden so it is fitting they help fertilize it :).
      I am hanging onto the verse during this election season. I have misgivings about whoever gets in (my honest opinion and yes I did vote). I keep reminding myself that God has it under control and whatever happens He can and will use it to His purpose. So…. I will fear not and worry not :). (for now)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. peggyjoan42 says:

    Have cleaned out many a chicken coop in my life. Do not have chickens anymore, but I still remember – the clean chicken coop when you were done – gave you feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction. Nice post.


  5. elizabeth kay booth says:

    What a beautiful post. I love city life in general, but during election season, I would LOVE to be in the country on a farm with more chickens than people! hahaha And you are so right about change! I am in the midst of major change this year, and have been ready to quit so many times – this is a great reminder. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anne Mehrling says:

    I love jigsaw puzzles, but I’d certainly rather work one with my hands than with a tractor. That must be some operation to get all the equipment in just the right place.

    My granddad always had chickens, right there in town. Every year he’d take my brother and me to a ramshackle outbuilding to see the little ones in an incubator. I loved watching those little balls of fluff scurry about, scrambling over each other. When you mentioned the smell of chickens, I remembered what I associated with them — the pleasant, dusty smell of ground corn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      We are not a very big operation as farmers in this area go. In fact we are very small….but it makes a living for us and so we are content. My husband likes every bit of machinery under cover if at all possible so we try to use every square inch.
      The chicken coop does tend to have that nice dusty corn smell.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. kindergartenknowledge says:

    Hello! We have been out of town…to Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri! Such fun! I have missed several of your posts, I think. I am busy playing catch-up on everything! Your post about the chicken coop cleaning and other tasks sounds busy, busy and yet very productive. Once a task is done…it is so very fulfilling. We need to rely on God…to allow God…to follow God. Why do we sometimes skirt the issue and not listen to His Word? It is so interesting that your husband has been directed to put the equipment into a certain arrangement. When we leave the farm to come back to the city, Mike puts the equipment in the barn in an exact manner! The trailer this way, the four wheelers that way with certain ones in front and certain ones in the back. It goes on and on. I have always thought that the barn is a big puzzle!!! Well…of course…I love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      We need to rely on God…to allow God…to follow God. I love that sentence!! I am going to have to put that on my fridge.
      Lar just hates any space going to waste in the out buildings so……..the giant puzzle :). I can’t argue with him, I do the same in the house. I like it organized (it is slowly getting there) and try put as much as I can in my closets and cupboards.
      I am so glad you are back. I think my brother-in-law and sister-in-law stayed at Big Cedar Lodge for their anniversary a few years back. I hear it is beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kindergartenknowledge says:

        We are glad to be back too…and looking forward to going again! How far is Big Cedar from where you live? It really takes us about seven hours. We stop too much!! I like to take car trips so that we can stop at antique and junk stores! Like we need more stuff! We passed by one store in a little bitty town north of Fayetteville and I said: “Mike, STOP! There might be a Pete the Pirate in that place!!” Now I am obsessed with Pete! We were at least one hour late arriving because of searching for Pete! And I still have not taken a video of Mr. Owly. I will…I promise!!


  8. Deb says:

    Faye you write the most insightful and inspiring posts. First I had to laugh at irksome…boy are you generous. Then I was imaging the putting together of the gigantic puzzle, I am very particular so I totally get your husband and can appreciate his preciseness. And then you turn your story into a moral and it sure hit home. I really want to leave my job as I am no longer happy there, after 20 years. The plan is to do so in the Spring, that way I will get them through the year-end and train my assistant to do all that I do so they won’t be left stranded. And I do exactly as your quote says, I pray about everything, thank God for all He’s done and know His plan is the best one. I only wish He’d give me a peek so I could know a little bit of what magnificence is coming my way!! 😉 I’m glad you enjoyed your day and cleaning the coop…I have to believe that even though the girls don’t act it, they must love the new, fresh, pine shavings. Thanks for sharing such a lovely day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I am so glad you liked the post :). My husband (when he read the post) gave me a funny look when he read irksome! So you are not the only one.
      I had the same experience at my last job that you are having now. It isn’t easy but I also stayed to train the next person. Change can be hard and if you are like me I sometimes make it harder than it has to be. I will be waiting to hear where you end up once you leave this job.
      I am sitting here right now, praying as I watch election returns. I keep reminding myself that it is God’s will…..whatever happens.
      My girls do seem to enjoy the cleaner surroundings. If they want to dig around in the old bedding they just go to the garden where it all ended up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Deb says:

        I am like you in that I make it harder than it has to be too. I would love to end up home but I would have to come into some money for that to happen. I just want to be happy to get up each day and go to work because I’m loving what I do. I said the same thing about the election…God please direct this election to what You know is best for us. It seems the girls have the best of both worlds. Wishing you a wonderful day! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Deb says:

        Awe thanks Faye, that makes me feel so good. I know He does and I look forward to it with great anticipation! It will be so nice to look forward to each day. 🙂 xo Blessings back too!!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Regina, Catchy Sketch says:

    Your chicken coop looks really nice! And happy for your success with the garage door!

    I think we treat changes the same way as your chickens do… we can’t even explain, what exactly we don’t like about these changes. But you know, that changes are good for chickens… the same way… and they will get used to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. bcparkison says:

    As a past pasture poultry farmer I understand your day of cleaning. We had 200 hens in a move-able house behind 1/4 ac. electric fence. We moved them weekly to new ground. Used pine straw in the nest to keep down “bugs. Best eggs in the world…please don’t give me store bought eggs. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jessica says:

    Lovely post. I did sort of the same thing to escape the campaign drama- got to work. Cleaning our lake property to get it ready to sell. I’ve got to say, that hard work was so refreshing.

    I bet your farm is so great.

    Liked by 1 person

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