Saturday, March 14, 2009

Digging Holes for Fence Posts

Dave deserves special recognition as he has been a real trooper in our chicken endeavor. He claims that growing up on a farm in Iowa killed any desire in him to be a farmer. Yet, for the past three weeks he has been working night and day on the drawings for our chicken coop. No sooner would he announce that he was done, than I would see him at the computer tweaking the drawings. Our chickens are going to be living in a pretty fancy house.

Dave has also been socializing the chicks, holding each one at various times throughout the day, talking to them, and feeding them from his hand. He installed a roost for the birds and figured out a way to hang the waterer so that the water stays clean.

On Thursday, Dave and I borrowed Sam's truck and made the round of stores to buy the lumber and hardware for the chicken coop. As soon as Brant is available, the two guys will start building.

Yesterday Dave took a break from work to dig a hole for a fence post. Here is how he described the process in an email to his parents:

Let me tell you about putting in a fence: This story does not include a power auger...or a power anything for that matter. Part of our chicken project includes a fence to keep our little critters in the yard. Any fence worth its salt includes sturdy corner posts so today's goal was to set one. I carried a heavy 8-foot post to the top of our hill along with the post hole digger and started in. What a lousy tool that post hole digger turned out to be. The first 3 inches was smooth sailing. The next 23 inches was shale. Shale, or whatever the heck the underlying rock is, was some of the most unforgiving stuff a guy can come across while digging a hole. I ended up getting our 20 pound breaker bar and slammed that into the bottom of the hole 4,000 times - each time chipping loose minuscule amounts of shale. I spent over an hour boring through the earth's crust to the depth of 24 inches before the post dropped in with a thud. I tamped fill dirt around the post and it wasn't until I was done that I noticed that the 4-sided post was not square to the fence line. Shirley and I had been so focused on ensuring that the post was vertical that I completely overlooked the fact that it was not square to the fence line. A round post would have solved this little problem. It took about three seconds for me to decide that I was not going to remove that post just to rotate it 20°.

Only three more fence posts to go!

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