Tractor Time!!!

After months of shopping, price comparisons, and dealership prowling, we are now the owners of a Kubota tractor! Don’t ask me the specifics, all I can say is it’s orange. And it’s big. So naturally, I named it Big Orange.

As does everything that happens around here, the search for Big Orange involved Big Drama. It all started when Gene and I drove to Duluth to check out the Kubota place. Gene and the sales guy walked around the lot, talking specs and such, while I followed along behind them, sipping my Americano and browsing the internet on my phone.

When Gene found a tractor he was especially interested in, he’d wave me over and have me check out the view from the driver’s seat. He was excited to have me sit down at the helm of Big Orange, since it was air ride – complete with shocks and everything.

He gestured for me to climb up, so I started walking over to him. Now let me just say it’s a relatively small dealership with a lot of tractors for sale. There was one parked fairly close to Big Orange, and those tires are huge. Like shoulder height huge. Both Gene and the sales guy had walked between the tractor on the left and the tractor on the right with no problem, but somewhere in the back of my head alarm bells started ringing. But, much like that Italian cruise ship captain, I eyed that channel of narrow space and thought, “Ya, I got this.”

If you’ve never gotten your butt stuck between two tractors at a dealership, let me be the first to say it doesn’t get you a discounted price. Sigh.

At any rate, Big Orange was delivered on Monday, and Gene’s already given it a test run! It was just a bit too tall to fit in the pole barn, and rather than take off the rollover bars, he dug out the driveway enough to accommodate the full height. Way more fun than taking the bars on and off!

But the tractor isn’t the only shiny new thing taking up space in the pole barn. We finally got chicks! We decided to turn the dog kennel area into the new chicken coop, as it’s insulated and has electricity.

Since the floor is plywood and chickens are notorious for splashing water all over the place, we decided to line the floor with a scrap of linoleum. Which, by the way, means the chicks officially have a nicer kitchen floor than I do. I also discovered I truly suck at gluing down linoleum. I got it everywhere but on the floor. Gene took over that part, and I moved on to far more fun things – interior decorating.

I decided that since they were going to be stuck inside until it warms up (so, probably July?), they needed an Experience Area. I prowled around the yard, selecting the perfect downed tree limb, and turned it into a Climbing Station. The chicks love it, and most of them roost on it for the night.

The coop has plenty of room to grow into – Gene built cascading roosting bars (so no one gets a poo shampoo while sleeping!) and even better, a chicken swing! It’s a roosting bar that will hang from hooks in the ceiling, so they can swing to and fro should they feel like it. I can’t wait until they get a little bigger so we can install it! Right now the heat lamp is in the way, since we had to hang it low to the ground. I also have grand plans for adding a Dusting Station and a Treat Station, plus a fully fenced and covered outdoor living area once they get their feathers in. The trick will be prying Gene off the tractor long enough to install it….

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