On The Importance of Doing What You Think You Should Probably Do

Long title, yes, but a good lesson.  When we had all our chickens on pasture this spring and summer, I would pound in a couple of rebar stakes for each shelter, to tie the shelters to them to keep them anchored in the event of high winds.  (The lightweight hoop shelters, covered with tarps as they are, can catch the wind and really move around if you’re not careful.)

But after processing day when all we had left were some pullets and the remaining cockerels we had set aside for our own table, I got a little lax.  I might move the pens but not the stakes, because, hey, I had left them untied a couple of times already and we hadn’t had a problem.  Yet.

Then about two weeks ago we had rains overnight accompanied, apparently, by some pretty decent winds.  Never heard a thing (and I’m usually one to wake up when the wind’s howling), but the pictures of the pasture the next morning tell the tale:

Scattered pens -- the one on the far left was in the middle the night before.

Scattered pens — the one on the far left was in the middle the night before.

Three pens didn't budge an inch.  But the fourth...100 feet away.  (The pen on the right, by the way, houses a handful of heritage turkeys...)

Three pens didn’t budge an inch. But the fourth…100 feet away. (The pen on the right, by the way, houses a handful of heritage turkeys…)

1x3" framing lumber, snapped.  A 'scab' piece and a handful of screws brought this one back to life.

1×3″ framing lumber, snapped. A ‘scab’ piece and a handful of screws brought this one back to life.

That front cattle panel used to form a nice hoop.  Now it forms a nice peak.

That front cattle panel used to form a nice hoop. Now it forms a nice peak.

Thankfully we only lost one chicken to the whole shelter shuffle fiasco.  And incredibly, one of the shelters, upon shifting, had ended up on top of a Wyandotte cockerel so that his head was inside and his body (soaking wet) was outside–when I picked up the shelter, he just stood up and walked off as if this happens all the time.  Gotta love those hardy chickens.

Lesson: make sure those things are anchored!

Advertisements