I Wanted a Nice, Portable Chicken Corral, but Nooooooooo!

A few years ago, I was trying to raise pastured broilers for home consumption and needed movable chicken pens to house them in. SwampMan pronounced the pens inadequate and too lightweight. SwampMan then built me some that would take two strong men at either end to pick up and move. Of course, I don’t have four strong men with me at all times at my beck and call (okay, at any time) and so daughter and I had to move them by ourselves. Asking SwampMan to help move them involved too much complaining about how it isn’t HIS damn livestock and he’s not going to walk out there in the heat. When I pointed out that he built pens that were too heavy for me to move, he told me that was my problem, not his. When the last of that season’s broilers were executed, dressed, plucked, and stuck into the freezer, the broiler pens were left in the pasture where they remain today. I can’t move them alone, and daughter, my helper, went and married a sailor (probably so she wouldn’t have to help move those chicken pens any longer) six years ago.

So, fast forward to a few months ago when I knew I was going to be unemployed, the economy sucked and likely to get much worse, and I started sticking eggs in the incubator because, well, I suppose it is a family tradition in hard times. My great grandmother had an incubator and income from the hundred leghorn hens producing eggs, with the roosters turned into Sunday dinner. She preferred the leghorn hens, crazy though they were, because they laid the biggest eggs on the least amount of feed. Her chickens helped get the family through the depression. Come to think of it, so did my grandfather’s illicit delivery of moonshine. Hmmmmm.

Anyway, I had some nice little plans drawn up for my hen housing, and SwampMan pronounced them too small. The hen pens were of a size that I could easily move by myself, and I could keep my different chicken breeds segregated. Also, they were inexpensive because of that darned unemployment thing. But nooooo. SwampMan had a better plan.

So, I am now the proud possessor of two chicken pens that are almost ready to be joined together into one large grazing/shelter area, neither one of which can be moved by myself. If each arm was capable of lifting 200 lbs. while dragging an additional 200 lbs., I STILL wouldn’t be able to budge the dang thing.

I already know what the answer to that objection is. That’s YOUR problem.

Oh, SNAP. I was having a great time using the computer while SwampMan is asleep when I suddenly realized that SwampMan said something about us finishing the chicken pens before he goes to work in the morning. Aaaack! That means I have to be up in 5 hours!

Dang. This unemployment thing isn’t working out quite as well as I had hoped.

3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kcduffy said,

    Unemployment for you, ‘retirement’ for me – doesn’t mean a damn thing in the everyday running of an everyday life. I had so many projects I wanted to do that were put on hold for the wedding & then birth & now daily care of BEEootiful Granddaughter…but they’ll still be there when she goes to school. I run out of energy SO quickly these days, it embarrasses me sometimes…but I still enjoy what I do.

    I know it’s different with forced unemployment, but it mostly means trying to do what needs to be done with a lot less cash!

  2. 2

    swampie said,

    *sigh* Damn those luxuries like electricity! We’ll be okay as long as SwampMan has a job since the house/vehicles are paid for. Of course, the house and vehicles are of such an age that things are likely to drop off them at any time and need replacement!

  3. 3

    kcduffy said,

    Now THAT sounds like ME!

    House is about the same age as me, fence is pretty much gone, but HVAC replacement was less than 10 years ago, roof got replaced with metal about 5 years ago, appliances ditto, and bathroom fixtures under 6, too. So SHOULD be ok. My truck won’t last another 10 but we can swing that when the time comes…maybe before September, when we have a family trip to Virgiinia planned.


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