Farm · Life

Keeping Chickens on Rotating Pasture in Winter?

Keeping our chickens and ducks on fresh pasture during this very wet winter has been quite a challenge.

The story of this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day does have a happy ending, so bear with me.


Our mobile coop requires a vehicle to tow it, and soppy pasture is not exactly conducive to driving on (even with 4-wheel drive), let alone pulling the coop along behind.  So far this wet season we’d managed to get it moved despite a few close calls with spinning wheels in the mud, and then opted to just move the electric poultry netting to fresh grass while the coop remained stationary to avoid mud catastrophes.



Well, the other day we said enough is enough and decided that we were going to get the coop out of its muddy footprint come hell or high water.

Hell came.  High water too.

Whose idea was it to drive out onto the pasture the day after a horrendous rain storm, anyway?  (Did I mention it has been a record-setting year for rain?)

I’ll take half responsibility.  It wasn’t my idea, but I went along with it.


What occurred over the next 3 hours…or was it 3 days?  I lost track.  Anyway, those few hours were chock-full of obstacles, calamities, high-tension, swearing, digging, and MUD.   We managed to get stuck in the mud multiple times, break a five-line electric fence, and find the car’s ABS indicator light illuminating, bringing with it the fear of a large car repair bill.

Joe almost lost a finger.  I almost lost it altogether.


Meanwhile, the birds were having the time of their lives exploring nearly all 14 acres of the farm.  They didn’t actually go that far, but they were spreading out beyond where we could see them.  The point is, they weren’t stressed in the least.


We finally got the coop (almost) where we wanted it, the car out of the pasture, the birds in their new paddock, and the fence fixed.  Oh, and the ABS light was a false alarm.

The lesson learned was that we are going to have a different plan in place for next winter.  One that doesn’t involve cars on soggy pasture.


We entered the house that evening muddy and with aching muscles.  And with peace of mind that there was no mud to be found in the new chicken yard.


Other than the piles made by moles, but that’s another story…


2 thoughts on “Keeping Chickens on Rotating Pasture in Winter?

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