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.

IMG_1881

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.

IMG_1317

IMG_1305

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.

IMG_1308

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.

IMG_1303

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.

IMG_1841

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.

IMG_1843

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.

IMG_1840

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

 

Advertisements

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s