So, here's the story...
We have a walk-in freezer that we keep our inventory in but needed another one. If you haven't noticed freezers are a little...okay, A LOT hard to find. But luckily we found one in Colorado and needed to pick it up. Lesson Number One in farming- There Are No Vacations. So I decided to try to beat the system and leave on Friday afternoon, stay the night somewhere along the way and come back on Saturday. Not exactly a romantic getaway but at least it was something. So, the plan was for my husband, Justin, to do night chores while I got packed. A few minutes later Justin called with bad news. A ewe had lambed and had abandoned her twins. Sometimes that happens with first time moms. The issue is that the lambs now needed to be fed a bottle every four hours. Lesson Number Two- Something Always Goes Wrong When You Are Trying To Leave The Farm. Luckily I have a great neighbor who said she would take care of them for the night. But unfortunately, after chores, lamb delivery, a meat delivery to Rock Springs and a quick drive-through we didn't get started until 8 pm. Somewhere around midnight on a dirt road in the middle of Colorado, thoughts of a relaxing getaway were fading fast.
A few weeks earlier we had come to Colorado to pickup a Boar. On that trip we found out that Denver is the chicken capital of the world (okay...not really, but it is the only place we have been able to find any to buy). After picking up the freezer the next morning, we debated that since we were already in Colorado maybe we better go to Denver to get some more chickens. Here's the part where I really start wondering about our sanity. It was a 5 hour drive home. It was a 4 hour drive to Denver, another 6 hours home plus however long it would take us to catch 80 chickens. Yep...chickens won. Somewhere around midnight on the highway with a trailer full of freezer parts and chickens, thoughts of "the funny farm" were growing. But it gets worse.
Our chicken coop is portable so that we can move it in the pasture with the cows. How it works is in the morning, before you let them out, you move the coop to a new spot. Then let the chickens out and they will be able to find it at night. If you move it while they are out, even if it's only a few feet, they won't be able to find it. New chickens have to be trained. So, theoretically you put them in the coop the first night and the next night most find it and you put in the ones who didn't. It should get less and less each night until finally they all find their way to the coop and all you have to do is shut the door. Back to the romantic getaway... When we finally got to the ranch at about 1am we had to catch 80 chickens in the trailer and place them on their roost in the coop. It felt like a lot more than 80 chickens! But, the fun didn't stop there. The next night we were up until 11pm doing the same thing, except this time we also had to catch the 20 chickens we already had to train them to the new coop. And then the next night, and the next. By this point, I'm pretty sure we have lost our minds. Day 5... they better all be tucked in nice and cozy tonight or there might be some new inventory on the website tomorrow! Lesson Number Three- Never Let The Chickens Win.