Tuesday, November 19, 2013
TIGHTWAD TUESDAY - Free Tarps
The weather has been beautiful most of this week. A little rain here and there, but very warm (nearly 80° F. a couple of days) and mostly sunny. But . . . . the forecast just beyond this looks very dreary and cold! We are supposed to have rain, wintery mix, and temps with highs only in the 30s to mid 40s F for well over a week straight!
At the moment, the biggest problem this presents is our chickens here at Anna's Farm. We had planned to have them all moved to Dave's Farm long before now, where there is a nice, proper chicken house, but way too many things have gotten in the way, and they are still here. They are in good-sized pens, completely fenced in, even over the top, with barrels and tubs inside, made into little houses, for them to get into out of the weather, but those darned chickens are so stupid most of the time, that they won't get into their little houses and, instead, run around out in the rain, ugh!
So, with such cold, wet, dreary weather moving in long-term, what are we to do? There still just isn't time to get them all moved and settled in at Dave's Farm (that will be a process of moving a couple at a time for all to adjust) and it certainly isn't cost, nor time effective to throw together a couple of chicken houses. So the next best thing (temporarily) is to cover their pens over with waterproof tarps. But that, too, is a huge expense.
And what about those tarps? Those things absolutely are not made like they used to be! I have not found one in a long while that completely sheds water. With my work at the flea market, and having to cover things up often, I can honestly tell you that there is not an affordable tarp to be found in this area, that will completely shed water and keep everything under them dry! And who wants to pay for a bunch of tarps that don't keep anything dry?! I mean, isn't that the purpose to begin with?
So recently, I stopped at our local furniture store, and, as unusual luck would have it, they had just tossed out a bunch of heavy plastic that they had pulled off of mattresses that had just come in! Even better, they let me have (free) all of it that I wanted!!! Yep, was I ever happy! I struggled to get it all in my car, but I wasn't leaving without it! This is the most wonderful stuff for tarping over anything that you don't want to get wet! It is thick, durable, flexible, and stands up to the elements for a very long time. I use it on my tables at the flea market now, instead of tarps, and no water has ever gotten through.
My two smaller chicken pens are now all snuggly covered and ready for whatever comes. (Be sure and leave air flow so the little darlins' can breathe). On one pen, across the top, I covered it with an old, thick blanket first - for an insulation factor. Then I put the thick, clear plastic over all that and brought it down most of the way over the sides, fastening it all down.
The other piece of plastic that I used was actually foam insulated bubble wrap. It repels water and is insulating! I had a little bit of thinner plastic that I used over the sides of their pen, then I put the insulated bubble wrap all over the top, letting the excess hang over the edges like a canopy (it is a little stiff and stands out good), then fastened all of that down. They look so warm and cozy inside of there, now!
This took all of about half an hour to accomplish, and NO money! I like problem solving techniques like that! Now, granted, this is just a temporary solution, until we can get them all moved over the Dave's Farm. But I am very relieved to know that our little chickies are snug and secure for what is coming the rest of this month, and we were out absolutely no money for our temporary, but secure solution. What do you want to bet though, that now they will finally decide to go into their little houses, ha, ha, ha. I will let you know if they do.