The Shade Tarp

This was one of those projects i knew i needed to do but i had so much going on i just couldnt make it to Kerrville where the hardware store was and then when i finally did go they were so busy i only got half of the things i wanted purchased…they told me it would be a thirty five minute wait to use the jigsaw so a woman who worked at home depot but had never been in lumber decided to see if she could help me cut the piece of wood. It took her ten minutes and another employee to figure out how to turn it on and she did not don the safety goggles. She cut my piece of wood for me but i figured i had better quit while i was ahead and leave the store before i got in a waiting line for anything else or someone got hurt using something they werent trained on so i didnt have to wait. I left without buying a tarp and a lot of other things id gone for. I did have 500 feet of hose and a spray nozzle to hook up to the well house, an outlet attachment that splits a plug into three, and as always: zip ties. On a homestead you can never have too many zip ties. In the end i ordered the tarp online and had it sent to the post office. Shipping was cheaper than the money i would have spent on gas for another round trip to kerrville. It arrived one afternoon and i took it in the house and set it down. I was working. I was tired. I wanted a nap. I told myself i’d get it done later. Well, i woke up from that nap with the sun setting in an hour and all the evening chores to do. I tore open the package, laid it in the yard, folded it crudely…the holes with metal rings around them didn’t line up…. I got the scissors and made new holes. It was a cheap tarp. If it bit the dust i’d get a new one next year. I stood on a chair, held the tarp up, threaded the zip ties through the holes i’d made, and secured the zip ties around the metal bars of the chicken pen. It was actually the best plan to erect the tarp in the evening because the afternoon and evening sun was what the chickens were trying to get away from in the 100+ temperatures, and at this time of day i could see that the tarp, in the position i had it, blocked that sun. I tried not to cover too large an area because the chickens needed proper air flow for ventilation and so they didnt poison themselves with the fumes from their own waste. However, they needed some relief from the sun during the summer months.

It’s been about a week since i put the tarp up. Its still standing. The chickens dont seem to take much note of it, which is good. They look like they’re in less distress in the afternoons. They walk freely instead of huddling together under the nesting boxes during the afternoon hours. It also prolongs the amount of time it takes their ice to melt. This was a real quick project. It took about 45 minutes from start to finish. So far it appears to be functioning as i had hoped. Perhaps in the winter it will block some wind during ice storms as well. It all depends on which direction they hail from.

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