A friend of mine and I went in together to work a few acres of land of her property. I live in the city limits and a sizable garden is out of the question, especially with all the arsenic and lead in the soil. So we had an agreement. A hand shake. Being from the old, old school, a hand shake has more value than anything that can be written on paper. Anyway, after doing the spring preparations and then planting seed, and setting out some tomato and various other plants, everything was literally taking root. Everything worked out well, we had more than we wanted and was able to can, so we took some to the farmer’s market and various other places. We wanted to get rid of it because we didn’t want our work go to waste. Everything ended up with some what of an unexpected big chunk of change. We both looked at each other and said, “we got to do this again next year”.
Well, that fall, after everything was harvested and the plants had died out. we were talking about other endeavors. I mentioned chickens, she didn’t want to have any part of it. I suggested that I would to everything and in fact I would pay her $100.00 a month. She asked what I would need from her and I said only about a 20X20ft area. She said that I could use a larger plot if I needed for that price. Again, a hand shake was all it took.
A few weeks later I began to build the chicken coop and run. After about a week, all was built and everything was in place. All the while I was looking for some hens and roosters. I Picked them up and brought them to the coop. After a few days, I asked her how was the rooster? Was it more than she could handle in the morning. She implied that there was not problem. I would trek out there 3-4 times a week to check on the hens and collect the eggs. This went well untill about April of the next year. One morning she invited me in for coffee and wanted to have a talk. I’m thinking she maybe wanting to start her own flock. Being that I told her everything about the operation and she saw how well it was going. To my surprise, she wanted to start her own but, no longer wanted my flock around. She had been talking to a friend and was told that she could make $1,000.00s a month doing the same thing her self. I asked her if she was sure she wanted to go it alone and that I could give her $200.00 a month and even went to $300.000. She said, with the help of her (yet unnamed) friend she could handle it. SIDE NOTE: [why would you listen to someone who hasn’t raised chickens over someone who is now successfully doing it]. I stood up, shook her hand and immediately went out and collected my rooster and hens, waterers and feeders and made a call to another friend. After the call, I asked if it would be alright if I could pick up the coop and run the next day. She said that was fine and implied that she didn’t realize I would be out so soon. I came out the next day and loaded up the coop. It fit perfectly on my 5X8 flatbed trailer. The Run was assembled with hinges, so taking it apart was easy, just know out the hinge pins and load them up. Before I left, I told her that there were no hard feeling and if there were anything I could do or any advice I could give just give me a call. She replied that it was all covered.
After about a month, I called to see how she was doing and things wasn’t going as planned, she had already shelled out $2,500.00 and hadn’t even bought any chickens. Her friend suggest that she have a professional come out do a survey and build a chicken coop and run with automatic feeders and waterers. Yes all automatic not to mention the heating and ac unit later to be installed and paid for. She said that once everything is in place it will be easy. I said, ok if there is anything you need just let me know.
With no inquiries for 3 months by her, I decided to call to check on her progress. Apparently this program didn’t even get started. She told me that she has lost her first flock hens to predators. I asked her if her friend didn’t tell her about raccoons, hawks, dogs and other predators. She said no. I then asked her, how did the predators get into the coop. She told me that the hens was free range and came and went as they pleased. I asked her if she didn’t lock them up at night. She implied that her friend had informed her that locking them up wasn’t necessary they would stay in the coop until daylight comes. I asked her what was her operations’ status, she said that there was no status, no operation.
She suggested that I restart my operation. I informed her that my operation hadn’t stopped. I just moved my operation to another friends land. That, my friends is what I can’t believe.
I asked her if we were going to do the garden thing again this year, she implied, no. Now get this, her and her friend was going to do it this year.
SMDH, no, no, sometimes you have to spell it out. shaking my damn head.