So this morning, the two guys are already walking the chicken houses, and Mrs. Fetched asked me to run down there to turn up feed spouts. These spouts dump feed into trays in between the hoppers, and they make feed more accessible to the chicks during the first week or so. After a point, the chicks get big enough to jump in the hoppers and end up scattering feed out of the trays and into the dirt, so cutting off the supply to the trays is important around this time. What with the heavy rain in the last couple of weeks, things are a little more chaotic than usual… rainwater found its way into the #2 house and all sorts of interesting cobble-jobs have been deployed to cope with that. The pump house, which supplies our rental place and (until recently) the chicken houses, had about a foot of muddy water standing in it and the overflow pipe was not letting the water out very quickly.
But I digress. While I was dealing with the spouts, and raising water lines to compensate for chick growth, Panda got tagged to get a roll of hay for the cattle (who were watching us across the fence, complaining about life in general). He had to go by the pump house to get to the hay barn, and decided to have a look at the pump house. A concrete slab, which usually goes over one of the cistern chambers, was standing against the wall — and as it turns out, partially blocking the overflow pipe. Panda went over to move the slab… not realizing that a big open pit full of water was between himself and the slab (the water was muddy and hid such minor details). One step too many, and he was suddenly up to his chin in cold spring water. He leaped right out, jumped back on the tractor, and brought the hay.
When he told us what had happened, Mrs. Fetched’s mom started laughing so hard she couldn’t stand up. I texted Daughter Dearest (on a baby-sitting gig) with the gist of things, which also cheered her up quite a bit. If he’d not been able to get out, though, it might have been a while before we found him. Fortunately, it was just another one of those incidents that are funny only because they aren’t tragic.