- We wanted something we could easily take on and off the trailer, so we wouldn't lose the versatility of the openness of the trailer.
- We hoped for something we could re-use with simple or no re-assembly.
- We wanted it to be strong and sturdy, knowing we would likely be transporting adult rams..with horns...who like to "ram" things!
- We also wanted it to be something that could be put on and off the trailer by one or two people. (Like a Pappa and a Mamma team or a parent tween child team.)
- We wanted to work with materials we had on hand.
- We wanted to be able to use it for smaller animals like chickens, turkeys, guineas, etc.
- We wanted to utilize the whole size of the trailer if possible.
- We need it to be well ventilated so we can use it in the summer time.
This is what we came up with:
We used some metal grid fencing that we had. Each panel measures 4X14. We were going to cut it to size, but we found that it bent easily enough, so we did that for most them in stead. We took it over to the trailer and got as many panels as we needed to enclose the top and sides and started bending. We fastened it together to itself with zip ties. This gave a tight strong hold. We will leave the cage in tact when not in use, and simply lift it on and off the trailer as needed. We will tie it to the trailer itself to ensure a solid safe unit that can NOT be removed by a ram's horn. It is well ventilated, yet, we could use tarp if we needed it to be sheltered/covered for long distance cold transport. We can also add chicken wire around the cage, as needed, for transporting smaller animals like birds when that need arises. Ben did end up cutting a 2 ft strip of the gate, with a saw-zaw, to close a gap in the ceiling of the cage so that it would be flush to the ramp gate. This cage met all the parameters we had hoped for, with the materials we already had on hand!
It was a triumphant "new homesteader moment" upon completion of our little project. We felt like "real farmers". We demonstrated, resourcefulness, ingenuity, and frugality. We filled a need to further advance our farm's growth. That's what good old fashioned homesteading is all about, right?! Maybe there is hope for these 40 year old (former) urbanites after all! :-) (Some days we wonder.)