OTOH, a real blessing beamed down in the form of my father who showed up to take my father-in-law (who lives with my husband and I) to the eye doctor for an exam before his upcoming cataract surgery. Since he came all the way up here for that, (with a dozen bales of premo hay), he decided to spend the week helping me out which was desparately needed since Mark has been unable to help. We got a leaky water trough from a friend over here to use as a hay trough since I'm tired of the horses scattering their hay all over their shelter; if there's anything that drives me nuts it's wastefulness.
From the same friend we got a really nice raised chicken house with enclosed, sheltered area and a nice long run. The fact that it is off the ground should make cleaning up the chicken pooh a whole lot easier than conventionally cleaning out a chicken house - a task well remembered from my childhood and not much looked forward to now. The dust, the smell, the feathers - ugh! This way I just have to rake out from underneath it. I have yet to put a roof on it to shed snow from the run part of it and do something about blocking the wind since it is out in the open and is way too heavy to relocate; plastic sheeting should be good for that.
Personally, I think that our society uses plastic for way too many things - it may be convenient but it's a real pain to dispose of and of limited reusability. Since the bottom has fallen out of the recycling business one can't hardly give recycleables away much less get any coin for stuff. That only covers the stuff that is recyclable - not the majority of plastics one encounters on a daily basis which either gets burned or ends up in the landfill. OTOH, >3 mil plastic sheeting is one of the great things that chemistry has produced - especially for the homestead. Ok, so maybe I'm over enthusiastic but it is useful stuff especially for keeping snow off and winter winds out.
Besides getting the trough for hay, and the premo hay, the horses got a much larger paddock. It would have been almost impossible to do an effective and efficient job of running the electrical rope fencing by myself but Dad and I got an approx 400' perimeter area fenced in in one afternoon. The process would have gone faster except Samwise was trying to be sooo helpful.