Friday, April 23, 2010

Barter... Or making money while you cruise... the chicken chronicles

Way back, when we first got into this sail-away-into-the-sunset gig, there was much discussion of helping make ends meet doing the barter thing. The idea that with a stock of fish hooks, fishing line and a cornucopia of t-shirts you could trade for the needful things in life and even make a profit process.

Over the years the subject still comes up from time to time with newbie folks and armchair sailors, but in truth, I have never met anyone who pulled it off. Maybe it is a different world, but when you are in the San Blas islands and they paddle out to sell you Molas the fact that they also come equipped these days with a credit card machine and take AMEX kind of puts a damper on trading a few fish hooks for the Mola idea...

A whole different world...

Then again, some folks in the USA think it is no bad idea to bring barter back in a big way as a way of dealing with the out of control health costs by putting it back on a barter level... Sort of a chicken standard.

As it happens, my brother-in-law has been raising chickens and building a chicken coop which is a project I've found very interesting and the odd "cunning plan" of livestock on "So It Goes" has flitted through my thoughts the last week or so...

The feline crew (Buffy and Willow) I think would be all over the idea as they are big fans of c-h-i-c-k-e-n and with the price of cat food being what it is, I can see a certain appeal in the overall budget.

Of course, figuring out the right size of chicken coop is no small feat as if it is going to provide for meals, trade goods and health care it becomes a rather significant project... scarily so!

As it turns out, the average cost per person of health care in the US of A is $7681 and as the current average cost of a chicken is $5.02, that means we would have to raise 1,530 chickens per person just to cover health care... YOWZA, we are going to need a bigger boat! For more on the cost of the whole chicken barter thing you might want to read it here.

So, obviously, turning "So It Goes" into a chicken farm would only work if I apply a Republican mindset to it and take collective leave of my senses... Damn, I was really looking forward to building a chicken coop.

Then again, I suppose there is still Chincilla Ranching