Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Housing and Chicken Development

Hey there!

The chilly weather has not deterred work at Brookhill Farm.  Richard has been busy building chicken tractors, large and small.  He has two prototypes in development.  The smaller tractor is on grass with a few young hens inside.  The larger tractor is not yet ready but I am providing pictures of our progress on that model.  A few more items like wheels on the bottom and it should be rolling onto pasture soon.

From this side, we have a lovely yard for our birds to play, peck, and express their chicken selves.   A ladder descends from the nesting and perching platform allowing them to wander in and out as needs dictate.

This is sitting inside our barn.  Please close your eyes and imagine there is a grass floor inside. :)  The beauty of this design is the chickens remain safe, receive plenty of fresh air and grass, and can peck or dig for worms or grubs as they choose.  We do provide a bit of non-GMO chicken feed but chickens desperately need to be on grass to thrive.  You will notice a difference in the chicken and the eggs they lay when they are given fresh pasture each day.

Chickens are resilient creatures but a few 'creature comforts' go a long way in making your birds happy, happy, happy.  The ladder that takes them to the nesting/perching platform can be latched onto the ceiling when not in use making the whole unit easier to move around the pasture or field to field.

The nesting boxes (3 per side) are accessible via external hatches.  A separate door into the nesting/perching platform area provides easy access to cleanup for droppings and providing fresh bedding for your birds.  Once the wood dries, this tractor is ready for paint.  A tin roof completes their new home.

Spring is just around the corner.  Lambing starts soon.  The beef calves are due around May 2014.  Richard also plans to add piglets to our mix this Spring to fatten for Fall slaughter.

Emma, the Jersey, is doing nicely and expecting her calf soon.

Houston, the donkey, is getting adjusted to her surroundings.  She is bonding quite well with the sheep and looks at me now when I call her name.  I think she has an idea that it is her name; in the coming weeks, I pray she understands, "Yes, that me!"

Tons of great things going on at Brookhill Farm including the antics of Houdini, the magic laying hen.

More on Houdini later...stay tuned!

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