Sunday, 28 April 2013

Chicken Tractor

Here it is, wheeled out in the field today. It is built around a poly tunnel frame and covered with mesh. The coop part is built into one section with pop hole and ladder inside and a small door at the back for egg collecting, and the whole back folds down to take out the wire floor, perches and nest boxes for cleaning. The chickens were a bit wary of it, all except Snowy that is, who did the full tour. The only way we could persuade the birds in was with food! That also included one goose and a pony. The idea is that as the chickens eat the grass it can easily be moved to a fresh patch. Depending on how many chickens are in there, it is moved anytime from 2 days to a week. Ideal for young or bantam chickens as that keeps them safe from Buzzards, Crows, Sparrowhawks maybe even the Heron.

 Snowy was in there a very long time inspecting the perches and the wire floor which will allow the poo to drop through. In the winter it can be covered with lino to keep it warmer.

The geese seem to getting over their broody spell, they were all out in the field today. That might have had something to do with a complete clear out of the 'Barn'. We were just checking for rodents and moved the straw bales, and forked over the entire floor, including the nests so I guess they gave up and accepted there were no eggs to sit on.

Thought I would give the chicks something to play with and put in half a dozen dried leaves. They were scared stiff - literally. All jumped onto the top of the hot plate and stared at them. Eventually 'Boris the Brave' jumped down and took a peck at them and backed off. Tonight they were all pecking them to bits and running around with them like trophies. Keith put some grass in with the food, not so frightened of that but still wary at first. It's going to be quite a challenge introducing them to the big wide world.

The Marans seem to have started laying at last, we had a couple of dark brown eggs today.

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