This week the youngest flock of laying hens went out on pasture in their mobile chicken coop. We have to train them to go into their coop at night. To do this we go out near sundown and keep the chickens from sleeping on the ground underneath the eggmobile. Then when it gets dark we go around and collect the hens an put them in the coop. It takes about a week for all of them to figure out where the door is, but after that they go in on their own.
With the feed system the bins now have augers, motors and motor controllers. There are couple more things I need to finish before it's fully ready. Also, this week we started planting the big garden. Potatoes, onions, radishes and beets went in the ground.
We're finally getting good weather so all of the animals are now out on pasture. Only the pigs and one flock of young layers are still in hoop houses. This flock is being trained to go into their new eggmobile (mobile chicken coop) so that they can go out on pasture. Disaster struck when we moved the Black Australorp layers out on pasture. The birds gained weight over the winter and as we moved them into their new area the pen folded over. I pulled one of the empty hoop houses over to a new spot so that it can be used as a brooder for our meat birds. Lastly I've been putting up new fencing along the road at our rental property to keep the cows from exploring the neighborhood. It's been another busy week on the farm.
Spring is here and with it comes new life to the farm. We've got babies everywhere! We've got farm kittens, chicks, bunnies, lambs and calves. So cute! As far as projects the mobile chicken coop got it's nest boxes and hitch for towing. I also built a new 3-point hitch for the tractor so we can use it instead of the truck for towing trailers and wagons. The feed setup is slowing coming along. This week I loaded up 3 tons of peas into one of the hoppers. We also got the augers installed in the bottom of the bins that control ingredient flow. We had to switch to a smaller auger size because our power requirements were to high with the larger augers.
This week was crazy busy. Our grazing season started Saturday with the cows leaving the barn and going out on pasture. Then on Monday I put white plastic over the new mobile chicken coop (eggmobile). On Tuesday I fenced off the cows winter bedding and the pigs started digging through it. Then the first batch of broiler chicks arrived on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday I built two 8-hole roll out nest boxes for the new eggmobile. It takes 6 pieces of osb plywood to build two nest boxes and few hinges so the total cost each is around $35. To buy a new nest box of this size it would cost at least $250. I still need to try them out and see if the chickens like them, but it's a cheap experiment. I got the plans from here: http://greenmachinefarm.com/rollout-n...
Also, this week I picked up another boat trailer that I'll use to make the next mobile chicken coop. Thanks for watching!
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