Organic Pastured Poultry

one of the new things we’ll be trying this season:

The Eggmobile!

 

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for many years we’ve happily used

HoopCoops

 

chicks in the movable hoop-coophoopcoop chickens on pasture 2010

Both of these types of chicken shelters share many things in common. They are portable. “Open” bottomed. The chickens have access to fresh pasture daily. The chickens’ droppings are deposited to the pasture. They offer shelter from the elements and from predators. They hold feed and water. They provide nesting and roosting sites. Each design is simply a tool to help grow great pasture, chickens, and eggs!

The Eggmobile will allow us to pasture the chickens in many of the same ways we always have, plus in many new and different ways. We have had a lot of elm and ash trees die. This has provided plenty of firewood for us. Also a number of rough, stumpy, brushy sites. The Eggmobile can get into those sites because it is up on wheels, it can straddle or over-reach a lot of the tangle and roughness below. We can pasture many sites which were formerly inaccessible to the chickens.

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The above picture was taken today, March 22, 2016. The chickens are out and about on pasture. We are using portable, electric poultry netting, currently enclosing about 3600 sq ft. This is our first season trying this technique ourselves, on our farm (we have helped at other farms with a similar set up, but it’s our first go around here). This particular parcel is fairly steep. We will allow the chickens to forage and pasture here. Later we may turn pigs on it too, to “brush hog”. This slope is south facing, near our NRCS hoophouse, easily accessible, and we’d like to eventually plant fruit here. The animals can do a portion of the work for us now, with great eggs for you being just one of many great benefits!

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It’s an open door policy during daylight.

The chickens can hop in and out. Their choice. Food and water and roosting sites on board. In addition to pasturing in season, we feed Graham’s certified organic chicken feed. This is a balanced, mineral and nutrient dense, certified organic chicken feed. The chickens roost safely at night (with the door closed), all droppings dropping through the “open floor” design.

During the days they do a lot of this:

foraging hens 2016 hens foraging on pasture 2016

(I have a hard time taking a picture of them far away. When the chickens see me, they come a-running.)

This guy talks a lot, to me he always seems to be crowing about the same old thing:

cock a doodle do pasturing chickens 2016 crowing rooster, Mister Repetitious

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