Our next attempt was a great big run probably about 1/8 acre with a 'raw' strawbale house. The house solved a few problems - it was roomy and well insulated but rats also found it comfortable and since it was close to my vegetable garden it has caused me alot of grief with rats eating all my garden.... The yard was supposed to be divided into 4 sections so we could rotate the chooks, but it never quite got finished... Then the crows found the house and well that was the end of the eggs!
Well, it probably sounds like this is going to be another doom and gloom post about things going wrong, but its not (fingers crossed)! We think we may have now found the ideal way to keep a decent size flock that doesn't harm the soil and keeps the chooks healthy and safe.
|Just because its practical, doesn't mean it can't be pretty!|
We have called it the 'chookshaw' because its essentially just like a rickshaw those Asian people powered vehicles. The chookshaw is the 'nighthouse' where the hens hop in to sleep and lay their eggs. During the day they come out into an electric netting enclosure that we move about the paddocks every two or so days (right now we have very little grass after a hot dry summer). We hope that this method will achieve two goals, giving our chooks a great life (and thus making their eggs great food - nutrient dense - to use the current buzz word) and also as a way of fertilizing our pasture.
|Letting out the flock onto new pasture|
|The electric net, the horizontal wires are 'live' and serve to protect the flock from foxy.|
|Flockster in the making?|