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Monday, August 10, 2009

Outdoor Pen Construction and Our First Chicks Go Outside

These are the Black Astralorps at 3 weeks of age in late June, at this point they were getting a bit big for the space and were regularly flying out of the brooder and immediately looking around wondering if flying out had been such a good idea after all.

That's me on the left showing off my Farmer Heroin Chic look. This is a lightweight (relatively, it still weighs ~150lbs) moveable pen based on a design by Joel Salatin, a farmer in Virginia. It is really for broilers (meat chickens) but we figured it would work well enough for hens as well and since we are raising broilers now it would be a good investment. Anyhow, it is made of pressure treated lumber that is cut into thin sections to cut down on weight. The outside is covered in chicken wire.

The left half has 2 removeable top pieces so you can access the inside. We used leftover wall covering for a roof which works reasonably well except it is pretty floppy.

A friendly disagreement.

Welcome to the world of grass!

At first they were a little hesitant about their new living arrangements but they promptly realized how great it is being outside and started eating grass, catching bugs, and generally having an excellent time.

The finished product (minus top pieces.)


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