Thursday, March 31, 2011
We learned about combs, waddles, and how a chicken's feet feel...
Peeking in the chicken pen...
Feeding pecans to the pigs...which mostly looks like throwing pecans at the pigs. They don't mind, I guess.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
And some photos from this year:
You need a catcher, a holder, and a clipper, plus somebody workin' the door. It's all hands in on this project. We wear masks because all the birds in the coop flapping around wildly = major dust. Chickens are chicken, and they freak out a little before it's time to clip, but once they're done it's a non-event and they enjoy the rest of their day.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Come on out, y'all. Be sure to RSVP.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Now, if only we could train them to lay eggs straight into the flats...
Saturday, March 19, 2011
The first couple of weeks on pasture can be treacherous for small chicks. Our broiler pens are heavy and well armored, but not completely impervious to attack--especially when you're dealing with an animal that has deep digging capability. Not sure what it is--fox, coyote?--but we've definitely got an issue on our hands. Here's the evidence from last night:
A 12-inch hole, that is--dug from the outside to the inside. We moved the pens before taking the picture because there were broilers freely roaming everywhere on the pasture this morning. Whatever it is--it's dedicated. Here's a photo of the print to the right of my hand, which suggests fox...?
So far we've tried shoring up the pens with 2x4's on the ground. Our next tactic may include a motion-detector light, or perhaps just a vigil with a lawn chair and a .17 rifle. Whatever it is, it's on!
Friday, March 18, 2011
Dillon was awesome because...
1. She was easy going, which balanced our type-A management style.
2. She was self-motivated. She saw something that needed to be done, and did it--or mentioned it to us so that we would do it.
3. She had a sense of humor. It goes a long way in farm life and life in general.
We could gab about how great she is in further detail, but we fear it may make future WWOOFers feel inadequate. However, if you are considering Dillon for a work-stay on your farm, we give her our full recommendation and our highest WWOOFer honor--2010 WWOOFer of the year (we had 10ish WWOOFers in 2010). WWOOFer Hall of Fame and Best WWOOFer of All Time will be announced at a later date.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
...they came to witness us gesturing this way and that...
What a culminating moment for the struggles and joys of the last two years. I thought a lot about Elliott's dad, Mike McGann. He would have been proud to see that bus pull up to the farm, to see people come to learn about a dream we've given roots and wings.
Photos from this post courtesy of Matthew Bagshaw.
If you have any questions about us or our farm tour, please do not hesitate to call 912-863-6436 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have an outline of the farm tour available as well as a copy of our conference presentation on pastured poultry. Thanks for your interest!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
The Cart Coop is a prototypical chicken coop that elevates a scrapped shopping cart to a replicable model for urban food production.
There is not any one way to build a Cart Coop. Instead, the design relies on a single shopping cart that acts as a common chassis for any variety of roof and side panels.
With zip ties or rivets and a large sheet of scrap metal, any sort of roof shape can be attached to the shopping cart chassis. While sections of corrugated metal are common urban freebies, any material or large sheet shape can be used. Bendy plastic, rigid foam, or tough plywood can also form this roof plane.
Because found sheet materials differ widely in size and shape, a consistent roof form is not an option. Instead, each chicken coop will have a different roofline, ranging from curved to creased, swooping and flat. Ideally, the roof will arch upwards in at least one direction to shed water and to provide elevated roosting areas for the resident chickens.
The front plane of the shopping cart detaches easily (it is hinged), and this provides access for feeding and egg retrieval. This plane also flips down to meet the ground, allowing chickens to move in and out of their coop at will.
Stacked boxes or mounted shelves on the interior create laying areas, feeding areas and also a lofted roosting space. Straw, newspapers, or towels along the bottom of the basket can be added to make the chickens more comfortable. The interior of the Cart Coop can support up to three chickens at any one time, with a raised roof.
These drawings show the basic anatomy of a cart coop. Each unit would need to feature the following elements:
o A shopping cart chassis.
o A weather-tight enclosure or roof element.
o Rigid side panels with some sort of integral ventilation.
o An egg retrieval hatch.
o A protected laying box.
o Secure entry and egress.
Thanks for letting us share your work!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The night ended with us and other farmers we know seated at the heads of all the tables, talkin' good food with people. It's no small feat to feed 100 people at once...
Thanks for a great meal--and for honoring local farmers. One of these days we'll get pasture raised chicken on the menu at Cha Bella.