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Chickens for Eggs

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  • #16
    Where previously, I had to enter the soil pit to open the gate to allow the chickens out of their pen and into the pit, I now have a convenient trapdoor arrangement that I can operate from the other side of the structure.

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    My chickens adapted to the new way of entering and leaving very quickly...so that was another quick win.

    Filling and cleaning feeders and waterers are done through a lift-up roof panel...but both will be changed so that they can be replenished from outside.

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    The removal of the old nest boxes means that the entire footprint of the chicken house - 2700mm x 1800mm (4.85 square metres) or 6' x 9' (54 square feet) - is now available to them.

    There's still some fine-tuning to do before the project is finished. A more stable ladder...and a few little tweaks will make a good food production system even better.

    Managing the chickens just got a whole lot easier today. I also moved a step closer to the waste transformation farming ideal of housing livestock on mesophilic bedding...but we'll talk more about that later.

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    • #17
      ​​​​​​I put a more suitable ladder arrangement into the chicken composter to enable the birds to climb up onto their roosts...and a small step - inside and outside - to provide easier access/exit through the sliding trapdoor.

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      I've also made a simple rain shelter so that the pen remains dry while still providing for plenty of ventilation through the mesh panels on the ceiling of the chicken composter.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Gary Donaldson View Post
        Managing the chickens just got a whole lot easier today. I also moved a step closer to the waste transformation farming ideal of housing livestock on mesophilic bedding...but we'll talk more about that later.
        My goal is to recover as much of the chicken manure as reasonably possible (and to feed it to black soldier fly larvae) so my next tweak will be to put a tray beneath the perches. The manure that falls into the deep litter will be worked up by the chickens as they scratch around in the pen and, over the space of several months, the deep litter (sugar cane mulch and grass trimmings) will become a rich compost...about a cubic metre of it.

        By way of general observation, egg production is good...averaging about nine eggs a day from 12 chickens. The quest for consistent supplies of organic chicken feed continues. We've found a manufacturer but getting conveniently located distributors to keep the feed we want is still a challenge sometimes.

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