Saturday, June 13, 2015

Moving our chickens and sheds.

Every two years, as part of our rotation, we move the chickens and their sheds from one field to another (we also rotate them around each field as often as possible, usually every six months). This means that we can utilize their fertility (manure) to grow two years of crops - and also that the chickens can then pick through the remains of last years crops (in this case leeks, carrots, beetroot, radishes and potatoes) plus green manures.
Our new yoke attached to the tractor.

Pete and Tigerlily attaching the yoke to a shed.
Having spent a lot of time and money repairing the skids on the chicken sheds last August, this year we built a yoke by lashing together three sections of old polytunnel tubing, allowing us to pull the sheds without straining the new timbers as much as before.
Sunrise in the old chicken field, as we prepare to drag the second shed.

Shed 2 heading across the field.

Squeezing through the first gateway, with 60cm to spare on either side of the shed.

Squeezing through the second gateway and heading for the third.
Thanks to our new tractor (purchased last year) we were able to drag the sheds from one field to another by ourselves for the first time, allowing us to start at 5am so as not to disrupt the chicken's daily routine too much (we usually feed them and let them out at 7:30am). We had all the sheds in their new locations at 6:15am, then spent 2 hours re-building the fence before being able to let the birds out. Most of the rest of the day (Wednesday 10th) was taken up in installing electric fencing and chicken mesh, as well as water butts and drinkers etc..
All three chicken sheds behind the newly repaired fence.

Max and Annette installing intermediate fencing between the chicken sheds.

Shed 2 birds are released into their new field.

Exploring their new field.

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