Growing The Growers Filming Trip 2010

Diary with pictures of our trip to the USA and England to meet with people that have successfully encouraged more people to garden and farm organically

Monday, August 16, 2010

Laying Hens

Over the summer months the mature laying hens reap the benefit of all the beautiful green grass available on this farm. Their mobile houses are towed around the fields at a rate that allows them to forgage on the grass and the insects without denuding the place as only chickens know how to.  No bare, scratched up yards on this farm!

Within sight of the homestead this double carriage chook RV houses a lot of hens. They wander freely during the day and because hens roost at night they can be securely locked up in the early evening giving them overnight protection from predators.

The double carriage unit is easily hitched to a tractor and has storage bins built in minimising the work of a move.

Hens hop in and out via their own doors and ramps.

and once inside have laying boxes, feeders and roosts - all the things essential to the comfort of these perching egg producers.

Laying boxes are lined with clean straw, comfy secluded spots for the serious work of egg laying.

Feeders are cleverly designed so that the birds cannot throw the expensive high protein supplementary feed around. The rollers on the top of the feeders are unstable places to perch so the hens avoid them and in doing so avoid fouling (no pun intended!) their dinner.

Outside on the grass is a small mobile waterer.

Eggs. What a perfect trio! It is no wonder that a fresh free range, pastured poultry egg is such an icon of  wholesome farming.

Out of sight of the house in paddocks further up the hill there is a different design of mobile poultry house.

In this case the hens cannot be locked up at night so they are protected by a portable, electric mesh fence.

Battery powered these electrified barriers keep hens in and predators out. Clean water is a must in any form of animal husbandry.

Again the house is equipped with access ramps, roosts, laying boxes - everything a hen needs.

And everything that is necessary in the way of supplies and food can be towed around making life easy for the farmers.

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